Black Midge, February 2, 2014, Houston County, Minnesota

Confluence Bluff

Confluence Bluff

The thought of hiking two miles,  in knee deep snow, through a remote valley, in order to watch Black Midge crawl from water’s edge on a sunny day was consuming me.  I was oblivious to the cold air temp as I loaded the car.  I was heavily bundled in gear that keeps me warm in sub zero temperatures.  I had convinced myself that the winter Black Midge had begun their February hatch in Houston County’s Minnesota Driftless country for 2014.  It has been an annual event for me for more than a decade.  The 60 mile commute to Crooked Creek is now all to familiar.

I have learned that Black Midge typically hatch after a long cold spell warms to the mid teens.  Today happened to be such a day.  I carried my 8’3″ Winston WT three weight the three quarters of a mile to the confluence.  I was focused on the knee deep snow more than I was tossing a line.  As I scanned the snow searching for tiny black dots crawling I passed several coyote tracks and a few places where fishing raptors had been feasting.

I was not disappointed upon reaching the confluence.  There were a few midge here and there and even an odd trout or two sipping from the surface of the water.  The sun was shining gloriously.  Hearing the thrum of Grouse in the oak forest combined with the rush of the spring creek’s riffles and the splash  of rising trout while watching the marvel of Black Midge crawling from the water’s edge up onto the snow covered creek bank was enjoyable.