In case you did not see this from TheFlyStop... good info and great prices on flies!
Depending on where you do your fishing, some of the best Terrestrial fishing of the year is just starting out, or will be in full swing shortly. Terrestrial fishing can be an enjoyable change of pace on the water, as well as great mid-day option, when the fishing normally slows. Terrestrial fishing covers a wide slew of insects including: Grasshoppers, Beetles, Ants, Crickets, Lady Bugs, Leaf Hoppers, etc. Many of these land based food sources become active during mid-day hours, when most of the stream based activity is at it's slowest. The end result for the angler is more active time on the water, and best of all great top water action.
Normal dry fly tactics work well, but often slight variations can be more effective. When a Terrestrial finds it's way to the water's surface it often does so without the grace of a Mayfly. Most the time they land with a hard splat, and the Trout instinctively react to the easy meal, without much concern for the type of bug to be found. To take advantage of this reaction, it is often effective to cast your pattern abruptly, just above, or to the side of a Trout's location. The goal here is to make the pattern land with a slight thud, to key on the Trout's instincts to strike without hesitation.
Building on the previous tactic outlined above, move frequently when Terrestrial fishing. More often than not a Trout is going to attack the fly within the first few casts. Cast a few times to a likely location, and then move a few steps and start over. Your odds are better showing your fly to fifty different trout once, then they are to show the same trout fifty times. Use common sense when picking locations to fish as well. In grassy areas, try a Hopper imitation, in brushy sections try an Ant or Beetle. Be sure to start downstream and work your way up to stay out of the line of sight of the trout, as often the best Terrestrial fishing corresponds with low water conditions.
As far as patterns of choices, I like to start with some form of foam pattern. Foam floats plain and simple, and if there is a foam option available, that is my go to fly. My favorite.....hands down a Foam Beetle. Although normally not as prevalant as Ants, Beetles have always been my top choice. If you are not having success on top, you can try sinking a pattern such as a Fur Ant as well, using basic nymphing tactics to entice a strike.
If you are still not having success, the Hopper/Dropper tactic is a good choice as well. This technique kills two birds with one stone and is extremely easy. Simply tie a length of tippet off the bend of your Terrestrial hook, then tie your favorite nymph pattern behind your lead fly. This can be effective for the finicky trout that are reluctant to feed on the surface during the mid-day hours. Watch your Terrestrial for both surface strikes, as well as an indicator for the nymph trailing off of the back.
Terrestrial fishing can be extremely enjoyable with often exceptionally vigorous strikes, and it allows you to stay active during normally slow times on the water. Hopefully some of the techniques I outlined will keep your lines tight this Summer on the water.
Kory Van Tassel
Reprinted courtesy of TheFlyStop
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