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Old 01-15-2014, 12:55 PM
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Default Midge hooks and the Davidson

I am fairly new to fly fishing and have just started tying and fishing midges seriously this winter. I have some 18 thru 22 bent shank scud hooks but I am unsure if midges are usually tied on a regular emerger hook. Also I fished the Davidson river in NC for the first time a few weeks ago and used a #18 red zebra midge and only caught a 12" brown. Is 18 to big? I'm also going up again this weekend so if anyone has any pointers it would great thanks
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Midge hooks and the Davidson

Here is what has worked for me -

Midges Pupae (Black, Red and Olive) 20 - 24
Midge Adult (Black and Olive) 20 - 24
Streamers (Black and Olive) 8 - 10

Midge Pupae were tied on Tiemco heavy wire scud hooks, Midge adults were tied on Tiemco 100 hooks and the streamers on Tiemco 3x long heavy wire Nymph hooks.

Set up - Double fly rigs (Nymph adult + Pupa) or (Streamer) or (Streamer + Pupa). Long leaders with the finest tippet you can handle per the fly size. Fish deeper pools and get a good drift. If that gets boring, tie on a heavy tippet and lob the streamer by itself. Experiment with various retrieve speeds until you get a strike. Stick with that one...

If you have experience reading water then pretty much any of the pull off areas along the road are good.

OR

Take the easy option and hire a guide from DRO.

Good luck
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Midge hooks and the Davidson

mysticm gave some great advice. I have not fished the Davidson so I can't say for sure whether or not a size 18 is too big, but I will say that when fishing midges under an indicator in the winter you really have to concentrate, get the best presentation possible and set the hook on anything out of the ordinary. Also, use the smallest indicator you can get away with. The takes this time of year are going to be very subtle and most people will miss the majority of the takes. Don't second guess it, just have the mindset that you will set the hook at least once on every drift. Best of luck this weekend.

Personally, I like size 18 midges as the hook gap gives a better chance at getting a good hold and usually I start out with an 18 and then if I'm not getting hits I will change to smaller sizes. Last May I took my son and grandson over to the Grey Reef section of the North Platte and hired a guide to do a float trip (realize this is pretty highly pressured water). I was wanting my six year old grandson to catch some trout, he mainly fishes in a private pond for smallies. The guide set us both up with a double nymph rig, the top fly was a size 18 and the bottom fly was a size 20. We both landed about 20 fish each that day, but the strange thing was that neither of us caught any fish on the size 18, so at lunch the guide changed the top fly out for a size 20.

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Old 01-15-2014, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: Midge hooks and the Davidson

Thanks for the advice. I think that I wasn't fishing the midges down deep enough and the brown I caught was in a more shallow riffle. Instead of using a strike indicator I just made the midge a dropper off of a small parachute Adams. Never have used a streamer so I might have to try that one out.
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Midge hooks and the Davidson

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Originally Posted by jburke1 View Post
Thanks for the advice. I think that I wasn't fishing the midges down deep enough and the brown I caught was in a more shallow riffle. Instead of using a strike indicator I just made the midge a dropper off of a small parachute Adams. Never have used a streamer so I might have to try that one out.
That could be the issue, not getting down far enough. I also like that technique of using a dry/dropper rig as the dry will usually be much more sensitive than something like a thingamabobber.

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Old 01-15-2014, 03:45 PM
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Default Re: Midge hooks and the Davidson

I forgot to include this in the first post, do not use bright colored indicators on the D. I use the New Zealand wool indicators for all my midge fishing because the wool lands pretty softly and appears like foam or another piece of debris floating on the water {at-least to my eyes }

If you insist on using a Thingamabobber, go with the small white one.

The fish on that stream get pounded pretty hard and anything you can do to be stealthy in your approach, cast & drift will pay dividends. For fly patterns google....Charlie's Fly Box
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Midge hooks and the Davidson

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Originally Posted by jburke1 View Post
I am fairly new to fly fishing and have just started tying and fishing midges seriously this winter. I have some 18 thru 22 bent shank scud hooks but I am unsure if midges are usually tied on a regular emerger hook. Also I fished the Davidson river in NC for the first time a few weeks ago and used a #18 red zebra midge and only caught a 12" brown. Is 18 to big? I'm also going up again this weekend so if anyone has any pointers it would great thanks

I have always tied my midges on a regular emerger hook and no, an 18 is not too big on the Davidson. I usually go with a 20 but an 18 is just fine.
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