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An Introduction to Fly Fishing by Tony Scott


There are two techniques to deceiving trout into taking your fly. There is the “Chuck It and Chance It” method, which does work, no doubt. However if you wish to hone your skills and increase your catch rate, a little wander into the world of entomology will pay dividends and encourage you to use the other method, “Match the Hatch”

The trouts diet is wide and varied, however there are a few groups of insects that appeal more than others. It is these primary groups of insects that I shall introduce you to on these pages.

The Upwinged Flies (Ephemeroptera)


This group covers many flies including blue winged olive, lake olive, pond olive and of course the most famous - The Mayfly. Easily recognised by the upright wings which are translucent. They also have two or three long tails.


The Roof shaped wing flies (Tricoptera)


So called because the wings when at rest from a roof shape. You will hear these flies being referred to as Sedge or Caddis. Quite often hatching late evening, they tend to skim across the water as they dry their wings in readiness to take off. At this stage they are vulnerable to attack by the trout. Fishing the sedge pattern in a similar fashion can often yield good results.


The Flat Winged flies (Diptera)


The transparent wings are laid flat when at rest. The most common species being the mosquito, this classification also covers non biting midges – yes those little beasties that drive anglers mad under calm warm conditions.


The Hard Winged flies (Plecoptera)


Less common than the preceding three types, these are nonetheless a part of the trouts diet when available. Hard shiny wings lay across the back, when at rest.


Terrestrial Flies etc

Entemology Entemology

Just about everything else falls into this category, daddy long legs (pictured above), spiders, beetles (pictured above), caterpillars, wasps, moths; anything that is unfortunate enough to find itself on the water instead of the air.

Many of the artificial flies that are available commercially fall roughly into one of these categories, although not always at the adult fly stage. The flies above have a life cycle which carries them through larval and nymphal stages too. They are part of the trouts diet at any stage. Trout seem to enjoy these larvae and nymphs when they are to be found rising towards the surface of the water just prior to hatching. At this stage they are known as emergers. Below you find a few examples.

The nymph of the Mayfly
Larvea of the Diptera
Pupal stage also known as a buzzer

To give our beginner an idea of these creatures and their artificial patterns, please study these drawings and their photographic counterparts. Here you will see the art of fly tying that has developed over the years to imitate as closely as possible the natural insect. I am sure you will agree that the imitations are pretty good.




Fly tying is an art that many books have been written about and are readily available.

Kindly provided by Tony Scott / Tacklebargains - Copyright Tony Scott / Tacklebargains all rights reserved. Content on this web page may not be reproduced without prior permission.