High Country flyfishing: Insect life | VailDaily.com

High Country flyfishing: Insect life

Ausitn Richardson

STATE BRIDGE ” It’s all about the bugs. Nymphs, droppers, emergers, hatchlings, flying insects, all of the cycles of life in an insect’s life happen in or near the water.

This means that fish, especially trout, are savvy to the life cycles of insects and know when they are most vulnerable and the most tasty.

Over millions of years of evolution, trout are programmed to eat bugs. Insects, whether in their larval state or flying above the river, are trout’s primary foodsource. Their genetic programming compels them to strike at certain stimuli at certain times of the years.

Variances in water temperature, cover and many other subtle factors contribute to whether or not an angler is going to have a good outing. An experienced guide will lift up rocks in the river, check to see what bugs are living there (or their empty cocoons) and tailor their offerings accordingly.

Another method of determining what’s biting is to simply look around. The bugs you see in the air are likely what the fish are biting on. Brilliant.

However, there are several patterns that seem to trigger an instinctual response (like making a Largemouth Bass angry) to strike a lure. Flyfishing afficiandos don’t like the term “bait” or “lure” but that’s pretty much what “lures” (tempts) the fish into taking the hook.

Consult your local flyfishing shop for more tips. If you ask real nice, they might sell you what’s biting.

Web Editor Austin Richardson doesn’t fish as much as he should. If you see him, ask him “what’s biting?” Contact him at arichardson@vaildaily.com

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