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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Lateral view of a Psychodidae True Fly Larva from Mystery Creek #308 in Washington
This wild-looking little thing completely puzzled me. At first I was thinking beetle or month larva, until I got a look at the pictures on the computer screen. I made a couple of incorrect guesses before entomologist Greg Courtney pointed me in the right direction with Psychodidae. He suggested a possible genus of Thornburghiella, but could not rule out some other members of the tribe Pericomini.
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 March 21, 2013

Updates from March 21, 2013

Closeup insects by Entoman from the Lower Yuba River in California

Female Skwala curvata (Perlodidae) (Large Springfly) Stonefly Adult from the Lower Yuba River in California
This female dropped her eggs just before this photo was snapped. The distinctive notch in the subgenital plate identifies the species. An interesting observation is how active they get when exposed to direct sunlight. Trying to stage this specimen was most difficult. In the shade it would calm right down, but when exposed to direct sun it would immediately go nuts, scampering all over quickly without pause. Perhaps this explains why they don't seem to be found out and about on overcast days, but if the sun peeks out... She was 24 mm long, head to wingtip.
Hesperoperla pacifica (Perlidae) (Golden Stone) Stonefly Nymph from the Lower Yuba River in California
This monster started to feed within a few minutes of sharing the inspection tray with its victims. This nymph is a voracious predator of small invertebrates and has even been noted for feeding on small fish and salmonid alevins. The niche it fills in fast water is equivalent to the Dragonfly nymphs that inhabit slower water.

Hesperoperla pacifica nymphs are easily distinguished from other western perlids by the presence of anal gills (obfuscated by algae in the tray) in combination with an hour glass shaped pale mark on the front of their heads.

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