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Stages of a Fly

During this lesson, we will go over the basics of fly entomology. Most information that you can find on this subject is overly complicated and almost impossible to follow, because of the millions of species of insects—and their different life cycles—on a given river or other body of water.  

TRANSCRIPT

Stages of a Fly

During this lesson, we will go over the basics of fly entomology. Most information that you can find on this subject is overly complicated and almost impossible to follow, because of the millions of species of insects—and their different life cycles—on a given river or other body of water.  

What we are going to learn in this lesson is the major orders of insects that trout feed on, and why Drifthook fly boxes are set up for success.

Smaller insects that can become airborne go through 4 stages in their life cycle:

1. Nymph—This is when they first come out of their eggs but are still growing. Typically they cling to the bottom of the river until the current sweeps them away from their home.

2. Emerger —This is when they start to come out of the water; they’re getting ready to fly and mate.

3. Adult or Dry—This is when they have reached adulthood and have the ability to fly around searching for food and an appropriate mate.

4. Spinner—This is when they have mated or passed on and are floating in the water.

Larger insects such as stoneflies go through the same life cycle, but the patterns that represent these cycles are typically limited to the nymph stage and the adult stage. The emerger stage for a stonefly happens above the surface, where they let the sun and air dry off their wings before flying.

Because they are born on land, terrestrials typically only make it to the water for fish during the adult stage.

This is a quick guide to how major fly groups looks during their life cycles. The patterns that you have so wisely purchased will mimic these life cycles.

The Nymph Frenzy Fly Box represtents each species in its NYMPH Stage Slide 11 The Emerger Swing Fly Box represents each species in its Adult or Dry stage of life Sldie 12 If you purchased the Dropper Rigs Box this imitates Adult Drys and Terrestrials.

We will go into detail on each one of these groups in the intermediate lessons when we discuss the Drifthook Fly Fishing System, but I wanted to give you an overview and some common lingo so that the following lessons make more sense.

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