The Black Epoxy Buzzer Midge Nymph fly imitates the tiny Chironomid flies that inhabit lakes and slow-flowing rivers are more commonly known as midges or buzzers. Fish it as part of a team of three flies under the surface suspended from a strike indicator or dry fly.
EPOXY BUZZER MIDGE FLY PATTERNS. Hook size 14 12 - $US each
Black midge buzzers appear in vast swarms on most still-waters towards the evenings. They can tolerate relatively high levels of pollution. Where they congregate on the windward side of a lake their tiny larvae and pupae are scooped up in large numbers by surface feeding trout. They are at their most vulnerable when they make their journey to the surface. The midge pupae drift gently up to the surface where the survivors struggle to break through the surface film.
Many do not make it, especially if the water is very choppy or if a flat calm has allowed oily film to form. At this stage trout patrol the surface sipping in huge quantities of hatching midges.
It wasn't long ago that that to fish with anything other than a streamer lure for the first month or two of the fishing season was considered madness. What changed was the increasing number of reservoir and lake fly fishers who began to realize that even during the early months trout feed heavily on large dark midge pupae in relatively deep water. This understanding lead to the development of the slim epoxy buzzers imitations that sink quickly.
The most popular predecessor of this type of fly was Arthur Cove's Pheasant Tail Nymph. Brown in color its midge pupae like shape and the fact that it is fished deep and slow on a long leader made it extremely effective. Skinny buzzers had been around for sometime before the Pheasant Tail but had not gained the same popularity.
In the 1920's Dr Howard Alexander Bell developed some extremely good slim buzzers as an imitation of the midge pupa for fishing on Blagdon water, Central England. They have been developed over the years to to a general shape that has moved away from the straight shanked hook to a more natural looking curved hook. Wing buds were added to the side on some patterns and on others the white breathing filaments.
One of the best indicators of recent buzzer activity is to look for floating shucks or adult buzzers on or near the water. Certain areas will hold fish and buzzers, these being the obvious places to start. It is important to find the right spot. Small tree lined waters are rarely a problem. Mud or silted areas with a reasonable depth of eight to fifteen feet of water are usually good places for buzzer fishing.
On a large lake or reservoir try to find a point or headland where a depth of eight to ten feet is within casting range. Try and choose a location where the wind is behind or if from the side it is light. If there is too strong a crosswind then I find it difficult to keep the flies moving nice and slow.
Long leaders and headwinds are a recipe for disaster. Your leader will be turned into a tangled ball. On breezy days, selecting areas with some shelter can produce well. They warm up first and thus encourage insects to hatch. Cold winds always slow down hatches.
A strong breeze will push the middle of the fly line around quickly and thus keep the buzzers high in the water. This is okay on an overcast day when the trout are feeding in the upper layers but not on a sunny day when they are feeding in the cooler depths. This problem can be overcome if the cast is made at a much shallower angle to the wind. The wind has less effect on the line and the team of buzzers will fish much deeper and more slowly
Boat fly fishing Golden Rules
Rule number one. The most important. Stay safe and come home alive. Always wear a buoyancy aid, even when walking onto the jetty. They can be incredibly slippery and if you fall, bang your head and get knocked out before falling into the water, you drown.
Wear glasses for eye protection from low flying fishing flies during casting. Also wear a hat. It really hurts when you hook the back of your head.
Take care when loading a boat. One of you should be in the boat and the other on the jetty passing the equipment to him. Set up the boat before you go out fishing. Make sure everything is in its place close at hand so you do not have to move around in the boat out on the water.
If you are renting a boat ask the owner to give you a quick course on operating the engine and what to do when it is problematic starting. Check there is enough fuel.
If it is rough water conditions, always steer the boat up the wind and not across the waves. Be courteous to other fly fishermen. Do not cut in front of a drift and leave a minimum of 100 yards room. Treat of the anglers as you would like them to treat you.
Do not forget the bank fly fishermen. Give them a minimum of 50 yards leeway. Remember they have paid good money for a day fishing ticket as well.
Carry a cell phone in a waterproof floating bag. Pre-install the fishing lodge phone number into your contacts in case you get into difficulty.
Try not to stand up in the boat. Sometimes you will have to but try to keep this to the minimum. If you are in difficulty raise an oar to attract attention. I always carry a whistle for emergencies as well.
Keep an eye on the weather. In mountainous areas near the coast it can change very rapidly. If a storm comes, beach the boat in a safe place and wait for it to pass.
Ask what the fishery rules for boat fishing are. They vary from place to place.