I took the opportunity the past few weekends to experiment with a few new patterns and fish a few sections of water I haven’t fished in a long time. I’ve been reading about the best Midge patterns for winter on several sites and wondered would those patterns work here in Arkansas on our White River Tailwater system. Most of the sites were referencing waters out west, so I was a little skeptical.
The first pattern I tried was a black Midge with blue ribbing with copper bead. Black is pretty standard on our waters especially in copper, but I haven’t tried with blue ribbing. After shopping a few locations I was able to find blue wire in BR size. This is a little larger than the small I like to use on size 18 hooks, but it would have to work. I tied up a couple and went after it. It didn’t take long to land that first fish. I managed to land 8 trout and had several LDR’s (long distance release) in about 30 min. I made sure to catch a good amount before switching to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. I would say the pattern is pretty productive. I tried it a second weekend and nearly the same results.
Next I tried the black snow cone Midge. It’s black thread with a white bead and copper wire. I bought white beads a while back, but don’t tie very many flies with them. Not sure when I last used them and not sure why I haven’t used them more. I was able to land 6 trout and again had several LDR’s in just over 30 minutes. Fairly productive fly, but a little slower than the black and blue. I didn’t fish this one the second weekend.
The next fly I tried was the red snow cone Midge. Same copper wire and white bead in size 18 but with red thread. It took a little longer to get that first hit, but managed to land 5 with several LDR’s and several misses. They seemed to hit this fly with more caution as it was harder to hook and land the fish. I tried a second weekend and had much better results. Fast to land that first fish and hardly any problems hooking. Probably the best performer the second weekend.
Overall I landed 19 fish in just over 2 hours that first weekend and similar results the second weekend. Overall the 3 patterns were pretty productive here on the White River. The weekend morning temps are in the 40’s and are warming up nicely by noon. Typical Fall weather.
It was great to get out and change things up a bit. One of the many things I like about fly fishing is the ability to try different flies and techniques and see if they work and to explore and find new areas or revisit a stretch you haven’t worked in awhile. It puts a little excitement in your step to experiment and explore and such a rewarding experience if you figure out something new.
Stay Trout Tough!!!