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The Spruce Moth Hatch

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I can’t think of a more overlooked and misunderstood hatch than the Spruce Moth. Spruce Moths can be found all over the Rocky Mountain West from Arizona all the way through Canada.  The hatch occurs from late July into early September depending on the region of the country you are in. As its name implies, Spruce Moths inhabit coniferous forests near the water line.

Trout love feeding on Spruce Moths, and this activity produces excellent dry fly fishing at a time when most of the summertime hatches have finished for the season. The male and female look similar, the female being a big larger. Size ranges are typically 10 down to 14. The wings are variable in color, ranging from gray to orange-brown; they also may be banded or streaked.

Western Spruce Moth infestations are cyclical and their abundance is dependent on predation and environmental conditions. Abundances of spruce moths vary from year to year, but even on years with mild infestations this is an important terrestrial to imitate if you are fishing in August on waters like the Bitterroot, Madison, Yellowstone, Blackfoot, Green, just to name a few.

Don’t forget stillwaters either. If there are conifers around the waterline, there will be Spruce Moths!Until next time my fishy friends, pack it in, pack it out.  


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