Mike, glad to hear you are getting out...
I've gone into full time midge fishing lately. I have trouble tying them on, but can see them on the water, mostly...
I think this is one of the high bar settings in our sport..
Not a bit easy.
We generally don't bother fishing blind with a midge, due to the limitations you pointed out..
We prefer stalking a fish and getting a drift to it, hopefully this allows us to see the take.
Fishing a double dry (with one large fly, and one small) set up, is best for blind drifts.
I like to tye a white thread midge, with a clear glass bead sz. 22. This near weightless dropper can be trailed beneath a very small dry. They are often not taking the surface bugs here, but are feeding. Also fish emergers in the film. These bugs are the easiest for fish to capture, and so you get more interest from the fish. This is the best style early in the hatch. When you don't see noses, just backs, this is my most productive approach.
Later, a single dry skated. Then clumps on the surface (Griffiths gnat or special tye.), and then spinners towards the end of the days warmth on the surface, and drowned.
I'll fish a streamer earlier, or later than the hatch lasts (Before 11:00 am and after 3:00 pm.)
I search for bubble lines where fish Q up. Spotting fish from a distance (40 yrds away) and then putting on the sneak. Staying low and dropping a knee gives best results for me.
Mr. Bash is right about the skating thing. But once again, stalking first if possible.
We have low flows, and clear water, so I do mud my leader for fishing dry midges.
I have two weeks off, give me a shout if you want to walk water up here.
Caught a sweet wild bow yesterday on an egg pattern too. Nice change from midges.
It's tough getting old.
Big Fly & Larry
I know how it is although my sight is still pretty good I just have troubles with The Fine Motor Skills in my left hand as only the other day whilst tying Wets for The Swap,I had troubles winding Peacock,Feathers,Tinsels etc & especially attaching Feather Wings as half way through the L/H Forefinger & Thumb would release whatever I had hold of,so It's something for you young guys to look foward to,hopefully many years down the track.
Brian, I'm in denial on the old thing. (and will be until proven otherwise)
I operate like a 38, more than a 50. Just cannot see close anymore.
Twisting feathers is tough for for my fingers, love my hackle pliers with grippy rubber tips.
Use them for wings too....
I hope things are well in Truckee as over the years I've heard heaps on it from a mate,where he stayed with friends who apparently in winter drove across a Lake to save 30 mins to an hour going around,also the way he spoke,it being close to Reno I always thought it was in Nevada & not California.
I also use hackle Pliers for winding,they are a bit trickey for fine Tinsel as it's easy broken I had a set of winging Pliers which I only used acouple of times however I had a material & Tool Cull a few years back & I must have given them to a young guy just starting.
I found Small Full Feathers,Synthetic & Fur Wings easier than Feather Slips.
I really can't resist this one. I'm 55 and have worn glasses since 7th grade. I've always had a problem spotting my smaller dry-fly offerings until I found a solution that really works for me. I actually came up with this for fishing my favorite spring creek with small flies since I didn't want to splat something big on the surface just to aid my poor eyesight.
I wrote about this in the Winter 2011 issue of Flyfishing & Tying Journal if any of you have that old issue (even though it says Winter 2011, it was published November of 2010). The article was titled Spring Creek Strategies and promoted the use of a Parasol Emerger fly for fishing those type of waters.
I found that using a Parasol Emerger fly as an indicator fly doesn't spook fish as much as a regular strike indicator or larger dry fly.
My modification for this method with tiny dry flies is to tie on the Parasol fly and then attach a piece of tippet directly to the bend of the hook on the Parasol. I usually go from 20 to 30-inches of tippet to my smaller offering to which I attach the smaller midge or emerger with a non-slip loop knot. The Parasol Emerger doesn't seem to spook the feeding fish, usually will pick up a couple of fish itself, and it serves as a beacon for me to orient where my smaller fly is located in the drift.
Give it a try, it works great for my old and tired eyes.
Parasol Emerger fly in a midge:
Trailed by something like the following:
KG's EPF Foam Emerger BWO:
KG's EPF Foam Emerger Midge:
KG's CDC Parasol Midge:
Good luck in figuring the "I can't see it" dilemma, I'm afraid it just gets worse with age...
Brian, the T is in CA. and NV.
One of a few rivers that terminate inland. (Headwaters near the eastern CA. Sierra crest,
and terminus at Pyramid lake 40 min. north of Reno..)
Plus, I live in Nevada county, CA.
Just to make it more confusing.
Kelly, sick selection of midges.
I use the foam back, and CDC to effect here.
Going to have to learn to tye the parasol for sure.