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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.

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.

Failed attempt at the Ruby

Failed attempt at the Ruby

By Troutnut on July 7th, 2019
I tried for a couple hours to fish the Ruby River at a public fishing access site below the reservoir, but nothing was happening. The water was pretty high and off-color, probably thanks to recent thunderstorms. I don't think I even found a strike, but I did collect a couple good bugs.

Photos by Troutnut from the Ruby River in Montana

The Ruby River in Montana

Closeup insects by Troutnut from the Ruby River in Montana

Lateral view of a Male Rhithrogena hageni (Heptageniidae) (Western Black Quill) Mayfly Spinner from the Ruby River in Montana
Although I could not find the preserved specimen to examine under my good new microscope, I'm tentatively calling it one Rhithrogena hageni, based on apparent similarity to this specimen, which I was able to positively ID.

The relative angle of the penes is a bit shallower in this specimen, but I photographed another specimen from the same collecting trip (and I think even the same swarm, although I don't recall for sure) as the other one, and it had the shallower angle seen on this specimen. I'm guessing it's just variation within the species.
Lateral view of a Male Hydropsychidae Caddisfly Adult from the Ruby River in Montana

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