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If you’re looking for bass-like explosions from trout on dries – look no further. Terrestrials are without a doubt my favorite way to catch fish on dry flies. There’s nothing more exciting than watching a chunky brown blow up on a beetle under a fallen tree. When fishing terrestrials there are a few things to know that should greatly increase your success rate.

What Are Terrestrials?

By definition terrestrial animals are any animals that live predominately on land as opposed to aquatic animals, who live predominately in water. Terrestrial insects can be found in abundance  in every corner of the United States. However, most terrestrials hatch in late spring or early summer, so it is very important to be aware of the different hatches going on in your area. The most effective way to find out what you should be fishing with is to just look around, pay attention to the minute details in your environment; and when you see a massive hopper get taken off the surface, know what needs to be done.

Main Types of Terrestrials

  • Beetles
  • Grasshoppers
  • Ants
  • Crickets
  • Cicadas

How to Fish Terrestrials

As stated above, you typically won’t start to see terrestrials til late spring-early summer. With that in mind, the next thing to pay attention to is what you can see. If you see grasshoppers all over the banks, then that’s what you should be fishing with, if you’ve seen more beetles, then fish with that. However, choosing the right terrestrial to fish with isn’t really all that important, as many streams that have one type tend to have them all.

The next thing I do when I’m fishing terrestrials is stick close to the banks. More often than not, these bugs get knocked off trees or fall off the banks, so looking for areas with high grass or a fallen tree along the perimeter of the stream is never a bad idea. I have had the most success fishing terrestrials under trees that hang over the water; sometimes it can be tricky getting an accurate cast in these areas but it will pay off.

As for the setup I use when fishing terrestrials, I use a simple dry-dropper rig with one long dropper. Though most of my strikes come from the dry, it’s never a bad idea to fish with a dropper.

Terrestrial Imitations

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Beetle

Cricket

Cicada

Grasshopper

Ant

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