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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-05-2001 08:16 AM


If you'd be interested, I could send over a selection of the emerger patterns we use in Scotland. They might be tied on larger hooks than you're used to using but I'm sure you could scale them down.

Let me know if you or any of the other 'forumites' would like some.

12-30-2000 01:49 PM

I spoke with my friend out west last night. He gave me the recipe for the disco midge. He also told me that red and black are the two color variations that are effective in the winter. The size depends on local population, 18-22 where my friend is.

Hook: curved shank
Body: bead head, red or pearl for red fly, black
crystal flash abdomen, red, black
peacock collar at bead
12-29-2000 09:05 PM
John Desjardins

Checking the books shows that there are 2 mayflies that are called March Browns. Both belong to the same family, have similar behaviors and frequent the same water types but are of different genera & species.

The American March Brown (Stenoma vicarium) is the eastern variety, while the western variety is the Western March Brown (Rhithrogena morrisoni). From the info I have on them the major difference is in size. Adult American March Brown's are ~ 12-15 mm while the Western March Browns are ~ 8-12 mm. This info is from "An Anglers Guide to Aquatic Insects and Their Imitations" by Rick Hafele & Scott Roederer.

I agree with Greg on the small stoneflies being the first bugs out in the spring on the moving water.
12-29-2000 08:08 AM

I'm not very experienced with stillwaters, but the first flies I see each year are little black and little brown stone flies. They show up on the snow on warm sunny days in Feb/Mar.

I also agree that there are March Browns in the east, always has been. They do not however, make their appearence in March... The western March Brown, I believe is not the same species as the eastern version.
12-29-2000 08:03 AM
John Desjardins

In the back of my mind I recall having heard thet there was some difference between eastern & western species of the march brown. I'll look thorugh my fishing books when I get home to try to answer this question.

With that said, the march brown has been one of my standard early season flies, on streams for several years. It has been a consistently successful pattern for me. Part of this success may be due to its being a reasonable match to food pellets at a hatchery.
12-29-2000 05:25 AM

I am not trying to be contrary, but many of the great flyfishers of this area list the March Brown ,Stenonema vicarium, as one of the main early flies in the Catskills of New York. Art Flick, Ernest Schwiebert,and Rube Cross all list the March Brown as an early fly of the east.In the book "Aquatic Enomology," by W.Patrick McCafferty on page108 lists the " March Brown" as and eastern, and central regions species as very important. I haven't spent much time in the last few years on a trout stream, but I still go with the old masters thoughts. Just call me an old man.
12-29-2000 04:03 AM

After many frustrating years of trying to match that midge hatch I started reading,and experimenting with emerger patterns.I learned that the emerger could be a different color than the adult.I learned about the midges life cycle,larva,pupa,and adult.In the spring, at the ponds in question ,the pupa are easy pickins.They hang in the film for a before flying away.Kauffmanns midge emerger[check out his catalog, this fly is pictured in it.] looked like the ticket.I tied this fly in a multitude of colors,and went out in my tube to try them out.Nothing until I tied on a claret bodied offering,size 16-18.I caught one after another until I lost the fly.This pattern is deadly on an overcast morning.I use a very long leader 15-20 ft, cast to the rise, and just move the fly very slowly.In the fall trout will take the adult,but in the spring ,this emerger is deadly.Read Brian Chans book for other stillwater tctics.

12-28-2000 09:23 PM

Terry informs me that he read there are really no "march browns" east of the rockies. I know that in my early spring antics for trout in the past, there are two bugs on the shore - black gnats galore and a brown insect resembling a mayfly but without the long tail. Due to the popularity of the march brown among the trout afficionados as well as the hare's ear, I assumed the insects I spotted were the reputed namesake.

If not, then the question remains... what were they?

As I alluded, the only real insect study I have done is the giant october caddis - due to 15 or so years of steelheading followed by an avid 5 year saltwater stint.

Truth is, I could use some input from those in the trout know. Anyone?
12-28-2000 07:04 PM

Greg -

Disco makes sense (never thought I'd say that!). Do you suppose it's due to the transparency in the midge's soon-to-be-shed casing? I know with caddis, the shuck has a see-thru tone as the adult emerges. I've played with patterns for october caddis a lot and have had success with partial shuck imitations.

I see a lot of casings while on stillwater with a midge hatch going on, I guess I should collect a few samples this spring.
12-28-2000 06:07 PM

Another body wrap for a midge emerger is flashabou in the color of your choice. A friend out west call these disco midges. I have had some success with midge emergers with the foam wing also, I think they let the fly hang vertically just under the surface. This is a natural attitude for midges. Sometimes a little twitch when a fish is near triggers a strike.
12-21-2000 04:56 AM

Juro, I use to make a simple emerger, just using peacock herl, the rear lightly over wrapped with thread, which made it durable. I use to make them in sizes from 18 to 28. I could send you pictures of some if wanted.
12-18-2000 12:09 PM

One pattern which is easy to tie and hails from the northeast is the Usual. The Usual is tied with hair from the feet of the snowshoe hare. A little bunch for the tail and a flaired bunch for the wing a la haystack. If you want an emerger pattern you don't build up the back of the wing, so it stays slanted backwards and traps bubbles of air between the wing and the body. Snowshoe hair tends to float, so it works well as a dry and you can sink it at the end of a swing or by pulling it back a bit on the surface of a pond. There are no hackles to hold the fly up, so the body sits in the film, much like an emerger would.
12-18-2000 11:17 AM

As soon as March, black gnats and midges, March browns, and other insects begin to emerge in north american stillwaters. I learned a good lesson one day from a float tube on a local trout pond, and have been trying to tie a better emerger ever since.

It was very early in the season, just after ice-out and I was feeling the shack nasties bad. I threw the pontoon boat in the truck and headed for one of Thoreau's ponds to tempt trout with a fly. When I arrived, the sheltered shoreline (wind) had visible rise activity, so I paddled over. Slurp! I drifted into the flat over and over with fish all around me, trying everything I had in the way of dries. Black gnats were coming off the water, but griffith's, black gnats, dark midges - all failed me. I threw on a beadhead wooly bugger and finally scored one stocked rainbow, but for the activity I was in the middle of I felt like I had all but struck out.

As more people joined in on their float tubes, we noticed one gentleman hooking up... three... four.... six times as I watched. Eventually, he paddled over to ask about my pontoon boat. I told him the ups and downs of it verses a float tube, he told me how he hates being submerged down to the privates and how much work it was to waddle to shore to relieve himself after coffee and cold submerging down to the privates. I told him that the high rockers on the Bronco make it a viable whitewater craft but on a windy lake you need a sea anchor to keep from being blown like a leaf. Rowing with both arms and 7 foot oars with all body parts above water was a big bonus, on the other hand.

"So whatcha using?" I asked. He showed me an emerger pattern of his own design - a simple looking thing with a bouyant half-hatched wing set and a shuck casing with body segments distinct. The wing had a blue dun tone but was mostly white. The hook was a thin wire dry hook but the fly was designed to be fished under the film, and it was a winner for the situation.

I developed a number of variations of known midge emergers as well as some real frankenstiens and hit the pond again with a vengeance. Although the trout were more receptive to the griffith's the next time I got back there, the emergers were head and shoulders more effective. The fish were not nosing thru the film they were boiling just under like stripers do.

The best fly that day was an emerger I made up with a thin closed cell foam wing. It was easiest to present in the film, and the foam let me use a tiny diameter wire over black thread to form the body segment detail without sinking the fly. I know others use a stripped quill for the abdomen as well.

I really look forward to the next warm, calm spring day floating an emerger in the film.

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