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> > Feeling out interest in 'bug hunting'



BRATMarch 25th, 2010, 10:59 am
Posts: 10Good day, everyone; I conduct regular Bug Hunts as a way of introducing the public to aquatic insects. We 'interview' the bugs to see if the population can give us clues as to water quality. What I'd like to know from all of you is whether a Bug Hunt sounds interesting! I capture nets-full of benthic macroinvertebrates, sort the crayfish and minnows into their own containers, and we sort the rest: mayflies, caddis, stones, damsels, dragons, and more.

Would there be any interest among the trout fishing community in something like this? I'd be willing to bet most of you could help me identify the creatures quite handily!

Thanks,
Kelly
Jmd123March 25th, 2010, 11:59 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2545
Kelly, where do you live? I am a Michigander with a Master of Science in entomology (Michigan State University, 1991), and I've done as pretty good amount of aquatic work myself. In fact, I almost did a PhD on using benthic macroinvertebrate communities of freshwater springs in southern Missouri as bioindicators of ground water quality. I may be moving in the very near future as I have been unemployed for about 2 1/2 years now but the job opportunities are beginning to open up. Just FYI...Happy bug hunting!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
TaxonMarch 25th, 2010, 9:22 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1337
Kelly,

Some flyfishers have more than passing interest in aquatic macroinvertebrates, but not nearly so many as one would hope. As to identification of your net samples, you need only take decent macro photos, and post them in Getting Bugs Identified, and you will quickly receive an ID to whatever level is practical from your photo.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
WbranchMarch 26th, 2010, 4:09 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2727
Hello Rodger,

You wrote "Some flyfishers have more than passing interest in aquatic macroinvertebrates, but not nearly so many as one would hope."

Why would one hope flyfishers had more than a passing interest in aquatic macroinvertebrates? I know the difference between a mayfly, stonefly, and caddis fly and pretty much know the formal names of the mayflies that live in the waters that I fish but other than that modest knowledge I have no interest in developing a more thorough and complete interest.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TaxonMarch 26th, 2010, 6:01 am
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1337

And who says I don't fish with a baited hook! Well, Matt, for one very simple reason. So I'll have others with whom I can share my obsession. Incidentally though, anyone who can say that they "pretty much know the formal names of the mayflies in the waters they fish", may be guilty of having more than passing interest in aquatic invertebrates.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
OldredbarnMarch 26th, 2010, 6:15 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2601
Matt,

Did you wake up on the grump side of the bed this morning or what?! Maybe we shouldn't let you post so early in the morning before you've had your second cup and your constitutional...Before you aim your guns at me I'm only just finishing my first cup of tea...He, he!

I'm sending you a couple tattered copies of Flick & Ernie so you can practise your latin in the morning while you are enjoying your eggs & toast. Roger's going to scream at me because that's "old-school" latin in them books and not the new & improved latin flowing from the tongues of these young whipper-snappers!

I swear that this is true...I once had an old large brown trout tell me that German is the only language they actually understand...Ich kann die deutsche Sprache sprechen...Also, ich ihm verstehen kann. Honest!

Sorry...Tilman, but my American keyboard doesn't have an umlaut...There should be an umlaut over the "a" in Sprache.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123March 26th, 2010, 2:05 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2545
Spence, whatever you were on when you heard that German (Deutsche) brown (braun) trout (traut) speak to you, I hope you saved a little for me! I would love to talk to a trout, although I have a strong suspicion that all they would say to me would be, "Let me go you f***ing a**hole, I'm suffocating!!!"

Ja, I auch spreche ein bischen Deutsch...aber Ich auch haben keinen Umlauten.

BTW, I am also a tea drinker (though most definitely NOT a "Tea Partier" - though I have been known to add a little flavored vodka from time to time...). I have never liked coffee - tastes like burned dirt to me, no matter how much milk, sugar, hazelnut syrup, etc. you try to cover it up with.

Also, BTW, no response to my email about Pam Anderson???

Back to the subject matter, entomology is downright fascinating, aquatic or otherwise. WE think WE rule the earth??? HAHAHAHAHA...Tell that to the quadrillions of little arthropods who REALLY run this planet. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't even be here, not to mention the rest of the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, flowering plants...Their diversity is staggering, their lifestyles mindblowingly complex and interesting, and quite a few of them are downright beautiful.

Kelly, keep up the good work and don't mind the grumpy ones who are intimidated by all of the parts and pieces you have to learn to identify them. If MORE people paid this much attention to the natural world around us, I'm certain it would be in a LOT BETTER SHAPE than it is today.

Jonathon

P.S. Light Hendricksons (Ephemerella invaria/subvaria I believe) should be showing up here in Michigan within the next month...Just in time for the opener!!
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
WbranchMarch 28th, 2010, 4:34 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2727
"may be guilty of having more than passing interest in aquatic invertebrates."

Rodger,

After fifty years of flyfishing those names kind of rubbed off on me. To tell you the truth I learned/memorized most of them when I was a youngster reading Swchiebert's "Matching the Hatch" and "Selective Trout".

Jmd wrote;

"Kelly, keep up the good work and don't mind the grumpy ones who are intimidated by all of the parts and pieces you have to learn to identify them.

Just because I made a comment about my lack of interest in learning the formal/Latin names of aquatic insects doesn't allow you to presume I'm grumpy. Spence offered that bit of wisdom. I'm not at all intimidated about learning about topics to which I have interest. I catch dozens of 20" trout every year on flies and not a one of them cared if I knew it was an infrequens, or an enermis, on the end of my tippet.











'
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
BRATMarch 30th, 2010, 12:28 pm
Posts: 10You guys all crack me up, honestly. :-) For those interested, I'm in SE Vermont, on the gorgeous Black River in Windsor County. I've been exploring river bugs for the past few years and find new 'favorites' every year! I just did my first winter 'bug hunt' in February, and it was not only a smashing success, but a ton of fun. I didn't want to get out of the water! Thank heaven for waders to keep my tootsies toasty in that frigid water.

I'm thinking about ways to invite fly fisher-folk into the bug hunting fold, so to speak. Would folks want to learn more about ID'ing the various critters in their larval stages, or help me sort them, or just plain ole have fun wading around the streams, perhaps looking for new hot-spots to hit with their gear?

Thanks, all!

Kelly
TaxonMarch 30th, 2010, 1:02 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1337
Kelly-

Were I there, I'd be happy to join you.

Best regards,
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
WiflyfisherMarch 30th, 2010, 3:38 pm
Wisconsin

Posts: 649
I catch dozens of 20" trout every year on flies and not a one of them cared if I knew it was an infrequens, or an enermis, on the end of my tippet.

Good point. As much I too have enjoyed studying the aquatic critters (even set down my rod just to collect bugs at times) I too find the trout really don't give a rip what we call them. Reminds me of what we use to joke about when others asked us what were the trout feeding on.... "A little gray bastard about so big."

Kelly if I were out there I would love to join you. I will be doing some of my own bugging collecting next week on the TroutNut's (Jason) old home waters.
John S.
https://WiFlyFisher.com
WbranchMarch 30th, 2010, 5:33 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2727
I wrote;

"I catch dozens of 20" trout every year on flies and not a one of them cared if I knew it was an infrequens, or an enermis, on the end of my tippet."

However if there are those of you who enjoy the bug identification and all that nomenclature stuff then that is cool too. I actually like guys who are so much into other aspects of FF like bug identification, fly selection, gadget accumulation, stream improvements, etc that it keeps them off of the water and there is more room for me to fish.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
BRATMarch 31st, 2010, 7:16 am
Posts: 10WBranch ~ you got me laughing again this morning! I would bet that there is a lot to be said for knowing which bugs are hatching at which time of the year, and knowing them up close and personal enough to match that hatch. Some of the most impressive information I've found on bug behavior and life cycles has come from fly fishing resources; many of you guys border on the reverent, and I love it.

So I'm gathering that it may well be worth my time to *ahem* cast my line into the pool of local trout fisher-folk, see if anyone "bites" at the Bug Hunt idea? I'm betting that there are a good group of bug nuts within the fly fishing community, just as there are folks who'd rather tie something fuzzy on their line and give it a whirl, whether they know its name or not. Sounds promising!

Many thanks, and feel free to keep the comments and suggestions coming!

Cheers,
Kelly in Springfield, VT
BRATMarch 31st, 2010, 7:19 am
Posts: 10Jmd...your work in Michigan sounds fascinating! Have you got any of your research in a format that is share-able? I'm looking at our benthic communities to try to get a broad handle on water quality in streams that are suspected of being impacted by things like road salt and runoff, sedimentation from development and erosion, and so on.

blackrivercleanup(at)yahoo(dot)com
Jmd123March 31st, 2010, 4:08 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2545
Kelly, I do have a data set from the Pigeon River that we collected in 2008. I would like to ask my old (and probably future) boss if he doesn't mind me sharing it with you. If so, I will attach it to an email. Mine is jdenike@gmail.com. There was a big silt spill there that everyone claimed "killed" the river, caused when a dam accidentally opened during an electrical storm. Well, we actually found more benthics (both numbers and diversity) BELOW where the silt spill had occured than above the reservoir formed by the dam - there was some kind of erosion going on upstream that was burying gravel and cobble with SAND (worthless for benthic organisms, even more so than silt which they can burrow into ala Hexegenia), thus the dam and reservoir were actually serving as a silt and sand trap and protecting the river below. It pays to do the science...

Another interesting thing was a supposed dead 22" brown trout found floating downstream after the dam failure, which of course all the fisherman thought was caused by the silt spill. Well, as part of that project we actually got to fish the reservoir ON THE JOB (I love my work) to prove the value of the existing reservoir, and guess what? I hooked and lost a brown that was about 22" long!! We now think that, rather than being below the dam and killed by the silt, that fish was ABOVE the dam, got sucked out when the dam opened, and hit its head on a rock on the way out...(That fish hit a copper and brown variant of my Killer Bass Fly, size 10 - its not just for bass anymore!)

BTW, this old boss and I just met today with folks from the US Forest Service in both Baldwin and Cadillac, looking for potential projects in botanical and entomological surveys, stream surveys, etc. They would love to do them but of course its all about the money...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Jmd123March 31st, 2010, 4:10 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2545
"I actually like guys who are so much into other aspects of FF like bug identification, fly selection, gadget accumulation, stream improvements, etc that it keeps them off of the water and there is more room for me to fish."

Matt, you are a grumpy one... :oD

JMD
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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