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Need some "bug" help

Jonn Graham

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Since it looks like fly fishing will be a big part of my life for a long time, it is time for me to learn how to identify some of the hatches I see occur from time to time on my home river. I have seen, at times, the smallie slurping the bugs, but I have no idea what kind of bug they are. The "not knowing" part is killing me. Can someone direct me to a website that shows good pictures of the bugs that hatch in the Midwest?


I know there are probably many, many great books that I could buy, but my book budget is already spent. A website would be better..............thanks.

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Hi John,


There are lots of options but I think, for pictures of adults and larvae, www.troutnut.com is hard to beat. Very beautiful images.


I could also trade a day of intensive aquatic insect training for a day of smallie guiding. :) I'm a bug expert but only a beginning SMB angler.




Jon H

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Guest airbornemike

It dosen't have to be an exact match, just get the size and color close. Theres a ton of info on hatches available, get yourself an aquarium net go down stream scoop the little guys up, stick em in a container and look em up.


Doc are former club president (DRIFT) is an entamologist, along with all the other amatuer ones in DRIFT. Bring you critters buy a meeting, they will know.

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Here's a link that gives a quick synopsis of the "big 3;" mayflies, caddis flies, and stoneflies.




This time of year, as the water & ambient temps cool there can be prolific mayfly hatches and smallies can key in on them as they hatch. If you see bugs that look like moths flying low over the water and occasionally dipping to the surface, they're caddis flies that are egg laying. As for stoneflies, I've seen them on the Vermillion at Mathiesen Park. You can occassionally find the nymphs under rocks, but usually I find empty nymph shucks on rocks along the edges of the river. They crawl out of the water to hatch into adults.


I'm sure you know what damsel and dragon nymphs look like.


Hope this helps!



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Troutnut is a great site...but you need to be able to observe what you are looking at...little sailboats floating on the water...or wispy's with big wings and long tails are mayflies...caddis look like little moths...stoneflies are big ungraceful creatures....dobsonfly...same same....Terrestrials are really good this time of year...Hoppers, Crickets, Beetles, Ants...Crickets are really thick right now...75-100 in my pool skimmer basket this weekend.

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