Suspended Midge Emerger

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One of the most successful dry flies used on the Owyhee River during the winter is the Suspended Midge Emerger.  Known for it’s characteristic plume of CDC or poly tuff sticking straight out over the eye of the hook,  this Midge emerger, arguably for those who fish it, is the best fly to use during those mid-morning midge hatches that occur almost daily on the Owyhee River in Eastern Oregon right on the Idaho Oregon border.  To use this fly correctly on the Owyhee River you must have this fly in sizes 20, 22, and 24’s.  Some of the hard core dry fly guys on the “O” have them in sizes all the way up to size 28.

One cold winter morning while fly fishing with my buddy Tom we were just above the tunnel when we spotted many trout rising to the surface.  There had to be at least 20 to 30 trout rising at any given moment.  It was obvious to me that these rising trout were sipping small Midge emerging pupa’s just under the surface film.  The only question was what size the real Midges were that these trout were feeding on.  We both agreed on the pattern to best represent the Midge pupas but could not agree on the size.  My guess was a size 24 while Tom guessed size 22.

So the strategy was set, I would fish a size 24, and Tom would launch his size 22.  The pattern we chose was the Suspended Midge Emerger.  There was plenty of room for both of us to get into position to make a good cast.  With my first cast I hooked and landed a nice 15 inch brown.  All Tom could do was watch.  Tom got surprisingly good at casting while I got good at catching.  The only surprise was why it took Tom as long as it did to change over to a size 24 Suspended Midge Emerger.  That completed, we became fish catching machines.

What makes the Suspended Midge Emerger such a great fly is you can see at all times exactly where your fly is during the drift.  The tuff of polly or CDC above the eye of the hook keeps this portion of the fly above the surface while the emerging pupa part of the fly is in or right under the surface film.  This allows you to track where your fly is and keeps the fly from sinking too far below the surface film.  The Suspended Midge Emerger is a fly that will work on any river but especially during the Winter months where multiple size midges are emerging.  Midges come in all sizes and colors so you should tie or purchase these guys in those variety.