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Riseform Flyfishing Ventures BLOG » On the Waters » Hot Summer Chironomid Fishing

Hot Summer Chironomid Fishing

It’s summer time in the southern interior regions of BC. We have been under a heat wave for about the past month with daytime air temperatures regularly reaching the high 80’s to low 90’sF. Water temperatures in many lower elevation trout lakes are also getting quite warm which has put a end to the progression of aquatic insect emergences commonly found in these productive lakes. Mid-summer trout diets often consist of zooplankton and more zooplankton. However there is some good fishing to be had on fisheries that have been established on irrigation impoundments. Well known lakes like Campbell, Scuitto, Jacko, Six Mile, Edith, Tunkwa and Leighton lakes all located in the greater Kamloops area can offer a somewhat unique mid-summer chironomid emergence that is typically tied to the withdrawal of water for downstream irrigation purposes. The hatches encountered are often large chironomids, whose pupa reach 3/4’s of an inch in length. The movement of water through the lake and combined lowering of lake levels seem to trigger this emergence. Often, anglers will see large chironomid larvae, also called bloodworms, suspended in the water column or stuck in the surface film. This is a really good sign that there will be a “bomber” chironomid emergence happening in the very near future. Often, these mergences will be occurring during intense blue-green algal blooms but remember the algae is concentrated in the upper 15 feet of water. Bomber patterns should be tied with white bead heads to imitate the prominent white gills of these large pupa. White antron gills will stain green from the algae. This can be a fun fishery under hot summer conditions. The best way to fish it is to suspend pupal patterns under a strike indicator. Set the indicator so that the pupa is hanging between 1 and 16 inches off the bottom. Use your depth sounder to get the general lay of the land of where you are fishing then use a pair of haemostats clipped onto your fly to get the precise depth being fished. Lower the haemostats down over the side of the boat and after it hits bottom if it pulls your indicator down 3 feet below the surface, that is the distance your fly is above the bottom. Re-set your indicator accordingly.

Have fun with this special summer treat!!

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