Photo from Rick Hafele

Entomology, Western Hatches, and Oregon Fly Selection with Rick Hafele

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In Episode 178 we WadeOutThere with Rick Hafele, from Salem, Oregon.  Rick grew up on a farm, with a fascination for the outdoors and his surroundings, including bugs.  He began fly fishing in Missouri at the age of twelve, and fell in love with the trout he caught in the Ozarks. 

When the time for college came, Rick headed west and to Western Washington and later Oregon State where he earned a masters degree in aquatic entomology.  He is the author of several fly fishing books, including The Complete Book of Western Hatches, which he co-authored with Dave Hughes. 

We discuss how understanding the stages of life of aquatic insects can help you catch fish, the timeline of fishing a hatch, and some of Ricks favorite flies for fishing around his home waters in Oregon.

It doesn’t matter how much I read or how much I know about what should be happening. I need to figure out what is happening when I get there.

Rick Hafele


We usually plan ahead for our day on the water. Whether it is our once a year trip or just a drive down the road to our local river. I typically will check flows, look at weather patterns, and check fishing reports. A stop by the guide shop might even help. But all that goes out the door when you are on the river and your plan A is coming up short.

Rick’s knowledge of insects and hatches is a gold mine. Talking with him reminds me that a trout’s food source is on it’s terms. We have to adjust to what they are eating and where. Knowing more about the behavior of these tiny (and maybe not so tiny) creatures will go a long way to giving us problem solving tools while fishing.

It’s just another part of the complexity of fly fishing, but it’s a big part. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to hear Rick’s take, and I suspect we can all take something away from his years of experience.

Thanks for listening.

VR- Jason

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Anatomy of a Trout Stream Video

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