In the world of fly fishing, few experiences can match the exhilaration of witnessing fish feeding on adult insects. It is a spectacle that ignites the senses, captivating both the angler and the natural world in a mesmerizing dance. Picture yourself standing knee-deep in a crystal-clear river, surrounded by the gentle symphony of nature, as delicate insects gracefully emerge from the riverbed.

An insect hatch is nature’s grand performance, where aquatic insects shed their underwater existence and undergo a stunning transformation. In this magical moment, they take flight, skimming the water’s surface, ready to mate, and to fulfill their destiny and ignite the passion of fly fishers worldwide. Dry fly fishing possesses an enchanting allure, drawing anglers into a world where time slows, and nature’s secrets unfold. However, climate change is happening, and the decline of insects we used to see on the river banks aren’t coming back like they used to.

According to Patagonia, seventy percent of winged insects have been lost, as Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard claims, “it’s a bug apocalypse.”

As Stephen Sautner said in his article from Patagonia, “The same way steelheaders need to be anti-dam, trout anglers should be pro-bug.” The answer is–nobody primarily knows why the decline is happening; but, we know some of the implications that can cause a decline in insect populations.

For example, Sautner explained some of the issues regarding climate change with bigger agricultural farms and the use of pesticides, but that’s not only the case, homeowners and the use of fertilizers add into the equation of the decline of insects. The best thing our society can do to try and prevent the decline of insects is to try and focus on “buying organic or pesticide-free food” which ultimately is one way to “vote pro-bug with your wallet.”

Fly anglers need to become more optimistic about the future. Fly anglers have a unique connection to the natural world through their pursuit of fish on the fly. An optimistic mindset involves embracing innovative solutions and adapting to change. We have the opportunity to understand the decline of insect hatches, raise awareness, and become advocates for conservation and protect the waters we love.

By fostering an optimistic mindset and taking proactive steps to protect and restore insect habitats, fly anglers can make a significant impact in preserving these vital components of aquatic ecosystems. With collective efforts and a shared commitment to sustainable practices, we can ensure a brighter future for both fly fishing and the insects that captivate our imagination on the water and become “pro-bug.”

Be sure to check out Patagonia’s recent video, “No Fly Zones” a video capturing a few reasons why climate change adds into the decline of insects, as well as Stephen Sautner’s “Dude Where’s My Hatch” article published by Patagonia. 

A Time to Care (for the Bugs)

Most Useful Fly Tying Accessories



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.