What’s hatch­ing?

Buzzer hatches start in earnest this month

Trout Fisherman (UK) - - Contents -

THE hum­ble buzzer, or chi­rono­mid, starts to emerge as wa­ter tem­per­a­tures in­crease, which is what we’re see­ing right now. And given that this worm­like crea­ture is the main food source for stillwater trout, we’d bet­ter have a work­ing knowl­edge of its be­hav­iour. They start life in the silt beds on the lakebed, liv­ing in tubes in the mud. Many ap­pear red in colour and are called blood­worms – their red­dish hue is due to haemoglobin, nec­es­sar y be­cause there’s lit­tle oxy­gen in amongst all the de­cay ing de­tri­tus on the lake bot­tom so these crea­tures have to make eff icient use of what­ever oxy­gen is avail­able. When con­di­tions are right (usu­ally tem­per­a­ture re­lated) chi­rono­mids move up in the wa­ter col­umn be­fore hatch­ing free of the sur­face into their winged adult stage, where they can be seen and heard as they gather in swarms close to the wa­ter. Their ‘buzz’ sound as they swarm and mate is why they’re called ‘buzzers’. They sometimes ap­pear in huge plumes like chim­ney smoke close to wa­ter. Dur­ing this mass move­ment to­wards the sur­face, buzzer pupa are vul­ner­a­ble to feed­ing trout and this is why the buzzer makes up 90 per cent of a stillwater trout’s diet. Given that buzzers move slowly and can’t move hor­i­zon­tally (only ver­ti­cally) they make ver y easy tar­gets for the f ish who lit­er­ally cruise around hoover­ing them up! Those for­tu­nate enough to reach the sur­face will be hop­ing for a slight breeze as op­posed to a flat calm. A riff led sur­face makes emerg­ing into adult­hood far eas­ier than a calm one. Emerg­ing buzzers take much longer to break through a flat wa­ter’s sur­face and are there­fore at the mercy of f ish feed­ing in this area – trout give away their in­ten­tions with that clas­sic head-and-tail rise when feed­ing on emerg­ers. An­glers know what to do… f loat­ing line, long copoly­mer leader and a Shut­tle­cock CDC! Be­lieve it or not, many an­glers find it hard to fish Buzzers due to their be­ing lit­tle or no re­trieve. We are con­di­tioned to pulling our f lies back or mov­ing them some­how. This is­sue of the magazine is full of Buzzer tac­tics and suit­able im­i­ta­tions. Now have a go and let us know how you get on…

Buzzers swam in large num­bers – Ir­ish an­glers call them ‘duck fly’.

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