Entomology I

Genesis: 3 foot dragonflies and other hard to cast flies

So, you want to learn bugs? A good place to start is at the beginning. Lets start at a place in time before there were fish, much less fishermen. In this time there weren't even dinosaurs. It was the Age of Insects... Read More

Entomology II

Baby Bugs: The nymphs, pupae and larvae

A basic tenant of fish behavior is that fish tend to eat what there is most of. It's wonderful when browns are detonating beneath giant fluttering stoneflies, but more often than not they're rising amid the big stuff and sipping spinners... Read More

Entomology III

Adults: Winged sex fiends

Hunting adult bugs can be as simple as prying them off the radiator grill or as complex as setting out traps baited with ultra violet lights and pheromones. For the budding flyfisher entomologist, probably the best method is hanging out by the riverside with a butterfly net, a collecting jar and a six pack... Read More

Insect Taxonomy

If you can't say something smart, say it in Latin

Before we go further and actually play the game of identifying, describing and mimicking the individual bugs, we need to lay down the rules of the game. These rules, the bane of every junior high school biology student, were devised by an obsessive compulsive (probably sado masochistic) botanist in 1766... Read More

Glossosoma Caddisflies

The most common caddis in the Sierra...Understand this bug and you'll rule!

In every tumbling coldwater stream in California lives an insect so important to trout that day after day throughout the first half of the season, the fish will often eat nothing else. I consider it to be the most important of all California caddisflies, yet not one angler in a thousand has ever heard of it... Read More


Ants are the killer of all terrestrials

Ants are the most numerous insects on earth, and as such are the terrestrial insect most frequently encountered by trout. Ants can be successfully fished all season long but are at their best during "migrations" when millions of the creatures cloud the air and boil the water... Read More

Backswimmers & Boatmen

These guys kick ass, bite back, and trout love 'em

Backswimmers and water boatmen are members of the order Hemiptera. The most noticeable difference between the two is that water boatmen swim on their tummies and backswimmers don't. On closer inspection, the backswimmers have a segmented, sharply pointed beak admirably suited for piercing the bodies of their prey. Water boatmen, being not strictly carnivores, have a kinder, gentler rounded beak. Both bugs can and will, however, draw blood from the relatively soft flesh of a human being... Read More

Blood Midges

A bloody big bite

The dead zone is a niche harboring a limitless source of nutrient and is devoid of predators. Any organism that could exploit the zone would thrive in extraordinary abundance. And one creature does just that... Read More


The Martha Stewart of caddisflies

If Martha Stewart were an insect she'd be a Brachycentrus. Their little homes are perfect. Most caddis grab a stick here or pebble there and glue together something that sort of resembles a tube and they call it home. The Brachycentrus (brack-ee-SENT-rus) will have none of that. They find the perfect stick and chew it down to the perfect size... Read More


The most important Western stillwater mayfly of all

In some waters, damselflies provide explosive angling for unusually large trout, and on other waters fish wouldn't survive but for the presence of midges; but taken as a whole, no bug dominates more waters than the Callibaetis mayfly... Read More


Bubba Gump might call them shrimp. Trout simply know them as food

Like crayfish, shrimp, and sowbugs, scuds are Crustaceans. They belong to the order Amphipoda which contains three families. Gammarus and Hyalella are the families of greatest importance to flyfishers... Read More


Aquatic escargot for the non-discriminating trout

Snails are a huge packet of food. Combine their nutritional value with the incredible numbers in which they inhabit trout waters, and its no wonder fish actively seek them out... Read More

Stop Pebble Mine