Earlier I wrote a post on fly fishing midges. I mentioned some preliminary matters, general fly selection, and some important distinctive techniques. Today, as a follow up, I’d like to provide some greater detail regarding the gear and accessories that can really be helpful on the water when you’re fishing the smallest of flies.
While you don’t need a book to get out and fish flies size 22 or smaller, having a comprehensive resource is going to be incredibly helpful. Midge Magic is an excellent, practical book on midges. Any of Ed Koch’s books on midges are worth reading. Patterns, leader formulas, and general tactics, when laid out in front of you on the printed page, are invaluable.
You need to put your flies somewhere, obviously. And while any old box will work, it won’t work well for midges. In my experience, tiny dry fly hooks aren’t well suited for foam or silicone slots. Thus, compartment boxes are the way to go. Risen Fly makes a great little box that can do double-duty for midges. The covered compartments give the tiny flies security, and the sloped edges allow you to slide individual midges out. On the other half, the foam gives you a short-term drying option or space for a few larger bugs.
Some purists might balk at this, but I am a fan of using some sort of indicator while midging. I’m not advocating throwing a Thingamabobber on your leader. What can give you a little direction when finding and following your fly through the drift is a leader with a little bit of color. Using a bit of contrasting material, between the butt section and the final bit of tippet, can allow your eyes to track the location of your cast quickly. I’ve enjoyed using Arc Fishing’s camo leader material.
Another great option, and one that excels with those integrally delicate presentations, is using a furled leader. I’ve been fishing with Appalachian Furled Leader Company’s leaders, and love using them. They make a dry fly leader that is tapered for 6X-8X use, which, while subtle, also has much more visibility than straight mono or fluorocarbon. Stay tuned for an article all about furled leaders, featuring Appalachian Furled Leader Company, coming soon!
Fishing microscopic flies for actively feeding trout can be such a great way to spend the day. When you are focusing on getting into position, making the right cast, and mending for the perfect presentation, you don’t want to be thinking about gear. So think about gear today. If you want to make midges part of your fly fishing, consider adding a few pieces of specific gear to your arsenal.
…which, depending upon your eyesight, probably should also include some magnifiers.