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Fly Fishing Techniques – Matching The Hatch
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Fly Fishing Techniques – Matching the Hatch

There are very many fly fishing techniques and it is an angler’s obsession to understand them all however one method that is a must to learn and will help save the day from being a blank bag is matching the hatch.

Matching the hatch is in a nutshell matching the hatching insects at the time you are on the river, lake or whatever fishing destination you find yourself in. This involves waterside observations and a basic understanding of the main groups of insects both aquatic and riverbank varieties. Once you have got to your location have a good look at the waterside vegetation and see if there are any swarms of flying insects. If you notice any try to capture a few to take in the size, shape and colour. These are the three main entities that you need to imitate with your flies.

Next you need to take a sample of the water near the bank and also scan for insects floating or struggling in the water. It is also advisable to watch the water and see if the fish are feeding on anything coming to the surface.

Once you have taken in the action and collected a few insects it’s time to try and get as close a fly from your box to the real life insect as possible. During your recon you should have noticed the actions of the insects before fish took them. You will now have to imitate this action when fishing as it’s not so much the size and shape but replicating the real insect habits’ that will produce the most fish.

Here are a few categories of creature that you will need to copy in order to be matching the hatch adequately. These are up-winged flies, sedge flies, stoneflies, flat-winged flies, dragonflies, beetles, small fishes, other creepy-crawlies. These insects go through various stages in there development from larvae to nymphs and pupa to fully adult stages. It is important to note the stages of insect you have found for instance if you plan to come back you can expect to find the next stage. Some insect however go through their life cycle very quickly growing from a larva to an adult in only one day. Here they may mate and then die again leaving a large number of spent fly floating on the water. It is on days like this you can watch fish eat at their leisure taken their fill of food and it can be the most frustrating trying to get the right match to make a catch.

I hope you have picked up a thing or two from this guide and in working through it will prove to have many more successful days fly fishing on the water catching your favourite fish.


Street Talk

Thanks Mark, enjoyed reading your guide. There is always something new to learn.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

There sure is Frank, I'm still learning and it doesn't matter who you meet along the river they will have a different slant on things that you will not have tried.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Counting the days till spring :)

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Yea its good to get the dust shook off the gear and get out fishing again.

Reply
  about 6 years ago

I like your article.... I like fishing but never heard about Fly fishing,,, Thank you for providing such kind of interesting information !

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks Luca I have been fly fishing since 10 years old. I caught my first trout that day and was hooked! :-)

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Great article, but I feel overwhelmed by all the knowledge you need for fishing...I thought fishing was supposed to be a relaxing hobby!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

There is more to fishing than catching fish Juan! As a beginner it takes time to get to know the details but like any hobby or sport the more you partake the better and more knowledgeable you become. I'm still learning and I have been fly fishing most of my 44 years. Matching the Hatch is a small part of the process but one worth learning as it can help out when the fish are being very cagey!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Excellent article, Mark and right on the money. Fly fishing is my second favourite pastime second only to motorcycling. Thanks

Reply
  about 7 years ago

It really is a great hobby, glad you enjoyed the article.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

So much good info, Mark. Thanks!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks for reading Divine!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Great article Mark, this article has been very helpful to me, thanks for sharing.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks Alfred glad you got some helpful info from it.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Wow, I think Shawn accidentally spammed your article. I bet he had poor connection or something & repeatedly kept doing it... My dad actually runs a bait & tackle shop so this stuff is cool to me. I'm pretty big on fishing myself. I'm setting up like a local type of thing for my dad online pretty soon. I'm more of a catfish person to be honest though, lol. I like the big fish. I don't know if you heard about the monster catfish legends in the Mississippi River. They say there's catfish that's 500 to 1000 pounds or maybe more like deep in the Mississippi & near big dams on major rivers. They say they're probably from the dinosaur era, pretty insane.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Never tried catfish but I hear tickling for them is good fun.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

My father was great at fly fishing. I never mastered it. Good article

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Its all about the timing Shawn, great way to fish, I love it.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

My father was great at fly fishing. I never mastered it. Good article

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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