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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.

Dorsal view of a Setvena wahkeena (Perlodidae) (Wahkeena Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from Mystery Creek #199 in Washington
As far as I can tell, this species has only previously been reported from one site in Oregon along the Columbia gorge. However, the key characteristics are fairly unmistakable in all except for one minor detail:
— 4 small yellow spots on frons visible in photos
— Narrow occipital spinule row curves forward (but doesn’t quite meet on stem of ecdysial suture, as it's supposed to in this species)
— Short spinules on anterior margin of front legs
— Short rposterior row of blunt spinules on abdominal tergae, rather than elongated spinules dorsally
I caught several of these mature nymphs in the fishless, tiny headwaters of a creek high in the Wenatchee Mountains.
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.
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Evening on the upper Ruby

Evening on the upper Ruby

By Troutnut on July 6th, 2019
After camping atop the Gravelly Range and mostly dodging thunderstorms throughout the day, we set up to camp in the evening at Cottonwood Campground along the upper Ruby and drove to fish a nearby reach that looked good on Google Earth. There wasn't much visible bug activity and I didn't see a single fish, but I did manage to find five small to medium rainbows on nymphs and soft-hackles.

Photos by Troutnut from the Ruby River in Montana

Open country way up in the headwaters of the Ruby near the Gravelly Range road.

From the Ruby River in Montana
The Ruby River in Montana
One of five small-medium rainbows I caught on the Ruby despite high water from a recent thundershower.
The Ruby River in Montana
Headwaters of the Ruby.

From the Ruby River in Montana

Closeup insects by Troutnut from the Ruby River in Montana

Ruler view of a Male Drunella (Ephemerellidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from the Ruby River in Montana The smallest ruler marks are 1 mm.

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