Flyfishing Entomology


Recommended Books

See a consolidated index of illustrations for the below references by clicking here.



American Stoneflies: A Photographic Guide to the Plecoptera by Bill Stark, Stan Szczytko, and Riley Nelson, is an extremely comprehensive fly fisherman’s reference on stoneflies, both nymphal and adult, and its color photography is truly remarkable.

An Angler’s Guide to Aquatic Insects And Their Imitations by Rick Hafele and Scott Roederer, illustrated by Richard Bunse, is an excellent starter book on aquatic entomology.  It is packed with information, has effective keys for identification to family level for both larval and adult life stages, and is compact enough to be conveniently taken into the field.

Book15.jpg (7119 bytes)

An Introduction to the Aquatic Insects Of North America, edited by R. W. Merritt and K. W. Cummins, contains very scientific language in support of identifying aquatic insects down to the genus level.  It is extremely thorough with regard to illustrations, and perhaps targeted more toward entomologists that flyfishers.

Aquatic Entomology: The Fishermens Guide and Ecologists Illustrated Guide to Insects and Their Relatives by W. Patrick McCafferty, illustrated by Arwin Provonsha, is unquestionably the most complete and highest quality book on general aquatic entomology.  It is used as a college level text, and is an outstanding reference, particularly for those interested in getting more than ankle-deep in the subject.
Aquatic Insects of California edited by Robert L. Usinger, although no longer published, includes keys to most North American aquatic and semi-aquatic insect genera and to most California species.  However, since its publication in 1956 there have been many changes in taxonomic placement.

See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.

Caddis Super Hatches by Carl Richards and Bob Brandle is an attractive book, and is especially useful for those aspiring to fish the caddisfly hatches.  It nicely covers caddisfly life cycles, fishing strategy, contains illustrated patterns, tying instructions, identification keys, and even has individual charts for (Eastern, Midwestern, Western, Appalachian South, Pacific Northwestern) hatches.

Caddisflies by Gary LaFontaine is the definitive fly fisherman’s reference on caddisflies.

See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.

Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates of the Upper Midwest by R.W. Bouchard, Jr.  This identification manual is targeted at students, citizen monitors, and aquatic resource professionals.  Extremely well written, it includes illustrations of most aquatic invertebrate orders likely to be encountered in freshwater environments.  Larvae of aquatic insect orders are keyed/illustrated to family level.  This is a great find for flyfishers interested in entomology, as it is currently available for free download.

Hatch Guide For Upper Midwest Streams by Ann R. Miller is efficiently organized, incredibly comprehensive, and has stunning photographs of both immature and winged life stages of mayflies, caddisflies, stoneflies, other aquatic insects, and crustaceans.  It also has both photos and recipes for patterns tied to imitate them.  In its 2nd printing after only 3 years, it's a must-have hatch guide for stream fly fishers in the Upper Midwest.

Hatch Guide For Western Streams by Jim Schollmeyer offers a color photo of each covered insect life stage on the left page, and three effective imitations on the right page.  Any western flyfisher wishing to match immature and/or adult aquatic insects would benefit from use of this book.

Hatches II by Al Caucci & Bob Nastasi focuses on mayfly hatches of North American trout streams, provides identification keys down to the genus level, and includes extraordinary color photographic plates of nymphs, duns, and spinners.

See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.

Mayflies by Ted Fauceglia offers incredibly beautiful color photos of the nymph, male dun, female dun, male spinner, and female spinner of most popular eastern mayflies, as well as photos and tying recipes for their imitations. 

Mayflies, An Angler’s Study of Trout Water Ephemeroptera by Malcolm Knopp and Robert Cormier is a really excellent entomology reference on mayflies.  It provides a simple and effective system for identification of nymphs and adults, has good line drawings, and even provides phonetic pronunciation for scientific names. 

See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.

Book10.jpg (17513 bytes)

Mayflies of Michigan Trout Streams by Justin W. Leonard and Fannie A. Leonard has extremely detailed (species level) illustrations of nymphs, wing venation, and genitalia.   Although published in 1962, it remains in print.

See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.

Mayflies the Angler and the Trout by Fred L. Arbona, Jr. contains extremely  comprehensive information on mayflies, with nymph, dun, and spinner keys to the species level.

See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.

Book12.jpg (23910 bytes)

McClane's New Standard Fishing Encyclopedia by A. J. McClane contains rather comprehensive illustrated sections on identification of  mayflies (pp. 597-619) and stoneflies (pp. 961-977).

Nymphs by Ernest Schwiebert includes extremely detailed descriptions of nymphal forms, beautifully detailed illustration, and an extremely captivating writing style.

See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.

Nymphs Volume I: The Mayflies by Ernest Schwiebert is the 1st book of a 2-volume edition, which was completely re-written immediately prior to the author's untimely passing.  Erik Schwiebert took over the enormous task of making sure father's last great work was published, so it could be shared with us.


Nymphs Volume II: Stoneflies, Caddisflies, and other Important Insects: including the lesser mayflies by Ernest Schwiebert is the 2nd book of a 2-volume edition.
Book11.jpg (17375 bytes) Selective Trout by Doug Swisher and Carl Richards has a chapter titled The Identification of Mayflies, which has good genera level nymphal illustrations, and detailed species information tables.

See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.

Stoneflies by Carl Richards, Doug Swisher, and Fred Arbona, Jr. provides an extremely thorough treatment of stoneflies from the flyfishing perspective.  It includes illustrated keys to family, regional hatch charts, patterns for imitation, tactics for their use, and distribution by species.

See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.

Book14.jpg (3978 bytes) STREAM BUGS AS BIOMONITORS - Guide to Pacific Northwest Macroinvertebrate Monitoring and Identification by Jeff Adams with Mace Vaughan and Scott Hoffman Black - The Xerces Society.

The Biology Of Mayflies by James G. Needham, Jay R. Traver, and Yin-Chi Hsu is the classic study of mayflies in general, and all (505) species of N. American mayflies known at date (1935) of publication.  It describes each species, and frequently has one or more illustrations useful for their identification in conjunction with dichotomous keys and verification tables.  See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.

The Complete Book Of Western Hatches: An Anglers Entomology and Fly Pattern Field Guide by Rick Hafele and Dave Hughes is another excellent starter book on aquatic entomology.

The Caddisfly Handbook by Dick Pobst and Carl Richards is a handy pocket guide, which is organized by Trout Lake Caddis, Major Hatches East Of The Mississippi, and Hatches East Of The Mississippi.

See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.  

The Hatches Made Simple by Charles R. Meck presents a well thought out method for predicting hatches based on time of day and season of year.  The book contains extensive hatch timing tables including common and scientific names, recommendation for pattern style, body color, and hook size, etc.

See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.  

The Mayflies, or Ephemeroptera, of Illinois by B. D. Burks is worth having for its mayfly illustrations, alone.  As it was first published in May 1953, its taxonomy is extremely dated.
However, one can download a free pdf of the entire book by clicking here.

See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.

The Mayfly Guide: Quick and easy steps to identifying nymphs, duns, and spinners by Al Caucci is a compact spiral-bound pocket guide to the North American mayflies of most interest to fly fishers.  The photos in the index, which are grouped by nymphs and duns/spinners, is particularly handy for purpose of visual identification.

The Mayflies Of Florida by Lewis Berner and Manuel L. Pescador provides identification keys, nymphal and adult illustrations, and discussion of each the mayfly species known in Florida at the time of the book's (1988) publication.

See taxonomic updates for this book by clicking here.

Western Mayfly Hatches: From the Rockies To The Pacific by Rick Hafele and Dave Hughes combines western mayfly entomology and imitative patterns in beautifully crafted style.  Recently published, it establishes a new benchmark for flyfishing entomology authors.

See a consolidated index of illustrations for the above references by clicking here.

Created: 08/04/2004   Last modified: 09/02/2020    www.FlyfishingEntomology.com