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We Couldn’t stop at just flies. now carrying everything but the fish!

Terrestrial Flies & Fly Fishing Terrestrials

Fly fishing movie san diego

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Fly Fishing Terrestrials may be one of the most enjoyable forms of dry fly fishing there is. Terrestrial flies come in so many shapes and sizes, and are around throughout early spring into the fall months. Terrestrial dry flies are a food source that many trout would prefer rather than tiny mayfly flys or caddis flies. Are terrestrial flies for trout preferred over the other aquatic insects? Well I would think they would accept a bigger meal on most days. However, it has been proven that adult trout are good at judging the relative caloric value of prey and balancing their energy expenditures with energy inputs. A size 14 foam beetle would seem to have a lot more “meat” than a size 14 mayfly, and a big grasshopper must provide more calories than anything except a big minnow or crayfish.

Terrestrial flies can be fished at almost any time throughout the warmer months in most rivers across the country. Trout are not the only ones that love to eat Terrestrial flies, Carp love to eat them as well. The fun part about fly fishing terrestrials is that you don’t need to "match the hatch" so to speak. Terrestrial flies have their own time and place, which can be always if you are fishing them as an indicator fly. Fly fishing terrestrials can make big fish move a bit farther than a tiny midge flys and the takes can be amazing. Terrestrial flies for bass or trout can represent anything from a small ant, flying or not, to a beetle, grasshopper, cricket, or any other land-bred insect that crawls around the earth. Terrestrial fly patterns can make any given day on the river fantastic, especially if other insects are not present, and sometimes even if they are.

If you fish small streams, terrestrials are even more important than in larger rivers. A trout’s diet in some small streams is made up almost entirely of terrestrials, as these smaller waters don’t have large expanses of insect-producing riffles. And an Elk-Hair Caddis looks very much like a tiny early-season grasshopper. But, you say, these flies have wings. So, do beetles, bugs, katydids, and many ants!

You don’t need a broad selection of fly fishing terrestrials. Fish are seldom selective to a certain kind of beetle or ant. I would, however, carry a broad range in sizes, as the trout seem to prefer smaller or larger flies on a given day or in a certain river. I have no idea how to predict what size they might like. If the water is high or fast, lean to the bigger sizes to get their attention, and if it’s low and clear, pick a smaller pattern to avoid spooking them. So, when it comes to terrestrial fly patterns and fishing with them the guidelines are pretty straight forward, in the end you're on your own and be ready to have your offering destroyed.