Bugs of the Underworld Review


Bugs, Bugs, Bugs! Ordinarily masses of bugs would be a bad thing. But to a trout bugs are dinner and the easier the pickins the better.

For years, we fly fishermen have been reading, watching tapes or DVDs and tying flies to imitate “Bugs of the Underworld” that trout inhabit. We have spent countless hours practicing our casting, getting a dead drift and making the perfect presentation to improve our catch rate. Unfortunately, we have been doing it wrong a lot of the time.

Ralph and Lisa Cutter have spent 11 years, 8 cameras, in 3 countries and lots of hours underwater in scuba gear filming the underwater world of bugs and trout. The result is the outstanding DVD “Bugs of the Underworld”. The bugs trout eat and flyfishermen try to imitate are very different underwater than our previous ideas.

Ralph and Lisa show why an unweighted stonefly is better for catching trout than a weighted one. Learn which stonefly emerges during the winter months. You will discover the life phase of midges that is completely untapped by the fly tying community. Find out which Caddis Fly crawls onto land to emerge into an adult (Present this type of caddis imitation as you would a stonefly crawling onto land). The caddis that returns underwater to lay eggs is a favorite trout meal (Fish this adult imitation as a nymph with one major difference in how the adult is tied).

Gain understanding of the importance of Damsel Flies in the trout food chain. Learn about damsel fly habitat, their swimming patterns and how they emerge into adults. The emergence pattern may affect how you fish the nymph pattern. Also see what an adult damsel  fly looks like when it crawls along underwater vegetation laying its eggs. This is a vulnerable stage in the life cycle. But even more so is the final ascent in the water column to the surface after the egg laying phase.

Gain insight into the four types of mayflies with excellent visual examples of each. Discover which mayfly crawls onto land to emerge into an adult. (Yes again fish the nymph like a stone fly crawling onto the land — that is let your nymph swing in toward the bank into shallower water. You never know when a big trout will be following and grab it just before the nymph becomes unavailable.)  One type of mayfly is an excellent swimmer. (The pictures I saw lead me to believe the old Zug bug pattern with square peacock herls for tails would be an excellent imitation. Or maybe pheasant tails depending on the nymph color.)

“Bugs of the Underworld” is a fascinating DVD and a must watch for any trout fly fisherman or fly tyer.


stone fly caught helpless in the current

Stone Fly floats helpless in stream current. Stone flies are poor swimmers.


emerging mayfly in the surface film

May Fly in the the surface film just prior to emergence. Note it is upside down with the shiny belly surface reflecting light. Also note how clear the trees are in the cone of vision. If you were a fisherman in this cone of vision, you would be very visible to a trout approaching the mayfly.

“Bugs of the Underworld” is an awe inspiring DVD. Ralph and Lisa Cutter have devoted 11 years to the exploration and filiming of the underwater world of trout and bugs to produce an educational DVD that is an enjoyable view. I definitely recommend this DVD to any fly fisherman, anyone interested in trout, fly tying, stream entomology, underwater biology, great photography or just fun viewing.

Visit www.flyline.com  for more information on this fine DVD, other products, and Ralph and Lisa Cutter’s California Fly Fishing School since 1981.

Tight Lines and Good Fishing,
Marshall, Editor
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