Other than building up your knowledge base, deepening your understanding of bug life, and dramatically increasing your productivity on the river (i.e. catch more fish), why would you even consider taking a class on aquatic entomology and fly selection? The Bug Guy, Robert Younghanz, offers a few good reasons.
1. The very fulcrum of fly fishing is having a fundamental understanding of aquatic insects and their lifecycles, yet ironically this is usually the biggest blind spot for most anglers. In other words, almost all decisions pivot around what insects are in the water and at what point they are in their lifecycle.
2. When considering the myriad things a fly fisher needs to become proficient at in order to be productive on the water, learning aquatic entomology is often the most difficult. Because of this fact, watching a DVD or studying a book are efficient and effective ways to become comfortable with this discipline. What’s even more efficient? Taking a class. You can’t interact with a book or a DVD – pose questions, have streamside experiences, get wet while sieving some bugs – so a class is often the faster way to flatten your learning curve.
3. $800 fly rods, $700 Waders, $300 boots, thousands of dollars worth of flies: for all intents and purposes they are relatively worthless if we don't know what trout are eating and what fly patterns imitate the trout diet. Trout are predators. Isn’t it best to know what they are preying on when you are in pursuit?
4. Everything is great on the river when the flies you are using are catching fish. The question is, do you know what to do when things turn not-so-great and you aren’t catching fish? They’re still eating, right? But not what you’re offering. If, as a fly fisher, you can become an "amature entomologist" you will always have options and lessen the chances of things going “not-so-great.”
Our 301 class -- Aquatic entomology and fly selection -- are two-part classes. The lecture/discussion part 1 is offered Wednesday nights. Part 2, streamside, is held the following Sunday. More info and register on our Calendar page. Here are the dates:
Classroom * Streamside
4/29 * 5/3
5/13 * 5/17
6/24 * 6/28
7/22 * 7/26
8/12 * 8/16
9/16 * 9/20
See you in class!
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside