Top 5 Midge Dry Fly Patterns
With fish really starting to eat midges on the surface around Bozeman, it is important to have the proper dry flies to trick large midge eating trout.
Winter dry fly fishing may not be as glamorous as the dry fly fishing in the summer but it can be much more rewarding. Freezing your toes off to catch a large fish on a size #20 midge pattern when the high temperature on the day is 28 degrees really says something about a fly fishers angling dedication and prowess.
Midges hatch year round around Bozeman but fish really only focus on them on the surface when there are no other insects on the waters surface. Great midge fishing can be found in any slow moving slick on the Upper Madison, Gallatin, and even Yellowstone rivers. Fish consistently eat midges from Early December through late February here in Montana. The best days to fish are when the wind is low and there is significant overcast. Fish eating midges aren't typically too picky about the pattern but require a perfectly dead drift and really small fly to fool into eating.
Below are my favorite midge patterns to catch fish on dries throughout the winter in Southwest Montana. Drop by our fly shop for all your midging gear before you hit the river.
Hi-Vis Griffith's Gnat
The Griffith's Gnat is the best midge pattern but it is impossible to see. Add a pink wing and you are ready to rock. I typically fish this fly as a single dry and on 5x.
This fly hangs partially in the film with just the post protruding from the surface. If fish are eating on the surface or bugs caught in the film, the Slick Midge produces.
Just an overal buggy midge pattern. It isn't easy to see but when fished behind a Parachute Adams it seems to produce a bit better than the parachute.
This easy to see pattern floats high and can trick some of the pickiest midge eating fish. It works best in a size #18 when there are a lot of midges on the water.
Royal Stacker Midge
The Royal Stacker has a good bit of flash and the nice red abdomen. When these other patterns don't seem to be producing as well as they should, I change to this fly to turn things around.
Any day throughout the winter can have a solid midge hatch. Fish tend to eat midges a little bit better when the wind is low and the sun is blocked by clouds. Next overcast and windless day stop by our Bozeman fly shop to pick up everything you could need to catch fish that are eating midge adults.