Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Angler's Entomology Podcast

Welcome to the Angler's Entomology Podcast.  On this podcast and blog, I am documenting my re-entry into the world of entomology.   Join us as my wife and I explore the environment in which trout live and the insects and other creatures that live in and share that space.  This is not just a dry recitation of facts, I hope to bring these creatures alive - show you how they live, what makes them fascinating in their own right, and help you understand how they interact with trout in ways that will help your fishing.  So, please join us.  I hope you enjoy the program...


Selene's Blog and Page for Classic Streamers; and you can finder her interview on the podcast the Liar's Club. 


I'm setting up a new set of Quizizz pages to help you learn about different insect groups.  I'll be honest - the best way to learn insects is to look at a lot of insects.  So, give these a whirl and don't get discouraged if you do poorly.   Just try again every so often.   The quizzes will be tiered- so they will get more detailed and complicated as we increase in levels.   The first ones are just about learning the different orders.    

This first quiz is about identifying the four major aquatic insect orders

Quiz #2 is a continuation on Mayfly, Stonefly, Dragon and Damselfly, and Caddisfly Orders. 

This Quiz includes other orders of insects that are important to anglers, but is only the adults.  


Resources for Episode 8: Insect ID

Mar 3, 2017

Hi, welcome to the first Angler’s Entomology Podcast Blog Post.   Today I’d like to add some supplementary material for the podcast about Insect Identification.   Not a lot – just some links to the resources I mentioned in the podcast.  And … it is the nature of a list of links online – within a relatively short period of time some of these links will be moved or broken.  Sorry about that – I’m not going to be spending my time tracking down links over time.  So – I hope these work for long enough for them to be useful to you.

First, though, as I mentioned on the podcast, here is the link to Western Maine Fly Fishing Expo – on March 18, 2017.  Selene and I will be there with local insects.  I’ll be showing them off while Selene will be tying imitations.  Come on up and say ‘hi’.

So, below is a series of links to resources that I think you may find helpful.  This is certainly not comprehensive – it is just a few  links I’m familiar with.  Between this and some googling you should be able to find some very nice resources for your locale.

Local Entomological Societies

I mentioned “local entomological societies”.   To help you track some down here are two lists that may be of use.  As I said, like many of these internet lists, many of the links are broken or no longer point to what they were supposed to point to.   I provide the list so that you can at least know that at one point there was and may still be a local entomological society (and its name).   Using that information you may be able to track them down.  So try these as a resource:

Websites that may help identify insects

Here are three sites that either have sections where they will help identify insects or have very good information to help you identify insects:

Regional Websites that have keys or identification tools

These are just a few tools/links.   It is not comprehensive – I’m sure there are other resources online that you can track down.

For New Zealand

For Western Washington and Western Oregon:

New York


North Dakota

New Hampshire


Downloadable keys and regional resources

Here are a few sites that have keys you can download.  Again, this is not comprehensive but may act as a place for folks to start.  Note that many states (all?) have a program within their state “EPA” (or DNR or Dept. of Env. Quality) that assesses the health of waterways.  Typically they use insect life as a bioindicator of health.  Often those programs have databases of what they’ve found or resources available to ensure correct identification of those species.  Some searching at your state gov website may find some useful resources.  In terms of other resources or some examples of that I’ve found:

Upper Midwest (this is a great guide)

North Carolina



I love the internet, but there is nothing like a good old book.   Remember for what we are doing you really don’t need the most recent (and most expensive) current edition.   Older editions (while maybe not having the most recent names) are a heck of a lot cheaper.  Also check these books out via interlibrary loan before purchasing.   I’ve provided links to Amazon, but you can also find a lot of these used via Half Priced Books, Abe Books.

Text Resources:

Borror and Delong’s Introduction to the Study of Insects

Merritt and Cummin’s An introduction to the Aquatic Insects of North America

Aquatic Entomology by McCafferty

(check out the used ones – there were fancy versions printed and paperback versions.  The fancy versions are pretty pricey).

The "How to Know" series.  These aren't comprehensive and really just deal with more common insects, but they are affordable, and a GREAT introduction to using taxonomic keys. 

How to Know the Insects – Looks like this one has been updated and reprinted.  Nice.

How to Know the Aquatic Insects

How to Know the Immature Insects – unfortunately very old with some rather dated and odd names

There are tons of books out there for anglers on trout stream insects.   I know there are western US versions of some of these books and I’m sure there are international field guides as well.  Here are a few that I have and use.

Thomas Ames, Jrs., Hatch Guide for New England Streams,

Dick Pobst, Trout Stream Insects

I hope you find these links of use and leave a comment if you know of other resources that folks may find useful.