Phil Rowley: Fly Craft Angling Welcome Guest
Whats New
Members Section
Member Login
Fly Fishing Tips
Fly Tying
Guest Writers
 • Archives

Home->Articles->Guest Writers->Archives->Choosing Chironomids   
Guest Writers
Choosing Chironomids


Figuring out exactly what pattern to tie onto the leader is one of the constant challenges facing fly fishers.  For the stillwater angler chironomid pupa take this challenge to new heights.  With over 2500 known species in western North America alone chironomid pupa come in a myriad of colors many affected by their particular stage of emergence.  For instance I have seen chironomid pupa change color right before my eyes as they add or absorb trapped air and gases beneath their pupal skins.  When scouring the fly box for a suitable offering here are some of the criteria I apply for pattern selection when it comes to choosing the best chironomid pupa pattern for the conditions:


  • On algae type lakes known for their populations of larger chironomid species chose pupal patterns size 12 or larger.  Conversely on the clearer lakes smaller species tend to predominate and patterns size 12 and smaller work best. 
  • When trout are fussy or are pressured from angler effort choose smaller realistic patterns.  In today's bead crazy world mature trout can become suspicious of bead headed patterns. A size 16 or 18 pupa pattern might be the only one that draws any interest.
  • When trout are keyed in on a particular color as opposed to size try using a slightly larger pupal pattern to stand out in the crowd.  For instance if the natural ascending pupa are a size 14 try a size 10 or 12 pupa pattern.
  • Use patterns that are constructed of brighter materials such as Flashabou or Frostbite to simulate the natural glimmer of the rising pupa.  Remember the pupa use trapped air and gases to aid their pupal ascent and emergence.  The trapped air and gases provide a glow trout key upon.
  • When facing a compound hatch situation where more than one size and color of chironomid are emerging start with the smaller or most prevalent species.
  • Change patterns quickly if you are confident the pattern has been fishing at the proper feeding depth, typically one to three feet off the bottom.  Fifteen-minute pattern changes are a good guide until the correct pattern is discovered.


To view the rest of this article, please login or join now for free!

Please Login
User Name:
  Save my login

© 2024 Phil Rowley: Fly Craft Angling
Website created and managed with Tourism Website Builder from Interactive Broadcasting Corporation.