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Buzzer Midge

Buzzer MidgeWe are creating profiles for the natural flies that are relevant to fly fishing and the fly fisherman, if there are any flies that you wish to have listed here please send details to


Buzzer Midge - Chironomus Plumosus

There are many species in the genus Chironomus, varying in size from two or three mm long to 20 or 30 mm long. One of the most common species is Chironomus Plumosus. Its colours vary tremendously according to the nature of its habitat, and you will find green, ginger, brown and almost black sub-species.


Bloodworm - Larval Stage

Bloodworm - Larval StageFrom tiny eggs, chironomid larvae, called bloodworms, develop. Many are red, but you will also find green, brown and even black 'bloodworms'. They live on the bed of a river or lake in tube-like burrows made from detritus. Some bloodworms do emerge from their tunnels, occasionally drifting to the surface where they are easy pickings for trout.



Bloodworm Larva Imitation

A suitable pattern to imitate the Bloodworm is pictured here, weighted and with a marabou tail which will streamline when wet and give the fly an enticing appearance when retrieved.

To fish the Bloodworm as a natural you would need to allow it to sink and fish it almost static, but in reality a deeply fished bloodworm using a slow twitched retrieve will very often generate interest and produce a take (sometimes surprisingly hard) from trout.

This pattern seems to work on a recognition and association basis, which would maybe explain why the fish take it even though it is not necessarily behaving naturally.


Buzzer - Pupa Stage

Buzzer - Pupa StageThe pupae of buzzer midges drift to the surface, where they rest before the adult fly emerges.

At this stage they are extremely vulnerable to patrolling trout. Intense evening rises, and occasionally morning rises too, are caused by trout feeding on emerging buzzers.



Buzzer - Pupa Stage Imitation

The Midge Pupa, pictured here and also more commonly known as the “Buzzer”, should not be underestimated by the fly fisherman. It is one of, if not the main sources of food for trout. They hatch in vast numbers and many colours, and it is this hatching with which the fly fisherman should pay special attention to.

As the Buzzers rise to the surface to emerge as adult midges, the cruising trout just mop them up in their hundreds. On a calm day when there is surface tension across the water, the Buzzers will get trapped just beneath the surface of the water, unable to break through, where they become easy pickings for lazy trout. Often a sign of trout taking these trapped Buzzers is feeding trout exposing their dorsal fins and tails as they are feeding in the top few inches of the water.


Midge - Adult Stage

Midge - Adult Stage

Adult buzzer midges emerge rapidly from the water, leaving their pupal shucks floating on the surface. They fly in large swarms, often making a loud buzzing sound even though an individual buzzed is barely audible on its own.

When the adults return to the water to lay their eggs, they are again vulnerable to surface-feeding trout.

A fly imitation of an adult buzzer (although very small) can be responsible for many a caught  trout , but when there are thousands of naturals all trying to lay their eggs, giving the feeding trout so much choice, it takes an accurate and well presented cast to be successful.

Sometimes it is better to use the adult midge imitation before or after a buzzer hatch for best results, so as your imitation fly is not competing with the thousands of real flies.


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