A question we often here is “What kind of insects do you guys use out there in Idaho?” Here are some fly fishing insects pictures with names of some of the insects we imitate in our area for fly fishing. These bugs are all adult versions of the insect. These are the patterns you would be trying to emulate while dry fly fishing any of our rivers. Our guides have all the flies you will need each day. They are all included in your the price of your trip.
Flying ants can be very hard to spot on the water. I have seen times where there are two or three different mayfly hatches on the water and I thought the trout were feeding on them. It wasn’t until further investigation I found that they were in fact feeding on flying ants. On this day the trout would not turn down an ant pattern even though there were several different mayflies on the water. They are tricky to spot, but if you find the trout feeding on them, it is a sure thing if you have the flying ant pattern.
Ever seen a bright pink grasshopper? Well, neither have I. There are many different colors of grasshoppers in our area. I have heard of people spotting pink, orange, purple and blue grasshoppers. Trout aggressively feed on grasshoppers, especially early in the grasshopper season. One nice thing about grasshoppers is that you can see them on the banks. They also have telltale sounds when flying.
These are gross looking buggers. I have rarely seen them on the water. I have seen them coming out the mouth of a trout when we released the fish. One place you commonly see them is when they cross a road traveling in crops. At these times there can be swarms of them. Like the grasshopper they come in many different colors from blue to orange. They are big and nasty. This is not truly a cricket but a hard shielded katydid which is related to grasshoppers and crickets.
Common Blue Damselfly
These bugs can create crazy behavior in trout. Have you ever noticed trout jumping a few feet wildly out of the water? They may be chasing damselflies. These bright blue bugs hover over the surface of the water looking for mates. You will often see them joined together flying around mating. The trout see the damselfly hovering and will jump to get them. We rarely use this pattern, but they are a common bug that you will see on the river.
The Mayfly is the most common bug on our rivers. They hatch most of the summer and fall. Lucky for us they usually range in sizes 18-14, which is easy on the eyes. The Teton River gets especially heavy hatches of mayflies from July through September. Fly fishing with parachute mayfly patterns is classic dry fly fishing. There is nothing better than fishing a small dry to a large rising trout.
On most rivers caddis are the most abundant bugs. This is not the case on the South Fork or the Teton. The Henry’s Fork does have large numbers of caddis. You will often see large swarms of them in May and June. The caddis is distinguished by its “tent like” wing shape.
The Salmon Fly hatch is one to behold. These giant bugs come out in droves. They are the size of your pinky finger and the fish love them. Catching the hatch in just the right moment is tricky. The fish can become gorged on these bugs. The South Fork, Teton and Henry’s Fork all get this amazing hatch.