Walk along the shoreline of the Deschutes River and study the vegetation growing on the rocks in the splash zone. There is a lot of it that is yellowish, greenish, stringy stuff that looks like some kind of algae. Fact is, much of what you think is plant life is actually midge eggs; zillions of billions of them. Some species of midges lay strings of eggs on anything that is wet at the edge of the water. This includes not only shoreline rocks but boats, oar blades and the waders of wading fishermen. These eggs hatch into midge larvae. Midge larvae are very simple worm-like creatures. You can imagine how many there might be in square foot of river bed. In fact, in a square yard of river bottom there can be thousands. That is a lot of food for trout and other fish.
Midge larvae and pupae are often the most abundant and reliable food source for trout and bass during the colder months of the year, especially in natural lakes and farm ponds. Juvenile midges are the perfect early-spring and late fall food for game fishes. They are always available, and they don't consume much energy to hunt, and kill. Bead Head Midge Flies can be retrieved very slowly near the bottom or suspended below a strike indicator in still-waters. It doesn't get any easier than that. Suspend your Bead Head Chironomid (midge) under a Thingamabobber, and lean back in your float tube to enjoy the warm spring sun. Keep an eye on your Thingamabobber, and set the hook lightly when the fish pulls it under. Surprisingly large trout are caught this way.
Bead Head Zebra Midge, Black
On many rivers, and lakes, this is the deadliest fly ever invented. Bounce it along the bottom with split shot in rivers, or suspend it under a strike indicator, Work the water slowly. Trout often won't move far for tiny flies.
Bead Head Zebra Midge, Red
Deadly blood midge pattern. Several types of midge larvae and pupae have hemoglobin much like our own blood cells and because of it these insects are red in color.