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Fish Food

A Peek at the Fare that Drive Trout Crazy

(page 1 of 4)

The Wood River Valley is a trout lover’s Mecca. Cool, clean water and abundant insect life are the reasons why. Here we profile a few of the region’s most beloved bugs.



Insecta: Odonata
Suborder: Zygoptera

1. Emergence: May - August
2. Life Cycle: Egg, nymph, adult, spinner
3. Location: Riffles, runs and flats in slow moving water
4. Size: 8-12



“If you go out to fish and you don’t take a minute to look around, to listen to the birds and enjoy the view then you are missing so much,” said Phil Crabtree, who’s 73 and still works as a fly fishing guide for Silver Creek Outfitters. “I may be one of the oldest guides on the planet, but I still love it. I live vicariously through my clients. If they catch a fish, I catch a fish and that’s why I keep doing it,” Phil said with an easy smile, adding, “and there’s nothing like catching a fish on a dry fly.”

Damselflies are members of the dragonfly family and are some of the biggest and most striking dry flies (bugs that fish eat off the surface of the water). “We usually fish such small flies so it’s great when the big terrestrials come out. There’s nothing like watching a fish rise to a big fly,” Phil said.

In mid-summer, when the water at places like Silver Creek starts to weed up, the damselflies will hang around the weed pads, while the hungry trout linger along the pads’ edges waiting for them to slip off. “They’re everywhere at some point in the summer and that’s great for someone my age, because they’re easy to see,” Phil joked.

But Phil’s passion for fly fishing and sharing his love for the sport is no joke. “I’m going to keep doing this until I guess I can’t keep doing it,” he said. “I’ve been fishing for eons and I still learn something everyday. I’m lucky enough to be out there.”

-Mike McKenna, author of the award-winning "Gone Fishing" blog on


Sun Valley Magazine encourages its readers to post thoughtful and respectful comments on all of our online stories. Your comments may be edited for length and language.

Jun 18, 2011 10:56 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Great Photography love seeing the detail of the bugs.

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