Learn your Entomology

While attending and presenting at the fly fishing show in Calgary I met alot of people who were selling all sorts of stuff from fly rods to fly tying materials and trips to all over the planet. Most of the booths and events had alot of interesting products or lessons, however one of the most overlooked topics at the show is the study of insects or entomology. In a nutshell as far as fly fishers are concerned is what insects are available to trout in the streams or lakes we fish. What are the life cycles of these insects and how they impact our fishing. Most fly anglers simply go to a fly shop and tell someone where they are fishing and what flies I should be fishing with. I believe a truly wise fly angler needs to at least have a basic understanding of entomology and how insects impact the feeding behavior in the places we love to fly fish.

Perhaps the best person to follow as understanding Entomology is Rick Hafele of Portland, Oregon. Rick has published several books and articles on the topics of entomology and fly fishing, most noticeably his book in the early 1980’s that he co-authored with Dave Hughes. This book and his newer version have become the bench mark for anglers entomology and how to tie effective flies to mimic insects on a stream. I had the pleasure of meeting Rick at the Calgary Fly Fishing Expo and picked his brain about some of the match the hatch issues I have on the Bow River and other streams. He is a very laid back and knowledgeable fellow on this topic and I urge you to look at his website or even contact him.