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Fishing Terrestrials

08/06/12 at 06:23 AM by Vince Puzick

We've had some great reports from our guides and customers about the action with Amy's Ant or a variety of grasshopper patterns.  But what are some "need to know" when it comes to fishing terrestrials?  Here are some tips from Orvis:

Tips for Fishing Terrestrials

  • Be just as stealthy as with any other kind of dry-fly fishing, but some times a fly that lands with a distinct plop will catch their attention. To do this without splashing line and leader on the water as well, point your wrist slightly below the horizontal at the end of the cast. Practice this before you try it on live fish!
  • Don’t ignore the center of the river with terrestrials. Most ants and beetles fall into the water along the bank, but the current eventually draws them to the center of the river. A Skilton’s Quick Sight Ant or Quick Sight Beetle is often deadly fished in fast riffles.
  • An occasional twitch can be effective, but don’t overdo it, as it’s more likely to put a fish down than a fly carefully dead-drifted over its head. Try casting downstream with some slack in your leader, then make the fly twitch just a fraction of an inch with your rod tip. Immediately drop the rod tip so the fly drifts naturally after the twitch.
  • Many terrestrials sink after hitting the water. Try a Hard-Body Ant, or a floating beetle or hopper with a small piece of Sink Putty eight inches above the fly. This arrangement is best fished with a strike indicator. This is a deadly secret that a couple of my fishing buddies use for their hole card when nothing else works.
  • Terrestrials are more productive on windy days and from late morning through evening, when terrestrial insects are active and more likely to fall into a river.
  • Trout eating hoppers will often follow a fly downstream for 10 or 20 feet before either eating the fly or refusing it. Don’t pick up to make another cast too early, even if the fly is dragging because a trout may still be tagging the fly. And they sometimes take a hopper fly when it’s dragging.

If you haven't done so, you should join the The Colorado Fly Fishing Forum.  You could check out this posting from Juan Ramirez on fishing with hoppers:  Got Hoppers?


Come on into the shop and get your terrestrials!  

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