Plop Down a Terrestrial Imitation for Summer Trout

Most trout fly fishermen are aware of the importance of aquatic insects in their quarry’s diet. These include mayflies, stoneflies, caddis and similar species. But while these water-born insects get most of the attention, in modern times terrestrial insects—those living on land—are often more important than aquatic insects in the diet of trout.

These “bugs” jump, fall, get blown in by wind, or washed in by rain and are eagerly gobbled up by waiting brook, brown, and rainbow trout. Both hatchery trout and the native brookies of Shenandoah National Park love them.

Some of the most important ones we can imitate with our flies include beetles, leafhoppers, treehoppers, cicadas, crickets, and ants. One of the most common of all is the grasshopper. This insect can provide terrific fishing from spring through the first frosts of fall.

The great thing about terrestrial fishing is that land insects are constantly dribbling into the water, so trout feed on them any time of day, unlike a mayfly hatch that may stir feeding for one or two hours and then be done. With land insects you can get to the stream whenever you like and expect steady fishing.

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