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Bug ID

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2007/4/25 10:02
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How do you go about bug ID?



For me, I struggle with alot of this but don't worry too much about the details if I can just get my match close anyway.


Dark vs Light colored bugs?

2 vs 3 Tails?

Mayflies vs Caddis vs Midges?

Thanks

Posted on: 2010/3/5 14:45
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I flyfish because I enjoy it.


Re: Bug ID

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13614
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Actually Akid...I am not a big fan of Latin so I do it kind of just like you wrote above. I break it down into those simple elements.

Dark or Light colored bugs?

2 vs 3 Tails?

Mayflies orCaddis or Midges?


Add Size (and more specific colors) to that and that's all I worry about. Common names of hatches to look out for at certain times of years are the only other clues I have.

Posted on: 2010/3/5 15:17


Re: Bug ID

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19932
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I like to learn the latin names while away from the stream, and have no use for them on the water... if that makes any sense.

I enjoy immersing myself in FF knowledge, but I don't really think it's always practical, or that it catches me any more fish.

Posted on: 2010/3/5 15:18


Re: Bug ID
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8610
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Quote:

Dark vs Light colored bugs?

2 vs 3 Tails?

Mayflies vs Caddis vs Midges?


For most times, that is enough. The more hatches you fish, the easier actual bug ID becomes. I have a few books that I refer to when encountering a hatch, just to get more familiar with the bug and learn some stuff. If I were to pick two reference books, for mayflies it would be "Hatches II", and "Caddisflies" by Gary LaFountaine. Also, on-line I use Troutnut quite a bit, especially for photos.

If every season you work on learning more about a few new hatches, before you know it, you have many of the major PA hatches covered.

BTW, here's a great hatch chart by Charlei Meck (link below) that includes nearly all significant hatches. The best thing about the chart is it includes some info on where the insect hatches in the water column and the type of water it inhabits. This chart is worth saving and using as a reference:

http://www.charlesmeck.com/hatchchart.html


I wrote in an earlier post that I had some Quill Gordon flies burning a hole in my dry fly box. So I'd like to try to hit that hatch. Chaz posted that he knows a bunch of streams in SE PA where they hatch, but he's not telling!

Posted on: 2010/3/5 15:54


Re: Bug ID

Joined:
2006/9/9 19:37
From aliquippa
Posts: 611
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i`m not sure if this book is still in print but its a pocket version of hatches II, called instant mayfly identification guide, i carry mine in the back of my vest along with a fold out magnifying glass

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Posted on: 2010/3/6 1:36


Re: Bug ID

Joined:
2006/9/9 19:37
From aliquippa
Posts: 611
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it also helps you identify nymphs and has color photos of nymps and duns and spinners, maybe a call to the Delaware River Club to see if they still have any

Posted on: 2010/3/6 1:42
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Re: Bug ID
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 8665
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I have the same book the jrcll posted although the pages are damaged. It's handy to identify mayflies although, as others have pointed out, if you just want to have some fun fishing you really just need a fly that approximates the size, color, and behaviour of the natural.

Posted on: 2010/3/6 7:09


Re: Bug ID

Joined:
2008/1/21 19:15
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 2626
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I agree. Many years ago I bought hatches II and studied it like a college course. I would have gotten an A+ if there were a test at the end of the season.
I found that all that info was far from necessary for fishing and have forgotten most of what I had learned (which I blame on old age and too many beers!) I still use memory and/or hatchesII as a reference, but mostly go by color, size, & shape to match.

Posted on: 2010/3/6 8:05


Re: Bug ID

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
Posts: 4458
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AKid.........i always keep some kind of small container in my vest to store a few bugs in , lots of times i've been fishing and see activity of something i'm not familiar with so i scoop a few up and then do some research later to find out what they are , most times i have something in my arsenal that will do the trick as far as imitation and being able to fool a few fish but i like to know what they are so i'll take a few samples and put a name to them later.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 8:21


Re: Bug ID

Joined:
2006/12/13 9:28
From Other side of the tracks
Posts: 17595
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Ditto what was said earlier, cept I haven't worried about the number of tails either. But maybe i should. I don't know. I honestly Don't think that makes a whole lot of difference.

But most of the time I'll use caddis patterns anyway. The predominant hatches where I fish are usually caddis, and there always seems to be at least a few caddis hatching, even during a mayfly hatch. Sometimes using something a little different can trigger a hit.

With caddis, it's really just size and color (body and wing color). But like the rest of us, I also carry tons of other flies.

With caddis, I sometimes tie some without hackle so they sink down into the film more.

A guy who used to be a regular here years back (Jeff F) gave me a couple of wool wing caddis. No hacle. Just dubbing and a wool wing. They do work as an emerging caddis, and I think the wool helps reduce the numbers of misses because it gets hung up in the trout's teeth. Just a feeling.

then there are soft hackles, and other caddis wets. I'm not very good at fishing those, but they do work.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 8:40
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Re: Bug ID

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2007/4/25 10:02
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Thanks, I am not the type of person that will be "taking samples". Never heard of that book- thanks I will try to find a copy at a library.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 10:49
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Re: Bug ID

Joined:
2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
Posts: 4458
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FarmerDave...........i don't know about wool but i know that z-lon wings on a caddis get caught in the teeth and also the ultra chennille used in san juan worms , marabou in wooly buggers , i think sometimes it just gets delayed there long enough for us to set the hook , i also agree that caddis and stonefly imitations are more often the way to go. The books tend to concentrate on the mayflies but how often do we really get to fish a for real mayfly hatch? My all time go to fly in warm weather is a foam ant imitation in black.

Posted on: 2010/3/9 18:42


Re: Bug ID

Joined:
2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 2125
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I picked up Meck's "Pocketguide to Pennsylvania Hatches" and it has really helped me identify the bugs I see. It's a great resource and small enough to carry streamside until you get the hang of things...

http://www.amazon.com/Pocketguide-Pen ... harles-Meck/dp/0979346053

Posted on: 2010/3/13 11:09






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