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Small Fly Fishing

Much has been written on the phases of life for small flies, especially Caddis and Midges. Each will go thru the larval stage, pupal stage and adult. For the purpose of the site and it's content, we intend to concentrate on the pupal stage. This includes the early pupa stage rising to the surface and the emerger stage in or near the surface film.

pupaemergermicro worm
Photos complements of www.roughriderguide.net

These are live representatives of what we are trying to imitate

Small, smaller and smaller. It is written that each succeeding stage of the midge is smaller than the previous.(2) So a size 24 larva reduces to size 26 pupa and then size 28 adult. Having an assortment of sizes to choose from in your fly box is essential. It is also written that the fishes' vision is much less acute than humans vision and this why they take our flies.(1) In slow water, the fish is taking a close look at the offering and accuracy and cleanliness of the fly is more important than it would be in faster water.

Generally, these small flies are intended to be fished in slow moving or still water. Tail waters where the flow is relatively slow and spring creeks are ideal locations for small fly fishing. Back eddies that are slow moving are also ideal. Some will say that they can be fished in any water at any time.

Dead drift with as small a leader as possible is required. As low as 8X tippet on the dropper. Midge populations are so dense that a fish will not go far to retrieve an offering.(3) You have to put it right in their feeding lane. Softly landing line and tippet and accurate depth control is required.


  1. Borger Gary A.. 1995. Presentation. Tomorrow River Press, Wausau, WI.
  2. Hafele Rick & Hughes Dave.. 1981. The Complete Book of Western Hatches. Frank Amato Publications, Portland, OR.
  3. Streeks Neale.. 1996. Small Fly Adventures in the West, Pruett Publishing Co., Boulder, CO..


E-Mail: jtelinda@micromidge.com

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Last Update: March 25, 2009

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