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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.

Lateral view of a Onocosmoecus (Limnephilidae) (Great Late-Summer Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen keys pretty easily to Onocosmoecus, and it closely resembles a specimen from Alaska which caddis expert Dave Ruiter recognized as this genus. As with that specimen, the only species in the genus documented in this area is Onocosmoecus unicolor, but Dave suggested for that specimen that there might be multiple not-yet-distinguished species under the unicolor umbrella and it would be best to stick with the genus-level ID. I'm doing the same for this one.
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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First trout of 2021!

First trout of 2021!

By Troutnut on April 8th, 2021
Friday I drove from the Seattle area out to Yakima, Washington, where a FEMA-run Covid vaccination clinic has so many extra doses and appointments that they're eagerly offering them to people who aren't yet officially eligible. (Washington is one of the last states to open the vaccine to everybody.) I'm looking forward to being able to safely travel on airplanes again and have at least a couple exciting fishing trips planned for this summer.

For now, I just wanted to catch the first fish of the year on my drive home via the Yakima Canyon.

The Yakima River in Washington


Action on the Yakima was slow, and I'm consistently frustrated there by the difficult access to good spots from the road-side bank. But I did see one single rise, then caught the fish on a nymph.

My first trout of 2021! Not a big one, but a start.
My first trout of 2021! Not a big one, but a start.


It's a start!

I also collected quite a few nymphs as an excuse to have some fun with the new microscope I got last fall. The highlight was probably finding a specimen of Heptagenia pulla, which isn't known from Washington or neighboring states.

Photos by Troutnut from the Yakima River in Washington

The Yakima River in Washington
My 7-month-old fishing buddy.

From the Yakima River in Washington
These bighorn ewes were watching over the Yakima as I fished.

From the Yakima River in Washington
My first trout of 2021! Not a big one, but a start.

Closeup insects by Troutnut from the Yakima River in Washington

Comments / replies

Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 12, 2021April 12th, 2021, 2:15 am EDT
That Yakima River looks awesome but it surely doesn't look very safe to wade.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Apr 12, 2021April 12th, 2021, 4:49 am EDT
Yeah, I've always been disappointed when I try to wade the Yakima, except in the far upper headwaters where the fish are small. It's just a bit too fast and deep to cross in most places, and I haven't found much good water accessible from castable spots of the road-side bank.

Last year on a float I found and remembered one really good spot to walk in and safely wade some nice water, and right now it's off-limits due to some construction.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Millcreek
Healdsburg, CA

Posts: 344
Millcreek on Apr 12, 2021April 12th, 2021, 7:27 am EDT
Enjoying your photos, especially of the insects. Photos of identifying characteristics are quite interesting.
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
-Albert Einstein
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 12, 2021April 12th, 2021, 11:58 am EDT
I wouldn't wade it without a PFD collar.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Partsman
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Apr 12, 2021April 12th, 2021, 11:03 pm EDT
Beautiful pictures as usual.
Mike.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Apr 13, 2021April 13th, 2021, 7:41 am EDT
Nice photos. Glad to hear you got your vaccination. My second dose of the Moderna vaccine comes Monday. Getting ready to travel and fish! Fishing has been good in Pennsylvania, with olives and grannoms, but we just had some storms that blew everything out locally. Waiting for levels to drop.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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