Fly Fishing Entomology

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by shadowcast, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. shadowcast Member

    Posts: 116
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    Since this is more of a general question, I wasn't sure if I should post this here or the more specific Entomology board. But...I was wondering if there's any point in studying aquatic entomology that you'll never encounter? In other words, if you don't have the opportunity to actively study what's on your home rivers, is it just a waste? I'm just getting back into fly fishing after a long hiatus, but when I was really into it in other states I was pretty familiar with the insects in the rivers I fished (but certainly no expert), read books, etc. Unfortunately, I eventually found that what I'd read about but never encountered was quickly forgotten (i.e just book knowledge), which makes sense given that it's such a hands on demanding field.

    Love to hear your experiences with this aspect of fly fishing and any recommendations/resources you might have on aquatic entomology identification.

    thanks much
  2. Randru Member

    Posts: 78
    Yakima WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Hey Shadowcast, book learning has to go hand in hand with on the water experience. I would go as far as saying that one without the other puts you at a distinct disadvantage over those that do and this will reflect in your catch rate. You might get really lucky a few times and out-fish more than someone who understands the kinds of bugs living in a given body of water but I dont think this is going to be true every time. So unless standing hip deep and flailing a rod about is your thing I think its good to stay informed.

    I guess the cure to not forgetting all the cool insects found in the books is to go encounter them which means a road trip. Which makes me wonder if guides get to write off their own fishing trips as a business education deal on taxes...? As far as resources a guy by the handle Taxon seems to know quite a bit about the topic. http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/forum/index.php?threads/wa-lakes-biotic-survey.64083/
    He has a link on this thread to more info and I would say he would be a good person to start a conversation with if you are looking to learn more about entomology.
  3. shadowcast Member

    Posts: 116
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    Thanks, Randru

    Your opening line pretty much sums up my experience too. I remember what I studied and collected. Everything else, not so much. Fun to build a base of knowledge though, and the entomology board will be good for that--probably should have posted there. Thanks for the link.
  4. Slipstream Member

    Posts: 371
    Goldendale, WA
    Ratings: +21 / 0
    See if you can find a copy of "Bugs of The Underworld" on DVD. Not so much about insect ID, but sheds a lot of light on how the most common auqatic insects live and move underwater. Your local library may be a good source for this item. I learned a lot from it. Tom
  5. Taxon Moderator

    Posts: 952
    Mercer Island, WA
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    Hi shadowcast,

    If you are interested in learning about the aquatic insects which populate one of your local streams, just collect and photograph some of them. You will probably find most of the same insects here in WA as in whichever state you lived when you became acquainted with them before, at least down to genus level, which is most often the lowest level to which they can be identified from a macro photo. And, any you don't recognize can be posted for identification purposes on this site's Fly Fishing Entomology Forum. Hope this helps.
  6. FT Active Member

    Posts: 1,242
    Burlington, WA
    Ratings: +102 / 0
    There is no value in learning about aquatic entomology unless you'd like to catch fish more often.
    Taxon likes this.