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Fly Recipes

Mike’s Midge Pupa

by Michael Heck   |  September 27th, 2012 1

The story of Mike’s Midge Pupa began during a visit to a well-known Pennsylvania spring creek. I was working my way through a meadow, trying not to spook any trout, when I noticed a disturbance on the water. I stopped, crouched down, and saw a nice rainbow take an insect on, or near, the surface.

Once I got closer, I knelt down behind a clump of grass and watched the fish for several minutes. It was pushing water with its nose to take its meal, leaving me to believe that it was feeding just under the surface. And because of the absence of any hatching mayflies or caddis, I concluded that the rainbow was eating midge pupae.

I tied on a small Brassie and made a perfect cast. The fly landed right on the mark, one foot upstream in the fish’s feeding lane. The rainbow, however, didn’t like what it saw and continued to feed in the drift. Then I tried a gray-bodied pupa, and then a another fly, but nothing. Not even a look.

For the next half-hour, I watched the rainbow take pupa after pupa. Finally, when I couldn’t take any more, I carefully backed away from the water and headed back to my truck. For the entire walk, I thought about how to get that fish.

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