Don's Fly Tying - The Chaoborus Larva

[Chaoborus Larva]

Talk about not having enough time when one is retired! At the end of July, I spent 9 days shooting the PITA Grand trap championships at Little Rock, Washington, then it was just time for a quick change and on up to our Caribou summer camp on Canim Lake! A week there was very exhausting but a lot of fun with about 75 relatives joining the party! So I admit I am late with the August fly tying article but what the heck, no one is perfect?

I thought we would have a look at a perplexing fly imitation, the midge larvae of the Chaoborus family. They tend to be very transparent and are a difficult insect to copy. However, they are an important food source for trout in the BC Interior. At times you can see trout everywhere but no matter what fly you try, you cannot induce a strike! It could well be that the fish are gorging on midge larva and ignoring all else. When I lived in Kamloops, Jocko Lake was a favourite after work retreat but often I could not get a nibble although the lake was brimming with trout. Finally I tied a chaoborus imitation and did achieve some success. Interestingly, upon cleaning the fish, many of the chaoborus larva became active when placed in water which shows that they are a very hardy insect! Enough said, let's have a look at my chaoborus midge larva imitation.



Start by crimping the hook barb and slip a small clear glass bead through to the hook eye. Chaoborus or midge larvae, tend to drift up and down in the water, rising slowly (an easy target for foraging trout) as evening approaches, therefore, I do not add weight to this fly. Using invisible mending thread is a necessity to tie the body as you simply take a piece of clear nylon fishing line, straight from the bead to hook bend, and wrap it to the hook shank with the thread! The final step is to add a very thin thorax of white ostrich herl just behind the bead! After tying off, place a generous amount of clear cement throughout the body to add a bit of clear bulk to it. Even though the Jocko Lake chaoborus larva that I observed were transparent with small black internal spots head and tail, my midge imitation will catch trout when they are feeding on chaoborus!

My book of true sport fishing adventures in British Columbia, "Willow Sticks, Earth Worms", is now available at Trafford Publishing or if you prefer a friendly voice, call their order desk at 1-888-232-4444 toll free in the USA or Canada. In Europe, ring the UK local order number at 0845 230 9601 (UK) or 44(0) 1270 251 396.

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