Midges Matter… part 1
Fishing the Great Smokey Mountains, is unlike fishing any other river systems.
It’s a fly fishermans playground of sorts…
Recently a group of us took advantage of fishing the smokies along the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail. With over 15 excellent rivers, anglers of all skill levels could find themselves searching for native brooks along with wild rainbows and browns. Well known rivers like the Davidson and Tuckaseegee provide easy access points, and can easily be waded (although always proceed with caution)! Some of these rivers are located inside the national forest, so you can only imagine the type junk the fish have to deal with (stink bait, poachers, treble hooks, and god knows what else)!
If your fishing an area like the smokies, where fly presentation is more important than selection, its easy for an angler to get a bit lazy at times and forget to carry a decent selection of flies.
With a lot of success on our first day using mayfly/caddis dries ranging anywhere from size 16-10. We attempted to head back the next day to try the same. Needless to say the fish were chasing the same flies we were throwing the day before, however they would dive back to the bottom once they saw it didnt resemble a midge. After getting more of the same results on a size 18-22 patterns, we took off to a different river to try our luck there.
From that point on I wanted to know learn more about how such a small fly can be so effective and to do this its important to recognize the life cycle of a midge and to apply this knowledge onto your flies…