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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
Baetis

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.

Lateral view of a Clostoeca disjuncta (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one was surprisingly straightforward to identify. The lack of a sclerite at the base of the lateral hump narrows the field quite a bit, and the other options followed fairly obvious characteristics to Clostoeca, which only has one species, Clostoeca disjuncta.
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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By Troutnut on September 9th, 2020
I've been meaning to check out the scenic country headwaters of the Skykomish for a while, more for the scenery and variety than for the fish, which I expected to be mostly the same 6-12" rainbows and coastal cutthroats found in all the other rivers on the west slope of the Washington cascades. I was also looking to practice Euro nymphing some more, and the Foss River has some ideal stretches of pocket water for that. Starting late in the morning, I was successful early and often. Then, toward mid afternoon, the action shut down completely. I went from catching fish in every pocket to seeing no sign of them in extremely inviting pools. The water temperature was optimal, but the fish were just off.

For the last hour of daylight I drove to the South Fork Skykomish and fished a couple of promising pools. Fish finally started rising intensely right at dusk (to what, I'm not sure), and I caught six small rainbows on dries.

Throughout the day there were no noteworthy hatches, but I did find a couple of bugs worth photographing. I'm especially curious what a near-mature Ephemerellid nymph was doing in the river in mid-September, but I've not yet had time to put most of my recently collected specimens under the microscope and see what they are.

Photos by Troutnut from the Foss River and the South Fork Skykomish River in Washington

The Foss River in Washington
The South Fork Skykomish River in Washington
The Foss River in Washington
The Foss River in Washington
The Foss River in Washington
The Foss River in Washington
The Foss River in Washington
This logjam was a pretty serious obstacle moving upriver... the large log you see on the left is at least 3 feet in diameter.

From the Foss River in Washington
The Foss River in Washington
The Foss River in Washington
The Foss River in Washington
The Foss River in Washington
The Foss River in Washington
The Foss River in Washington
The Foss River in Washington
The Foss River in Washington
Sunlight perfectly strikes the trees at a bend in the Foss River in the Washington Cascades.

From the Foss River in Washington

Closeup insects by Troutnut from the Foss River in Washington

Male Doroneuria baumanni (Perlidae) (Golden Stone) Stonefly Adult from the Foss River in Washington
I found this stonefly on some streamside vegetation. I didn't see any in the air in several hours of fishing.
Dorsal view of a Ephemerella aurivillii (Ephemerellidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Foss River in Washington
This is a puzzling one to identify and I'm not sure about the species. The maxillary palp is present and segmented, and the maxillary canines are not strongly serrate laterally. I think it's Ephemerella, not Serratella. The ventral lamellae of the gills on abdominal segment 6 have a clear median notch with a depth at least half the length of the lamellae, which points toward a couple of uncommon species (most likely Ephemerella alleni), but the abdominal tubercles and coloration don't fit that species. To add to the confusion, none of the above species are expected to emerge in the fall, as far as I know. I'm going to call this one Ephemerella aurivillii for now, but that's highly uncertain.

Comments / replies

Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Sep 20, 2020September 20th, 2020, 8:33 am EDT
Looks like a fun day. Thanks for posting; I always enjoy seeing NW streams. My nephew lives near Portland, and, although we cancelled this year's tour, we are planning to fish together at least once a year after this one, fire and plague permitting.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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