Midges are the most important aquatic insects in some places, especially fertile spring creeks where they are extremely abundant and the current is so slow that it's efficient for trout to surface feed on very tiny insects.
Some midges are large, up to hook size 14, but the majority are size 22 or smaller. The number of genera and species is hopelessly huge for angler entomologists to ever learn, and the identifing characteristics often require slide-mounting tiny parts under high-powered microscopes. Even the most Latin-minded fisherman must slip back to the basics--size and color--to describe his local midge hatches.
Martinlf on Dec 21, 2007December 21st, 2007, 1:18 pm EST
The Griffith's Gnat is often used as a midge cluster imitation, or in smaller sizes as a hatching midge imitation. It frequently works when other flies fail, and many consider it a go to fly for tough fish that are taking midges. It can also serve as a great indicator when you're fishing pupae or larvae underneath by tying a dropper to the Griffith's Gnat (hook bend or eye) and a sunken fly to the other end of the dropper. By the way, how's the skiing? :)
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"
Taxon on Dec 21, 2007December 21st, 2007, 4:25 pm EST
are midges and gnats different bugs? if so, how?
No, Casey. Both midge and gnat are colloquial names applied to various families within suborder Nematocera (longhorned flies) of order Diptera (true flies). This is somewhat easier to visualize at Aquatic True Fly Taxonomic Structure.