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Class Close-Up: Aquatic Entomology and Fly Selection

04/06/15 at 05:36 AM by Vince Puzick


Match the Hatch.  We hear the phrase often enough but when we are just starting out, we may underestimate just how important this skill is.  We focus so much on the adult flies on the surface, we may miss all that is happening deeper in the river.  Robert Younghanz’s classes, Aquatic Entomology and Fly Selection, are aimed at taking us under the surface to learn about the trout’s food source. 

As Kirk Deeter wrote in his Field and Stream column about Robert, there are four main elements to being a successful fly fisher:  reading the water, selecting the fly, making the cast, and natural presentation of the fly on the water.  While three of the four are a challenge, they can be improved through practice and time on the water.  But #2, selecting the fly, may take a little bit of some scientific knowledge.  That’s where Robert’s class comes in.


Robert Younghanz, better known around these parts and flyfishing circles as “The Bug Guy,” says that “Becoming an amateur entomologist is imperative to the aspiring Fly Fisher.  Not only does this knowledge dramatically boost one’s overall confidence on the water but most importantly it arms the angler with the ability to know what fly to choose  in a particular situation as well as what a specific pattern is supposed to represent.”


In the class, you’ll learn about the cycle of a bug’s life – from larvae, to nymph, to emerger, to adult.  Why?  Because about 90% of a trout’s diet is comprised of more than the adult fly we see on the surface.  The emerger stage is the most vulnerable part of a bug’s life – and trout, natural predators, take advantage of that vulnerability.  So matching the hatch is about knowing what is happening throughout the cycle – not just at the adult stage.


Robert will be teaching his 201 Aquatic Entomology lecture class on Wednesday, April 8, from 6:15 – 7:45 pm at the shop.  You can find more information and register here.


The 2-part 301 Aquatic Entomology class is both lecture and streamside.  More information and registration may be found here.  The dates for those offerings are








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