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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Dorsal view of a Zapada cinctipes (Nemouridae) (Tiny Winter Black) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Nymphs of this species were fairly common in late-winter kick net samples from the upper Yakima River. Although I could not find a key to species of Zapada nymphs, a revision of the Nemouridae family by Baumann (1975) includes the following helpful sentence: "2 cervical gills on each side of midline, 1 arising inside and 1 outside of lateral cervical sclerites, usually single and elongate, sometimes constricted but with 3 or 4 branches arising beyond gill base in Zapada cinctipes." This specimen clearly has the branches and is within the range of that species.
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.

Grayling & bugs on the upper Gulkana River

Grayling & bugs on the upper Gulkana River

By Troutnut on July 16th, 2011
We went sightseeing in the Alaska Range on Sunday and made a quick stop near where the Gulkana River crosses the Denali Highway. Wader issues prevented us from venturing very far, so we were confined to a long stretch of easily accessed pocket water containing about two pockets, which held one nice grayling for each of us. Once again, Lena caught the first fish, giving my neuroscientist wife her chance to debut as a fashion model for the Troutnut store:



(Any wives reading this can buy "I outfish my husband" stuff here.)

I also collected some nymphs and a beautiful Drunella doddsii dun to photograph.

Photos by Troutnut from the Gulkana River and Miscellaneous Alaska in Alaska

The Gulkana River in Alaska
Rainbow Mountain in the Alaska Range, one of the prettiest pieces of the Richardson Highway.

From Richardson Highway in Alaska
Richardson Highway in Alaska
Richardson Highway in Alaska
I think this is Lena's nicest grayling yet, around 16 inches.
Richardson Highway in Alaska
Richardson Highway in Alaska
The Delta River and the Alaska Range in the distance.

From Richardson Highway in Alaska
Richardson Highway in Alaska
A moose feeds in wetlands in the Delta River Valley.

From Richardson Highway in Alaska
The Gulkana River in Alaska
Richardson Highway in Alaska
The Gulkana River in Alaska

Underwater photos by Troutnut from the Gulkana River in Alaska

The Gulkana River in Alaska

Closeup insects by Troutnut from the Gulkana River in Alaska

Comments / replies

Troutnut
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Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jul 20, 2011July 20th, 2011, 1:16 am EDT
I'm hoping some of you guys can help refine a few of these IDs.

I'm especially curious about the species of Cinygmula for these three nymphs. One of them is just an oddball, lacking the protruding mouthparts that are normally a key characteristic of the genus. It was the only one I found like that. The other two represent the two main types of nymphs I found in abundance, one with much more prominent white markings than the other. Species recorded previously in Alaska are Cinygmula mimus, Cinygmula par, Cinygmula subaequalis, and Cinygmula tarda.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Konchu
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Site Editor
Indiana

Posts: 498
Konchu on Jul 20, 2011July 20th, 2011, 4:31 am EDT
if someone figures out the nymph associations for western Cinygmula, and can id the species, let me know...
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jul 20, 2011July 20th, 2011, 5:49 am EDT
Womderful pics you two! You are on a roll...

Looks like you are having fun up there...You on vacation or have you finished up on the PhD?

The weather looks nice from where I sit. Alaska's an interesting place and for the most part I think we have images here of its always being under ice and cold...The few months of warmth are pretty intense for nature...A lot has to happen in a short time...Wildflowers in bloom and just about every creature on a serious feed! Winter is always, "just around the corner".

Thanks for including us J & L...Wish we were there!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Troutnut
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Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jul 20, 2011July 20th, 2011, 9:13 am EDT
You on vacation or have you finished up on the PhD?


Still working like crazy! Summers up here mean "work hard & play hard."
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Entoman
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Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Jul 20, 2011July 20th, 2011, 10:14 am EDT
Luke -
if someone figures out the nymph associations for western Cinygmula, and can id the species, let me know...


Excellent point that can be applied to genera in a lot of families. The best we can do with photos of the "tough ones" is apply descriptions from science/reputable angling texts as best we can and go with what seems most reasonable. The most often used words should be "probably" and "possibly". If info comes along later refuting the placement, we'll just have to move them. I think this a better way to go then simply throwing everything into familial or generic categories unless determinations can be made with absolute certainty (which is impossible with most photos in the first place). But this is the angler in me speaking.:)

Regards,

Kurt

"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Konchu
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Indiana

Posts: 498
Konchu on Jul 20, 2011July 20th, 2011, 3:30 pm EDT
But this is the angler in me speaking.:)


:) indeed
Motrout
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Posts: 319
Motrout on Jul 23, 2011July 23rd, 2011, 3:16 pm EDT
I enjoyed the post. My father grew up in that part of Alaska and the Gulkana was one of his favorite rivers. He talks about that river all the time to this day, so I found this pretty interesting. Great pictures, thanks a lot!

"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
Entoman
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Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Jul 27, 2011July 27th, 2011, 3:25 pm EDT
Hi Luke -

If info comes along later refuting the placement, we'll just have to move them... But this is the angler in me speaking.:)


:)Indeed


Just to clarify, you do understand I meant for angler oriented sites right? Don't want you to think I'm a total luddite.:)

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman

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