Updated
2013-01-30

Swedish version

 
Midge fly called "Bosse"
By Björn Möller

Midge pupa (Family Chironomidae) is on the fish menu throughout the season. With a midge pupa on the leader is time for excitement and fighting. But it is important to fish the fly correct.

  How often have we stood there at the water, tearing our hair in dispair and changed fly after fly - with poor results? While the fish mockingly feeding frequently over the whole lake? The risk, or chance, are that you at those occasions are in the middle of a midge hatching, that “creates” very selective fish.

  If you look closely at the surface of the water, you can see that it is covered with empty pupa skins from newly hatched midges, plus some hatched midges resting on the surface. Maybe you now change to a little seductive "midge" dry fly. Probably it does not help. It has been shown that during midge hatches, fish will take about 50 pupae for every hatched midge taken.

Caption: Skins after hatched midges can be found in abundant numbers on the surface

  When the fish are taking hatching midges it is usually with calm, rhythmic and repetitive takes. As sharks they show the dorsal fin and tail for quite some time as they slowly swim in the surface. This is particularly true on blank water.

  If the water is rippled by the wind, the pupa easier break through the surface tension and hatches therefore much faster. At this scenario the takes will be more powerful. It is easy to be deceived on such occasions, and you believe that it is something completely different on the fish menu. Because you are used to believing that when fish is feeding on midges it is by the calm, fine takes.

  The right technique

  There are plenty of good imitations to mimic midge pupaes. Maybe you have a personal favorite that worked well for you. My personal favorite fly to use when pupaes hanging in the surface and the fish feeds on midges, is my own creation, I call it “Bosse” -, see tying description below - soon will become ten years old.

  The advantage of this fly is that you do not need to grease the leader all th eway towards the fly to get it to “hang” in the surface tension. Approximately one meter of the leader tip I usually leave clean, or prepared with sinking treatment. That way I get a pupae hanging in the surface film by its own, and the water surface surrounding the fly remains undisturbed by the leader - something that might be necessary if the fish are skittish.

  If you want success in your fishing with midge pupae, you must learn the proper technique. Are you fast enough, you might have time to put your fly in the rise ring, possibly the fish then turns and takes imitation. But often it is better to place the pupa one or two meters in front of the fish's direction.


Brook trout from my home water kan be extremely selective,
at these occasions “Bosse” is very effective.

  Take it easy

  With a little practice, you learn to see which way the fish is hedding. If you are unsure, then cast up against the wind. Approximately 90 procent of the times the surface feeding fish swims against the wind direction.

  If there are no wind the pupaes will take longer to hatch in the surface film. It is important not to scare the fish when you cast. Try to position the fly as gently as possible in the direction of the fish. Let the pupa imitation lie still. If fish swims by, then let it swim a few feet before gently lifting the fly for a new cast.

  I have often spooked fish that not found my imitaion. I've been stressed to lift too early. Keep calm and slow down if you feel stressed andconcentrate.

  To mimic the natural midge pupaes the imitations should be fished very slow or completely still. When the fish takes, it does so slowly and leisurely. Only when you attach the hook in the mouth you will revive him. Be careful you set the hook and be prepared for the first run.

  Do you have a belly boat, and use it with sense, take it with the next time you head out on the "midge pupae fishing". The fish are not scared by the “boat”, and you can "paddle" very close to the rising fish. It happens that you can be so close that only the leader is outside the top ring of the rod when you present the fly. Talk about close encounters! Then you have to have your nerves under control.


The fly "Bosse" behaves correctly in the water surface film

  This is how to tye "Bosse"

  This pupa have celebrated triumphs during midge hatches. The special thing about it is that it has polycelon as thorax section. Abdomens - that may be of thread or fiber from wing pens - I tie it all the way into the bend. Sometimes I dub the body, but remember that the body should be slim.

  When you secure the polycelon, do not tighten the strips when you attach them in front of the head. Fold them just backwards. Also make sure that the strips are the same length on each side of the thorax, otherwise one side will get more buoyancy and the pupae will not hang straight in the water.

Hook: For example Mustad 94833
Thread: size 6/0 in suitable colour
Tail: Very thin and white fluorescent wool yarn piece
Body: Optional, depending on colour of the local midge
Rib: Tying thread in i divergent colour
Thorax: Two strips polycelon tyed in on the sides, pointing backwards where the thorax section begins. The strips are folded forward on the sides and are secured. Before doing so, you attach a piece of white fluorescent wool acting as head hair..


"Bosse" i olika färgvarianter

  Midge pupaes in short

  Midge aren not biting insects and do not suck bloodt. They are very common in our waters and hatch in large numbers from early spring to late autumn. Midges takes about a year to develop into fully winged insect. It undergoes four stages: egg, larvae, pupa and adult winged insect. For the fly fisherman is the most interesting the pupa stage.

  Midges larvae are slender and worm-like and can grow up to 30 millimeters long. They swim, even though it is slow, very agile, and is therefore extremely difficult to imitate for us fly fishermen. Personally, I have never had any success when I fished with larva imitations.

  The size of the pupa is from a few millimeters up to about 15 millimeters. The colors vary but black, brown and olive green are common. Pupa have slender abdomen with a slightly bigger thorax sectiony. On the head is a white crest which is especially visible in the water. Even in the tail, these “tassels”, but here sparser and shorter.

  There are midge pupaes that hatch after sunset, species that hatch late mornings and early afternoons. Some hatch more or less constant throughout the day.

  When it's time for the pupa to rise to the surface to hatch it must first get out of their pupa shell down at the bottom. Here it stays for a while, and here begins the fish feed on them. A deeply fished pupa imitation can fool the fish already at this moment.

  Soon pupae rises towards the surface. The fish has a chance to catch them at any level in the “deadly road” to the surface. In the surface film, now hangs thousands of pupae. Sometimes it takes several minutes to get off the "overall" and can lift as winged miges. It is in this waiting period the fish – and the fly fisher - has his/hers big chance.

Text and photo by Björn Möller 1994
Björns website www.abatarphoto.fotosidan.se/

 

 

 

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