Home >

Entomology Course
Entomology Course
Do You Know This Insect?

Alternative Views:

Learn the bugs and your catch rate will increase!

  • Online - Multi Media Course - No Download Needed - We Provide Password
  • Stunning Photos, Videos, Insect Drawings, Practical Advice - That Reinforce Learning
  • Designed for Fly Fishermen by Fly Fishermen
  • 8-Part fly fishing entomology (bug identification) course covering all 12 orders of insects the angler should know.
  • Includes free bug seine for catching insects
  • Includes video, photos, copy and detailed insect diagrams to fully immerse yourself in the knowledge.
  • Includes beginner, intermediate and advanced topics for all skill levels
  • Teaches you how to identify any insect & match the bug to your fly
  • Provides detailed explanations of orders, stages, behaviors and presentation tips on all insects
  • Get forever access to the resources and the author to continue your education.
Our Price (USD): $89.00

Product Code: COURSE


Fly Fishing Entomology Course

Learn how to identify any insect in a river or lake, and match it to a fly in your box to catch more fish.

This 8-part course provides a comprehensive resource based on decades of experience and research to deliver practical knowledge that helps you identify insects in rivers and lakes, select the right fly, and catch more fish on the fly. Author, Allen Gardner, an experienced and avid angler, provides an online multi-media course that includes over 30 minutes of video, 40 pages of content and stunning, high-def underwater photos of the insects including detailed diagrams of insect life cycles to help you become an expert at fly fishing and fly selection.

Want to know why you still need a fly fishing guide to catch fish? Because the guides know something you don’t. They know how to identify insects in their rivers and lakes, and match them correctly to the flies in their box. That knowledge is the difference between a 50 fish day and walking home dumbfounded saying, “Well a good day of fishing is better than a day of work.” You wanna know what’s even better than a day of fishing? A 50 fish day of fishing…

trout stream

Our fly fishing entomology course has been created to help you identify any insect in a river by it’s order, then select an appropriate pattern in your fly box and ultimately catch more fish. The ability to select the right fly is essential to your level of success on the water and makes the difference between a novice angler, and a savvy, guide-level angler.

Written and created by Allen Gardner, who has studied entomology and how to apply it to fly fishing. He takes a practical approach. As he puts it, “All the other classes I went to were Hexagenia Limbata this and Pteronarcys that. I walked away felt like I just had a foreign language class, not a class on how to catch more fish with fly fishing entomology. When I realized no one had made a course this useful and simple online, I knew I had to do it.”

With over 10,000 students put through this course from over 7 countries, this fly fishing entomology course is helping anglers everywhere catch more fish wherever they throw a fly. Purchase your fly fishing entomology course and get this amazing resource, with additional products and exclusive discounts today.

Here's a preview of the information covered in the course

Most anglers open their fly box, look aimlessly at the hundreds (maybe more) of dollars of flies and make their fly selection based on their past experiences or whatever “looks good” in their box. “I did good on that one last year, guess I’ll try it out.” When is the last time you heard a guide say that?

example document
training document example

You don’t, and it’s because they first ask the question, what are the trout eating today? Once they have a strong, educated decision, they select the fly and begin to catch loads of fish. The knowledge that helps them select the right fly faster and more accurately is fly fishing entomology.

This article will help you understand the orders, stages, sizes and colors of 99.99% of all insects you will need to identify on the river. This is the first step in fly fishing entomology. With time you will learn to observe and identify the specific insects, and stages, which are attracting the trouts attention, but for now let’s just familiarize ourselves with the menu. We’ve put together a complete list of orders, stages, sizes and colors that are important to the fly angler.

Orders aka Insect Categories

Let’s learn quickly what we mean by orders and stages, then we’ll show the list of insects by order, category, size and color.

bug chart
midge adults

Orders are just a fancy and scientific way of saying a category of insect. Remember in highschool biology when they taught Kingdom, Phylum, Class, ORDER, Family, Genus, Species? Of course you don’t, who listens in highschool biology? You should have listened though cause it relates to fly fishing!

All you really need to know is that as fly fishermen, nearly all of our fly patterns we use imitate orders of insects, not the specific species. Aside from some mayflies (Hex, Green Drakes, BWO, etc) and some stoneflies (salmonflies, yellow sallies etc), we keep it simple and only focus on the categories.

This is great news for all of us, because instead of having to remember 10,000 insect species, we just need to understand 12 or so categories. If you can identify the order of the insect, you’re more than 25% of the way to selecting the right fly.

Stages aka Insect Lifecycles

Stages of an insect simply refer to their current stage within an insect lifecycle. Insects go through complete and incomplete metamorphosis. Complete metamorphosis includes a pupa stage while incomplete skips that step and gets on with the story.

bug chart

Most insects that you need to know for trout fishing go through a larva (nymph), emerger, adult (dry), and spinner stage. We refer to these plainly as nymph, pupa, emerger, dry, spinner when fly fishing and they often correlate to fly patterns.

Not all insects have these stages, and some have an extra pupa stage, and only some of those stages apply to trout feeding behavior…We know it gets a bit complicated, but for now hold on to the fact that this provides a list for you to digest, not the entire subject. You’d need a fly fishing entomology course for that and is a great idea if you’re ready to take your fly fishing to the next level.

Let’s simplify and give you a framework you can use to start learning your bugs. In it you will see all the major insect orders (categories), the stages of importance to the angler, and common hook sizes and colors you’ll want to imitate them with. Book mark this page and refer to it often. On the river, at the tying bench, whenever you need to match the bug.

example video

8 Lessons
30 Minutes of Video
Charts & Diagrams
Underwater Photos & More!

Customer Testimonials
“Just finished the course. Great job, I really enjoyed it and feel it was money well spent.”
Verified Purchase
By Erik
on November 7, 2015
“I just finished this class and I must say you did a great job putting it together very informative and well worth it Sincerely Frank Lallas”
Verified Purchase
By Frank
on November 7, 2015
5 Stars
“I did the course. Great stuff. Again I think the photography is exceptional. Clear, well organized info. I learned a few things myself… stone flies have “toes” ! Good work Allen.”
Verified Purchase
By Mike Goldblatt – Guide at Blue Quill Angler
on November 18, 2015
“I took this course being brand new to fly fishing. Pictures and video were great to go along with the amount of information provided! Once the seine came in the mail (which was very quick) I was able to choose the best fly for that situation and caught a nice trout off it right away! I would definitely recommend this course to anyone looking to learn more about entomology,”
Verified Purchase
By Zeb
on November 18, 2015
“There’s other free courses out there, but this was worth the money. Loved that it’s online so I can read it on my iphone while at work :)”
Verified Purchase
By Avery
on November 18, 2015
“This is a good course with a lot of information that is usable to the average fisher person. I especially enjoyed that each section spoke about how you would rig your equipment to fish a particular bug or stretch of river. It’s a must have if you are a novice and it is a good read if you are a seasoned veteran.”
Verified Purchase
By Dave Allen
on November 18, 2015
“The course was longer than I expected. very detailed I’m pleased with my purchase and would recommend”
Verified Purchase
By Courtney
on December 10, 2015
“This course rocked. I’m going to have my brother take it next. highly recommend”
Verified Purchase
By Anderson
on December 15, 2015
“I didn’t know there was so much to what trout eat. As a beginner angler this really opened my eyes to all that I can learn. Can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can get on the river.”
Verified Purchase
By Bill
on January 3, 2016

The Complete List of Insects for Fly Fishermen

midge adults


  • Stages: Nymph, Emerger, Dry
  • Sizes: #14-26
  • Colors: Any Color Imaginable


  • Stages: Nymph, Emerger, Dry, Spinner
  • Sizes: #6-26
  • Colors: Any Color Imaginable


  • Stages: Nymph, Pupa, Emerger, Dry
  • Sizes: #10-20
  • Colors: Blacks, Browns, Olives, Oranges, Tans


  • Stages: Nymph, Dry
  • Sizes: #6-18
  • Colors: Blacks, Browns, Oranges, Yellows, Olives, Tans
Scud_Gammaridae-960x637 (1)


  • Stages: Nymph
  • Sizes: #12-18
  • Colors: Greys, Pinks, Oranges, Olives, Blues, Whites, Two-Tones


  • Stages: Nymph
  • Sizes: #12-18
  • Colors: Greys, Pinks, Oranges, Olives, Blues, Whites, Two-Tones

Annelids (Worms)

  • Stages: Nymph
  • Sizes: #8-16
  • Colors: Reds, Pinks, Browns, Tans, Purples


  • Stages: Nymph, Dry
  • Sizes: #8-16
  • Colors: Blues, Tans, Olives
dragon dry


  • Stages: Nymph, Dry
  • Sizes: #6-14
  • Colors: Reds, Blacks, Tans, Olives, Blues
Water_boatman_Corixidae-960x637 (1)

Water Boatman

  • Stages: Nymph, Dry
  • Sizes: #10-16
  • Colors: Blacks, Olives, Tans, Browns


  • Stages: Dry
  • Sizes: #6-16
  • Colors: Browns, Olives, Pinks, Purples, Tans, Reds, Yellows


  • Stages: Dry
  • Sizes: #14-20
  • Colors: Blacks, Reds, Browns, Tans


  • Stages: Dry
  • Sizes: #12-18
  • Colors: Blacks, Olives, Browns, Purples, Blues

When you break it all down to these categories, it doesn’t look that overwhelming. Contained within this list is 99% of all the insects you’ll need in your fly box.

Sign up for the course and learn how to match that hatch - it's fun, very rewarding and you will catch lots more fish!