Stillwater Bugs

So Many Different Stillwater Bugs

Stillwaters produce lots of natural bugs for us to fish, not just the essential buzzers and imitative patterns which we have covered previously and to be fair a lot of people know about. But we do want to draw other bugs to your attention and these include Damsels (zygoptera), Shrimps (gammarus), Water Boatmen (corixa) and terrestrial and aquatic beetles (coleoptera).
Better results can be had by understanding the natural life in the stillwater and using naturals being hit by trout.  Check our stillwater margin fishing flies departments here
Often overlooked freshwater shrimps and water hog lice are among the most common food stuffs eaten by trout. Freshwater srhimps live around weedbeds and gravel. Averaging 12 to 18mm long with long antennae and two pairs of gaping legs and 5 pairs of swimming legs. They are curved. Often pale, transluscent brown / grey to orange. Infected by parasites these ofTen turn red which is fluorescent and attracts trout.

Shrimps can be found close to the margins and weeds

Check our shrimps department here

There are many stillwater flies imitating beetles. With over 4,000 aquatic and terrestrial beetles in the UK these are taken opportunistically by trout. Chafers particularly are found in the upland areas. Chafers or coch-y-bonddu is the welsh chafer. Chafers are about 1cm long and are brown with shell like wings. These are blown from deciduous trees and bushes on windy days in considerable numbers where they get gorged upon by trout.

Some trout develop a taste for aquatic beetles often small only 5mm long, these can often be seen swarming like buttons on the surface of still and slow moving waters.


Damsels are great fles for stillwaters, bright blue and green the adults provide stunning colour around waters edges. However a major food source for trout damsel nymphs are usually 1/2 to 1 inch long with a very streamlined body. The colors of damsel nymphs are acquired depending upon their environment. Most of these colours are olive, tan, and brown.

Fishing Techniques

These nymphs swim by a rapid movement of their abdomen. Damsel nymphs seem to have an inbred healthy fear of Trout from the minute they're just born - they head in support of weed cover. They may be generally found in the warmer shallows of the lake but also in larger weed beds in open water. When you can ultimately get out fishing try and fish around weedbeds in the water depth of four to eight feet for the best success. After casting the length of your preferred water bed allow the nymph to sink several feet. The natural insect often swims one or two feet then it rests. One of the best systems to copy is a long retrieve followed by a pause.  At the end of the retrieve pick up the fly leisurely out in the water as there could be a following trout that may attack the escaping nymph.  Trout will take advantage of damsel nymphs in the course of the year. The olive, claret or brown colored mature nymphs are more prevalent during late May up till August.

Damsel dries can be simply cast into the margins or pulled down through the surface to the edges of lakes where they lay their eggs.

Check our damsel nymph and fly department here

At close range the Corixa or waterboatman is a striking creature, its back is beautifully marked with dark brown or black dashes with bands of gold. It’s air supply (a small bubble on the underside of its abdomen) when at full capacity looks like a bead of mercury held between the legs. These go up and down to a maximum depth of about 4 to 6 feet on the edge of stillwaters.

Fish on a slow drop and lift, really simple very close to the margins. Check our water boatman department here

Foams For Your Terrestrials And More!

You will no doubt want the best quality foam for your flies be that in tubes or flat sheets

Click on the images below to see the different options available to you in what we think is the best quality foam available.

These foam tubes are water laser cut for precision shape and size every time!

Straggle Legs - perfect for your terrestrials and more!

Perfect for Legs and Hackles Semperfli wanted to produce a product that would create legs better than any synthetic material on the market. Expanding on the existing Straggle String they designed Straggle Legs. Changing the roduct to have longer 16mm crinkled strands spread sparely and without a UV fleck so they do not overlap. Why not twist two strands together of the same or an alternative colour for superb effects!

  • Ultra fine fritz - 2 bonded core
  • 16mm crinckled strands spread sparcely
  • Perfect for hackles & legs
  • Incredible range of colours
  • 6m per spool
  • Multicard of 10 colours available
Thanks to Paul Procter for these great Straggle Leg flies above.
Check Our Deadly And Quality Trout Fly & Other Fly Patterns
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