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Electric Midges 2014

February 3, 2014


On the Missouri River below Holter Dam, there is 35 miles of some of the most productive water for both Trout , Rainbows and Brown Trout, plus Walleye, and a few Ling Cod, in addition to thousands of Whitefish. The reason for such a rich diversity and shear numbers are mainly due to such  prolific aquatic insect life. On the Missouri there is one insect that hatches every month of the year, Midges. These small aquatic insects are the building blocks for the over all mass of the Missouri river. It makes sense that one of the top flies for fishing, in fact, are midge patterns.

In the 2013 season, I was having excellent luck with clients using a size #18 purple lightening bug. From my success with this fly, I started experimenting with similar patterns, changing forms and colors, until I started using these flies below:

Electric Midges

Electric Midges

These are very small, flashy, midge patterns that seemed to work very effectively on the Missouri River, due to the color ” light green” of the river. Algae, floating weeds, exo skeletons of hatching insects all contribute to the slight color of the water. One of the main flies of the river is the Zebra Midge, a high contrast fly that is black and silver. In the past years it was a go to fly that always seemed to work from boat ramp to boat ramp. But last year I felt that at times the Zebra wasn’t as effective as in years past, oh yea, it worked, but not always. That’s when I started using these Electric Midges, similar to the Zebra, in that they are high contrast flies, but, different colors and shapes seemed to do the trick. Changing fly sizes and colors usually kept the fish interested, but there was a few things that seemed to be a constant: ribbing of silver or gold was important, and either silver or black beads. The color combination of the bodies could be , green, tan, black, purple, blue, or red, but to keep the fly flashy and high contrast, more important than body color was the ribbing and bead color.  Silver for both gave more contrast in the flies profile, but I found that with the darker body colors, a black bead worked fine along with either gold or silver ribbing.

Try these flies, I think you’ll see that you’ll like them, and try different colors to see what works for you. Here are some close ups:

Electric Midge










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