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Aquatic Bugology Reviews

The class focused on identifying bugs.  We started off in the classroom, but the real "Aha!" moments came on the water when we collected and inspected real bugs.

It was interesting to directly observe that different kinds of habitat have different kinds of bugs.  I had read this a zillion times but to actually observe it was compelling.  The class time before heading out to the water prepared us to understand what we had collected and by the end of the day it all stuck.

What I got out of the course is an appreciation for the actual bugs.  Having collected them and just watched them will by itself increase my appreciation for the sport.  I am not even sure why this is so, but I already feel it.  Seeing mayflies swim was really cool, and seeing the size of the hellgramites was a WOW experience.  Stoneflies look like serious bad-asses.  The clinger mayflies look like they want to play the same game, but I wouldn't bet on them.  For me, after the class, the bugs now have personalities!

Fred Mueller

April 20, 2015

24 hours after taking your Bugology class I am just beginning to assimilate all of the material you guys presented in such a clear and cheerful manner yesterday. I've read about these insects, observed pictures and videos, but until yesterday I never actually got out on the river to see for myself the insect life that abounds underwater. You guys have opened my eyes to an underwater world!

Steve Gross

April 20, 2015

On Saturday, 4/19, I took the "Bugology" class put on by you and Jon Sweatman. Any class you can apply right away is a well planned class. Jon made the class interesting and fun. He gave us only the technical information we need, not too much to bog us down. And then to go on the river and find specimens we talked about in class reinforced the instruction. I really liked how you and Jon talked about the specimens and the flies to use to imitate them when we got back to the shop. I would HIGHLY recommend anyone wanting to take their fly fishing to the next level to take the class.

So today, 4/22, I put my new found knowledge to work. It even produced a fish for me! I was fishing the Newfound River in Bristol, NH and because the water is still pretty cold I started out throwing meaty streamers at the fish. After not producing a single bite, I kicked up some rocks and used my seine to catch whatever came up. Thanks to the class, I was able to identify mayfly nymphs and some helgramites. So I put on a size 8, black woolybugger, to match the helgramites, and in less than 10 casts, BANG, a nice 18 inch rainbow.

Thank you for providing such an interesting and interactive class. Like your guiding services, it was top notch! I'll be sure to look for other classes you may offer at your shop.

Ted Corea

April 22, 2014

On a Saturday in May this year I had my introduction to real live aquatic invertebrates or, more simply, water bugs. The Evening Sun Fly Shop runs a class in "Bugology" a couple of times every Spring and this year I got to attend one. I drove a solid hour to Pepperell to attend the class, but it was well worth it. The morning was spent going over the anatomy of aquatic insects and making it possible for us to distinguish in a general way between mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, dragonflies, damselflies, and midges. We learned about the parts of these creatures and the differences between them. The class was a bit of a slog, but it was necessary preparation for the glorious afternoon.

After lunch we went out to the local streams and stirred up the bottom with our feet to dislodge whatever lived on the rocks, under the rocks, or in the sand. In our nets, we collected all kinds of interesting bugs of an amazing variety from both the Nissitisset and the Squannacook.

The most surprising revelation for me was the great difference between the varieties we found in the two streams. In hindsight, it seems obvious that different ecologies should harbor different bugs. I hadn't realized that until I saw it so starkly with my own eyes. I will be much more selective in my choice of flies for these rivers in the future and I will probably root around in the stream bottom before tying on a fly or nymph.

The class was super, especially the field work and rummaging around in stream bottoms turned out to be lots of fun. It was well worth the tuition and not fishing for a day (although I picked up a nice rainbow in the pool downstream of the Route 111 bridge after class). Thanks, Charlie!

Charlie Bolthrunis

June 8, 2013

What a fun informative day of "everything water buggy!" Three years ago I had the pleasure of attending an Aquatic Entomology primer during a NH BOW Fly Fishing Weekend. There wasn't enough time in that weekend to cover that vast wonderful world of water insects. It did provide enough of a primer to make me want to know more about what a fish wants and needs! Jon Sweatman's and your presentation and information during the recent day-long Bugology class, was spot on for filling in the blanks from that prior introduction to Aquatic Entomology. The productive insect collection and inspection from our river field trips, was the perfect hands-on experience for reinforcing the class time. Bugology enhanced my appreciation for what lies beneath that cool reflective surface and how it relates to my success in fly fishing! The mantras of "match the hatch," and "be the bug" have more relevance now! Can I really be entertaining the thought of my own aquatic insect collection? Yes! Just one more vise (not the tying bench variety:-) to add to fly fishing passion! A girl could have worse habits! Thanks Charlie and Jon!

Lyn Vignola

May 13, 2013

"Bugology" was the most important "life-changing" class I've attended since Bar Exam preparation!

Ed Gorman

South Boston, MA

April 30, 2013

Good Morning Charlie,

I wanted to drop you a line to thank you for your efforts on Saturday’s bug class. I found the class to be a lot of fun, extremely informative and you have “lifted the veil” on the sometimes confusing aspects of identifying the insects that the fish are using for food.

I truly wish I had taken a course like this ten years ago: It’s one thing to think I can tie a pretty good stonefly pattern, it’s something else to know exactly what the shapes, sizes, and colors of the stonefly’s are in our local rivers. Now I do. As well as the other major insects.

In short, it was much more informative to use the screens, or turn over rocks to collect insects, rather than looking at photos in a book. And getting back to the shop to more closely examine them, and compare the bugs to the popular patterns was very helpful. As you know, I have now started my own collection of the local bugs to help and assist in my tying efforts, nothing beats having the real deal readily available to use as a model.

After taking the class, I think this information/knowledge is more important than learning to cast!

Last but not least, I can’t say enough good things about Jon Sweatman’s expertise, passionate enthusiasm, and how much fun we had joking around on the river, while continuing to learn the whole time. Great guy and a great instructor.

Even the lunch was good!

Thanks again for putting together such an informative class,

Rich LaBombard

Townsend, MA

April 30, 2013

I really appreciate your making my son so welcome at your fly shop this last weekend for the bugology class. Being just 11, he really appreciated the all-too-rare experience of being spoken to like one of the grown ups. The highly informative class and the other fishermen made a big impression on him. I wish you could have seen him showing off his bug collection to his Mom after we got was easy to tell he really had a good time.

I would definitely recommend the class to anyone interested in learning the 'fundamental' information to help them with their enjoyment of fishing, or even someone who just wants to view nature from a new perspective. As the father of a young son, I had a different reason to take the class: to spend some quality fun time with my boy. The class exceeded expectations on all counts. Not only did we have a grand time together, we learned a LOT about life in the streams, some of which was completely unexpected. I never knew about pill clams, or darters, let alone many of the actual bugs the class focused on. The abundance of life is in the Squannacook and Nissitissit is truly eye-popping, now that we know where (and how) to look. A hearty thank you to both you and John for a fun and truly memorable day!

Matt Ashby

April 11, 2012

Charlie and John put together a class that brought to life a lot of things I have read about in trout fly fishing books. I was amazed to actually see the variety of bugs that live in the waters I have been fishing. This class opened my eyes to why and how I should be fishing all the flies I have in my fly box. On top of that, I had a lot of fun and met a great group of guys!

Jack Josephs

April 8, 2012