Chironomid Fly Tying Instructions
Chironomids are the main forage food for trout in lakes. They exist in all lakes, both high elevation and low elevation. A Chironomid is a lake midge. They are usually much large than their river cousins. The majority of Chironomids are also red in color. This is because of the hemoglobin they use to breathe in the deep depths of a lake.
Chironomids are not fast swimmers, thus they are best fished underneath a strike indicator. Chironomids also need to be fished in deep water. A 15 foot rig is not uncommon. I very commonly fish in the 10-12 foot region, this is when the Chironomids are active and emerging from the bottom. Chironomids vary greatly in size. They can be as large as a #10 and as small as a #20. Water temps usually determine what type of Chironomid that will hatch. The picture you see here is of the larva. As the larva matures, it will develop white gill puffs and swim to the surface. This is the pupa stage, and the most common stage fly fishers imitate. The pupa stage is the stage when the Chironomid is most vulnerable to hungry trout.