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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

Lateral view of a Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing this one.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Updates from September 1, 2004

Updates from September 1, 2004

Photos by Troutnut from the Beaverkill River in New York

This is a really deep hole on a famous Catskill river.

From the Beaverkill River in New York
I missed one strike in this pool after taking the picture. It was a good fish that first showed itself with a telltale bulge and eddies below my fly, the sign of a nice trout refusing without quite breaking the surface. Five or ten drifts later it took convincingly, but I missed the hookset. That was the story that day -- missed hooksets. I didn't stay to fish this pool very long, because I tried to cross to fish it from the side that's on the right in the picture, obviously the best angle, and I found that what looked like an easy crossing near the tail was a swift, bouldery flat of very deceptive depth in the clear water. I found myself half-way across, past what had originally looked like the deepest water, only to find that the water that looked easiest was even swifter and deeper. I thought surely I was in for a swim, but somehow I made it back to the near bank dry and jumped in the car to head for less treacherous wading.

From the Beaverkill River in New York
The Beaverkill River in New York

Closeup insects by Troutnut from the Beaverkill River and Miscellaneous New York in New York

Male Epeorus vitreus (Heptageniidae) (Sulphur) Mayfly Dun from the Beaverkill River in New York
This is my favorite mayfly from 2004, and it appears on my popular Be the Trout: Eat Mayflies products. Check them out!

Its identification is really up in the air. It might be a late-season vitreus dun but it may very well be one of the more obscure species in that genus.
Female Isonychia bicolor (Isonychiidae) (Mahogany Dun) Mayfly Dun from the Beaverkill River in New York
Ruler view of a Female Baetidae (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from unknown in New York The smallest ruler marks are 1/16".
This little gal is of the usual size for Baetid mayflies, around size 20. She came with two tails, but it's kind of hard to transport size 20 mayflies without a little bit of damage.

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