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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

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 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.
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.

Fun day on Rock Creek

Fun day on Rock Creek

By Troutnut on July 8th, 2019
July 9th was the fishiest day of the wife-oriented portion of this Montana trip. After a late-morning start, we drove the scenic highway from Philipsburg to Rock Creek and then down the valley to a spot that fished really well last year. My backpack included a Jetboil, can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup, a Mountain House meal, tea, apples, a large book about genetics, and several other unconventional amenities designed to keep everybody happy on the river for 8+ hours. It worked, I think.

The fishing was good for most places and alright for here. Nymphs were surprisingly ineffective and most fish rose to dries instead. I caught quite a few decent cutthroat and brown trout, along with one brookie, although nothing exceeded 15 inches. Rainbows remained in hiding. Lena caught a nice cutthroat, too.

Photos by Troutnut from Rock Creek in Montana

Rock Creek in Montana
Rock Creek in Montana
Rock Creek in Montana
Rock Creek in Montana
Rock Creek in Montana
Rock Creek in Montana
Rock Creek in Montana
Rock Creek in Montana
Rock Creek in Montana

Closeup insects by Troutnut from Rock Creek in Montana

Lateral view of a Male Ephemerella tibialis (Ephemerellidae) (Little Western Dark Hendrickson) Mayfly Dun from Rock Creek in Montana
Lateral view of a Alloperla (Chloroperlidae) (Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Rock Creek in Montana
Lateral view of a Male Glossosoma alascense (Glossosomatidae) (Saddle-case Maker) Caddisfly Adult from Rock Creek in Montana
I lost track of this specimen before I could get it under my microscope, but caddis expert Dave Ruiter was able to identify it from pictures as Glossosoma, with an uncertain suggestion of G. alascense as the most likely species.

Comments / replies

Iasgair's profile picture

Posts: 148
Iasgair on Jul 25, 2019July 25th, 2019, 4:01 am EDT
Wonderful photo's Jason. The waters look very good, unlike here where the creeks are still flowing fast and hard due to our late snow pack.
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jul 25, 2019July 25th, 2019, 5:31 am EDT
Montana had that late snow pack, too. Some rivers were more out-of-shape from it than others. Rock Creek was high, but it's pretty resilient and stays in fishable condition with some extra water.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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