Entomology 4 Kids

Entomology – big old Greek word this is. The scientific (again something scary) study of insects. A fun science. Insects count for more than two-thirds of all known organisms. Amazing. No wonder the old Egyptians were fascinated by them. 

But no worries – YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW ALL THIS – well just a bit.

Why, you ask? Simply because insects are a big part of the diet of freshwater fish. The fish we want to catch feed on insects. Fly-fishers catch fish with the help of insect imitations. Not only the very fly, but also by replicating the behaviour and life cycles and so on.

OK, you adult people can understand from books, but how do kids learn this stuff? They have a huge interest in it. I have so many kids drop by when fishing asking what the heck I am doing there? Really quickly I got it. Some kids want to understand and learn by pictures, symbols. One has to use all one has to illustrate what this is about. Body language works well, and hands.

I “developed” a sign language to illustrate the four main families of insects we are dealing with as a fly-fisher. It is real good fun.

ENTOMOLOGY4KIDS

I start with buzzers, midges and other two-winged insects. These insects make a buzzing noise, hence the name buzzer. Some of them suck blood, not all.

I ask them to cross the hands as shown in the picture and wiggle their fingers and make a buzzing noise… kids love this.

Next hand-sign is forming a roof. That is the caddis which is a good friend of the buzzers. They often appear together.

Next is the collapsed roof with the hand on top of each other – representing the stonefly.

And the last is the praying hands symbolising the mayfly. 

Kids seem to adopt this very quickly. By the water, they can be asked what do they see, or have seen? They can now explain what flies they have seen without having to remember all these scientific terms (“mayfly” is scientific for a 6-year-old).

Enjoy – and make sure to take the kids fishing… and bug hunting.

Griffith´s Gnat

Fly tying classes are part of the inclusive packages we offer at Skålestrømmen. You can learn to make these all these flies yourself. Tying materials and tools will be supplied if cannot bring your own.

The fly shown below works very well in Skålestrømmen (and around the world). There are of course many other, mostly more complicated types of flies that also work, but we like it simple and efficient.

However, do not worry. A selection of flies is included in the  fly fishing packages we offer. You can also buy flies and materials in our flyshop.

Griffith’s Gnat

The fly we will have a look at is known as the Griffith’s Gnat. A tiny little fly which features two materials. Peacock herl and cock hackle. … and thread of course.

The Griffith’s Gnat is a generic representation of some sort of insect lying on the water’s surface. Such flies are called “dry flies” as they do not sink. At least they shouldn’t. The hackle represents legs and maybe even wings leaving an imprint on the water’s surface.

Anatomy & Materials

Hook:
Standard dry fly hook – size 14 to 22 depending on what “fish-food-item” you intend to imitate.

Underbody:
Peacock herl is a natural material. The fibres from a peacock tail feather have a very nice dark greenish colour, very much like a blue bottle housefly. You can obtain the material in a fly shop, but it is also sold in other stores selling interior design items or DIY shops.

Hackle:
There are specialised chicken farms for fly tying. The feathers from roosters and hens are used for many fly designs and come in a myriad of colours. I mostly use black, reddish brown and grizzly. The fly shown is tied with a grizzly feather.

What is hackle?
Hackle – or hackling – is a technique to spread material around the hook so it stands off (the hook shank for example) at an angle of 45 to 90 degrees.
Traditionally one uses feathers for this job. A feather has two parts. The stem and fibres which are attached to that stem.
If one winds the feather stem around a hook (or wing post in a parachute fly) the fibres spread out. The feather or material one uses to hackle a fly is dependent upon the planned result. The qualities that affect material choices are the overall appearance (thickness of the fibres, colouration), length and stiffness.So why is this the first fly to learn?
It is an amazingly versatile pattern to fish with. It works in rivers and still-waters under many conditions.

THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks
THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks

Red Tag

Fly tying classes are part of the inclusive packages we offer at Skålestrømmen. You can learn to make these all these flies yourself. Tying materials and tools will be supplied if cannot bring your own.

The fly shown below works very well in Skålestrømmen (and around the world). There are of course many other, mostly more complicated types of flies that also work, but we like it simple and efficient.

However, do not worry. A selection of flies is included in the  fly fishing packages we offer. You can also buy flies and meterials in our flyshop.

Red Tag

The famous Red Tag. It is said that Grayling are specifically fond of this pattern. In my experience trout love the little bug as well.  The Red Tag consists of three parts. Tail, body and hackle. The tail is made from red wool, cotton or synthetic yarn – hence the name “red tag”. The abdomen is made with peacock herl and for the hackle a cock feather is used. If you have learnt the Griffith’s Gnat, the Red Tag will be a piece of cake.

ANATOMY & MATERIALS

Hook: Standard dry fly hook size 14 to 18

Thread: Dyneema 55

Body: Peacock herl – 2 or 3 strands

Hackle: brown or ginger rooster hackle of high quality

Tail: Red wool – synthetic, cotton or sheep – just that it is red

THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks
THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks

Hare Nymph

Fly tying classes are part of the inklusive packages we offer at Skålestrømmen. You can learn to make these all these flies yourself. Tying materials and tools will be supplied if cannot bring your own.

The fly shown below works very well in Skålestrømmen (and around the world). There are of course many other, mostly more complicated types of flies that also work, but we like it simple and efficient.

However, do not worry. A selection of flies is included in the  fly fishing packages we offer. You can also buy flies and materials in our flyshop.

Hare Nymph

Larvae imitations are called Nymphs in fly fishing. They are very effective lures as aquatic insects (aka fish food) which spend most of their lives under water.

Larvae are frequently adapted to environments separate from adults. For example, some larvae such as tadpoles live almost exclusively in aquatic environments, but can live outside water as adult frogs. By living in a distinct environment, larvae may be given shelter from predators and reduce competition for resources with the adult population. Animals in the larval stage will consume food to fuel their transition into the adult form.

A larva’s appearance is generally very different from the adult form. A larva often has unique structures and organs that do not occur in the adult form, and their diet might be considerably different.

Imitating a food source such as larvae is done with so called “nymphs”. These flies are meant to sink and resemble the items fish eat under the surface.

ANATOMY & MATERIALS

Hook: Standard dry fly hook size 10 to 18

Thread: Dyneema 55

Dubbing: Hare’s ear dubbing

Ribbing: Copper wire

Weight: tungsten bead as head

THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks
THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks

Czech Nymph

Fly tying classes are part of the inclusive packages we offer at Skålestrømmen. You can learn to make these all these flies yourself. Tying materials and tools will be supplied if cannot bring your own.

The fly shown below works very well in Skålestrømmen (and around the world). There are of course many other, mostly more complicated types of flies that also work, but we like it simple and efficient.

However, do not worry. A selection of flies is included in the  fly fishing packages we offer. You can also buy flies and materials in our flyshop.

Czech Nymph

Maybe one of the simplest of all nymphs, but certainly one of the most effective patterns ever. It’s famous amongst competition anglers. It either imitates a caddis larva or a freshwater shrimp. I tend to see more of a caddis larva in it. Your vision may vary. Anyway – fish just see “FOOD” flashing in big letters when this comes trundling along in front of their noses.

ANATOMY & MATERIALS

Hook: Czech Nymph hook size 6 to 14

Thread:  Dyneema 165

Dubbing: Šiman peacock dubbing is used in the video, but there are many others which work well too.

Ribbing:  1st ribbing – thick copper wire, red, 2nd ribbing Dyneema 165 thread, blackened with waterproof marker pen

Shellback:  VN Flexibody(™) or similar material. You can use thinner material.

Weight: lead wire 020

THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks
THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks

Klinkhamer

Fly tying classes are part of the inclusive packages we offer at Skålestrømmen. You can learn to make these all these flies yourself. Tying materials and tools will be supplied if cannot bring your own.

The fly shown below works very well in Skålestrømmen (and around the world). There are of course many other, mostly more complicated types of flies that also work, but we like it simple and efficient.

However, do not worry. A selection of flies is included in the  fly fishing packages we offer. You can also buy flies and materials in our flyshop.

THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks
THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks

Parachute Mayfly

Fly tying classes are part of the inclusive packages we offer at Skålestrømmen. You can learn to make these all these flies yourself. Tying materials and tools will be supplied if cannot bring your own.

The fly shown below works very well in Skålestrømmen (and around the world). There are of course many other, mostly more complicated types of flies that also work, but we like it simple and efficient.

However, do not worry. A selection of flies is included in the  fly fishing packages we offer. You can also buy flies and materials in our flyshop.

THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks
THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks

Carpet Yarn Caddis

Fly tying classes are part of the inclusive packages we offer at Skålestrømmen. You can learn to make these all these flies yourself. Tying materials and tools will be supplied if cannot bring your own.

The fly shown below works very well in Skålestrømmen (and around the world). There are of course many other, mostly more complicated types of flies that also work, but we like it simple and efficient.

However, do not worry. A selection of flies is included in the  fly fishing packages we offer. You can also buy flies and materials in our flyshop.

THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks
THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks

Daddy Longlegs

Fly tying classes are part of the inclusive packages we offer at Skålestrømmen. You can learn to make these all these flies yourself. Tying materials and tools will be supplied if cannot bring your own.

The fly shown below works very well in Skålestrømmen (and around the world). There are of course many other, mostly more complicated types of flies that also work, but we like it simple and efficient.

However, do not worry. A selection of flies is included in the  fly fishing packages we offer. You can also buy flies and materials in our flyshop.



THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks
THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks

CDC Mohican Mayfly

Fly tying classes are part of the inclusive packages we offer at Skålestrømmen. You can learn to make these all these flies yourself. Tying materials and tools will be supplied if cannot bring your own.

The fly shown below works very well in Skålestrømmen (and around the world). There are of course many other, mostly more complicated types of flies that also work, but we like it simple and efficient.

However, do not worry. A selection of flies is included in the  fly fishing packages we offer. You can also buy flies and materials in our flyshop.

THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks
THIS MATERIAL IS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT. Excerpt From Fly Tying by Thomas Züllich available on Apple iBooks