Summertime Fish Catchers

A Big Trout Caught on a Terrestrial


    As I've made clear elsewhere, bugs are some of my dearest friends--why, even MOSQUITOES are (although best loved from long distance). “Terrestrials” are my friends,too.

    Now these are bugs and insects that really aren't aquatic creatures and spend at least 99% of their lives on terra firma, like human beings who aren't deep sea divers or Navy Seals--so, they are "Terrestrial". But sometimes these bugs or insects can be successfully imitated by a cleverly crafted imitation fly from the fly fisherman's fly box, and attract that stubborn sort of fish that usually jumps up out of the water just to spit at you upside-down before plunging back into the river or stream or lake.

Typical Black Ants

Black Ant Fly Pattern

And this is so because every now and again these bugs fall or land upon the water. Even fish are attracted to exotica, it seems; these relatively unknown (to the fish) creatures may become snapped up by a hungry trout or salmon. Now using this kind of fly lure would be great for getting that "jaded" fish, the one that's seen it all from the silly humans and has become too familiar with the fact that these strange beings love to throw fake food into the water.

Another reason that fish--especially trout--may bite at the land creatures is because they actually understand that bigger grabs yield more nutrition and the non-aquatic insects tend to be bigger and meatier.

But there's another, perhaps more potent, strategy behind using insect imitators from your extensive fishing fly collection: seasonal fishing. Grasshoppers and beetles and termites (oh my!) really reach their peak population and activity in the final six weeks of summer and by September they start to feel Jack Frost's nip in the air. By October, fish are used to having these creatures land or fall into the water, since there are just so many of them out there. And even that jaded fish may be off his guard during this time. So fly fishing in late summer or the first couple weeks of autumn, is the peak time to throw your land-based flies onto the water.

Beetles are chock full of protein

Set of Terrestrial Flies

Now the top fly fishing lures to use for this kind of strategic angling include imitation flying ants, grasshoppers, crickets, moths, butterflies, spiders, bees, wasps, and yes all kinds of creepy crawly beetles. You can also throw in some imitation cicadas and budworms; cicadas are a delicacy to trout and budworms actually love to hang out in the water though they are not aquatic. Now the beetle order (Coleoptera) is absolutely huge so that one category alone gives you vast amounts of choices. Some fish will be familiar with and taken in by spider lures because there are spider species that hang out close to the water such as in shoreline reeds. Please don’t forget to try my absolute all-time favorite ground-based creature, the red San Juan worm. It’s a “killer.”

The San Juan Worm

Most freshwater fish prized by fly fishermen will go for these lures, especially in late summer, but the fly fishers' most potent target is the trout.

Let's face it anglers: if fish didn't have some kind of brain, we wouldn't need 500 different fishing flies in our boxes. We could probably get by with 10 and we'd only need that many because there are different kinds of fish!

Terrestrials– so many choices, so little time!!


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