I find that one of the most essential fly fishing piece of equipment to have on hand while fly fishing is a simple little aquarium net. Up to ninety percent of what a trout eats are aquatic insects. When we see trout feeding or rising at the surface it’s safe to say they are probably eating some sort of aquatic insect that is morphing into a winged adult. The next step is to figure out what aquatic insect those trout are eating and then imitate it as best we can.
Fortunately for many anglers there are ways to know ahead of time just what trout will be rising to on a particular river we choose to fly fish. Hatch charts, online fish reports, published fish reports, historical facts and plain being told what’s going to happen at 3 o’clock on your chosen river. That being said, there becomes other issues involved in matching a hatch such as the correct size, correct color or even the correct hatch. We are often left staring at the water or trying to catch a bug flying in the air.
The best tool I find and one that has on many occasions made the difference in me being successful is a simple aquarium net. A small aquarium net is easy to carry and it allows you to skim off the water bugs that you can see and bugs moving just under the surface. With the white background of the net most aquatic insects show up clearly in their size and color.