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Here is something I have been pondering based on various saine samples I have taken as well as observations I've made. In the winter non-hatch months for stoneflies, mayflies and caddis; their larva and pupa are still preasant in the water...believe me I've picked them up. So obviously they don't disapear from waters where they are very active in the summer months. I guess they just hunker down, and become dormant making the more active midge population the forage which gets carried down stream. SO if I can refine my question here is what I want answered; "What do non hatch larva do that makes them less of a trout's non hatch diet when they are still present and far meatier then a midge larva?' I think people take the cliche match the hatch to the extreme...If you ask me, I think matching a hatch falls more in the realm of dry flies. I feel this is why through the winter months I can still catch fish on a PT which is not a good midge immitation but a great mayfly nymph. Your thoughts...
 

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Great question. That's outside the box thinking. Just last weekend, I was in Waterton canyon and I dipped my aquarium net into the water. I got a few tiny midge larva (like half of a size 26 hook!). Then to my surprise, I found a stonefly larva. Just like you said. They are still there during the cold months and in this case would make a huge meal compared to a bunch of mini-midge larva. I'll have to give it some thought because this winter I've been using tiny thread midges which are very frustrating to use. They are obviously much bigger than the real midges I scooped up in the water, yet they must be much harder for a trout to see in the water compared to say...a pheasant tail. It just may pay off to use a larger, non seasonal fly.
 
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