Fly Fishing 101, Part 18
For the past several weeks we've been looking at the various
insects trout (and other fish) eat. All of the previous insects have
been ones which are aquatic, that is they begin as eggs, and go
those various stages of development, and eventually become
There is another group of trout food — called terrestrials
(translation: from the land) — which become food through chance,
mis-step, or accident.
One of the largest, and favorite's of fish is the grasshopper.
Others include ants, beetles, spiders, bumblebees and fireflies, also
called lightening bugs. For fly
photos check the Fly of the Week Archives.
Keep in mind that trout — all fish — are opportunists. They will
eat whatever is available. In most regions hatches do not occur
every day throughout the year. Fish have to conserve energy. That
means they can't spend their days and nights swimming aimlessly
looking for food. By instinct they know where are the most likely
places for food to be. It may be a nymphal stage of some insect or
it might be a spider who missed his footing.
Learn to look at more than just the surface of the water. Check
that 'magic inch' of the surface. Turn rocks over. Watch for bird
activity ... they have to eat too. And hatches over water are one
their favorite places to dine.
You can learn what the fish are eating. It is simply a matter of
being observant. Spend a buck and get one of the little nets the
pet stores sell to catch goldfish. Carry it in your vest pocket when
you are on the water. Once you have the basic insect types down,
matching the insect with a fly the same size and color will put you
A little review here. Basic trout (fish) food consists of caddis
(with the tent shaped wings), stone flies (flat to the back wings),
mayflies (upright wings), and terrestrials. You can spend a lifetime
delving into the minute details of each specie. Or you can keep it
simple and match the insect by size and color.
Catching trout is simply a matter of understanding the food the
trout eats, and the habits of the trout. Put the two together and it
is called catching fish!
Stop by the Chat Room and meet some
fellow anglers. It is a nice bunch of people - always willing
to help new fly fishers! Or just share your fishing adventures.
Fair skys and tight lines, ~ DB
Have a question? Email me!