With Susan Brown & Team @ The Irish Game Fair - Shanes Castle
25th & 26th June 2022


Bugs Life at The Antrim Fly Fair 25th & 26th June 2022


The study of insects with Susan Brown and Team.
Especially interesting for the anglers, educational and the kids love it. For the trout angler knowing a little entomology will often help you catch more fish, it’s as simple as that. If you’re just starting out, or even if you’re a seasoned fly angler, learning some entomology can help you improve your fly fishing leaps and bounds.

One of the hurdles to overcome as a fly angler is that of matching the hatch or simply knowing what type of fly to tie onto the end of your tippet. This will help you with that. Learn how to identify the different types of insects you’ll encounter on the water and put that knowledge to use by selecting a suitable fly pattern. Fish eat insects and as a fisher, you want to know which insects your trout is feeding on !

To do that, it is very helpful to understand some basic fly-fishing entomology. Mayflies, Caddis, stoneflies, midges, crustaceans and terrestrials all play a big factor in a trout’s diet. Caddis and stoneflies like mayflies go through an important life cycle which when understood will help every fly angler become more successful. 

Some of the species displayed at The Antrim Fly Fair might include Corixa, freshwater shrimp, midge larva, hoglouse, pond snail, water boatman, leech, cased caddisfly larva, water mite, and damselfly nymph.


The Entomology Display at The Antrim Fly Fair. It was amazing and something that fascinated both young and old. I know my grandchildren absolutely loved this feature of the show. Well done Susan Brown Maddy Kelly & Dorothy who took time and patience with each of the children and explained about each of the bugs … Who knew that one stuck his tail out of the water to breathe? AND there was a greater diving beetle nymph who was in its element. He reckoned he was at an eat all you can buffet!! Well done to everyone involved thank you for your time, expertise and bringing happiness to every child you worked with.

Children and Adults Entomology at The Antrim Fly Fair 25th & 26th June 2022 Children and Adults Entomology at The Antrim Fly Fair 25th & 26th June 2022


Ask Susan about the creatures

I've been fishing for 50 years, flyfishing for the last 22 years. I'm very proud to have recently qualified as an Angling Trust L2 Lead Angling Coach. Invertebrates are my passion and I'm always learning, I really like tying flies to try and imitate them. At the North West Angling Show a few weeks ago I saw my first agile darter and a small lamphrey. I won't have all the answers but just want to help people look at the invertebrates and learn what they are and how to imitate them. I have lots of laminates of invertebrates and a book. No way am I an expert but hope to help people learn more.

Children and adults at The Antrim Fly Fair 2022 - Entomology Display
Dorothy & Matthew at The Antrim Fly Fair 2022 - Entomology Display


Caddisfly Larva  

Caddisflies are a large order of insects that can be found in all kinds of wetlands. The larvae are known for making cases to pupate in, gathering stones, sand and leaves, and wrapping them with silk.

Caddisfly larvae live underwater, where they make cases by spinning together stones, sand, leaves and twigs with a silk they secrete from glands around the mouth. Most larvae live in these shelters, which can either be fixed or transportable, though a few species are free-swimming and only construct shelters when they’re ready to pupate.

Waterlouse (Asellus aquaticus)Image by Charles J Sharp


Water lice are fascinating creatures. Also called water slaters or water hog-louse, their resemblance to woodlice is not a coincidence as they both types of isopod, a group of crustaceans. This means they are more closely related to crabs and lobsters than the insects like water boatman and dragonfly larvae with which they share the pond.

Corixa Punctata

WATER BOATMAN - Corixa Punctata

Water boatmen are common and widespread throughout Britain – you’ll find them in most weedy ponds, lakes and slow-flowing rivers. They spend most of their time at the bottom, coming to the surface only to renew their air supply. Males attract females with a ‘courtship song’, produce by rubbing their front legs against a ridge on their head. Females lay single eggs, which they attach to plant stems or floating algae.

Partridge & Cadence & Semperfli Sponsors of The Antrim Fly Fair 2022