Thank You God for the Terrestrial Season

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Fly fishing during the terrestrial season you can cut back drastically on gear. Photo Louis Cahill

About this time every year, when I’m starting to get run down from guiding, the terrestrial season arrives, and I’m blessed with a second wind.

I’m always astonished at how the addition of terrestrials can make my familiar waters seem so fresh to me, even after I’ve already spent hundreds of hours during the season drifting flies through the same riffles, runs and pools. Despite the terrestrial season being one of my busiest times of the year guiding, every day I’m more excited than the last. I tip my hat to the creator and give thanks, for he sure did a fine job of planning out the life cycle and timing of the terrestrials. Yep, life is grand for the fly fisherman when the terrestrials are out. The water and air temperatures (at least where I live) are usually warm enough to leave those stinky waders at home, and the longer days allow us the luxury of staying on the water for a few extra hours.

During the terrestrial season, trout seem to have the same look in their eyes as me, pure addiction. It’s not the end of the world if I forget my strike indicators or split shot either. Trout often rise to terrestrials with such dependability, that I can often call my fish even before my fly lands on the water. I love that every take on the surface seems unique. My heart always seems to beat a little bit faster when I’ve got a terrestrial tied on, because I never know if my foam hopper or beetle is going to get smashed like a freight train or get sucked in, and make that beautiful popping sound, just like the blotting sound my wife makes after applying that sexy red lipstick.

Louis Cahill Photography

Andy Bowen waits on the hook set, something many anglers find hard to do, and causes them to miss fish.  Photo Louis Cahill

This time of year, it’s nice not having to worry about fish completely shutting down if the forecast is calling for blue bird skies. All I need to find is some shade against the bank and hold on. I like that my achy lower back gets a summer break from not having to lug around twenty pounds of gear all day. There’s nothing like the feeling you get fly fishing, when you know all you really need to carry is a half dozen flies, a spool of tippet, and some gink. I also love that the terrestrial season seems to decrease my desire for catching as many fish as I can in a day. All I need to get my trout fix, is have the pleasure of witnessing one of those perfect, slow motion rises, and the day’s been a total success. Thank you God for the terrestrial season.

Be ready for this year’s terrestrial season. It’s right upon us. Find time and treat yourself to some extra time on the water. It’s by far one of my favorite times of the year to fly fish for trout.

I’m ready for the terrestrial season to get here, can you tell?

Check out some of my other fly fishing articles about fishing terrestrials.

10 Tips for Targeting Rising Trout with Terrestrials

Kiss the Bank with your Terrestrials

Lay the Smack Down

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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7 thoughts on “Thank You God for the Terrestrial Season

  1. In the Finger Lakes region of NY, the terrestrial season starts when the inch-worms start hatching. I saw my first bright green worm on Sunday.

    From that point on, ants, beetles, crickets, all come into play. Lots of fun.

    This year we also have the Cicada’s to look forward to.

    Can’t wait, love the late Spring and early Summer.

    • Michael,

      We also have had some inch worms around but the water has been so high and we’ve had so much rain they really haven’t showed up in big numbers yet. Temps are getting into 80s now so terrestrials should kick into swing very soon. Thanks for the comment.


  2. Summertime, baby. If it’s too cold to swim, it’s too cold. Give me summertime and all of it’s bugs, and a fishy body of water, and I’m a happy man.

  3. I’m headed down to the Smokies this weekend to fish with my wife and father-in-law and I’m hoping the terrestrials are in full swing!

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