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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Dorsal view of a Amphizoa (Amphizoidae) Beetle Larva from Sears Creek in Washington
This is the first of it's family I've seen, collected from a tiny, fishless stream in the Cascades. The three species of this genus all live in the Northwest and are predators that primarily eat stonefly nymphs Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019).
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.

By Troutnut on September 30th, 2022
A work trip took me to eastern Washington this fall, and I took some time to drive far out into the desert and explore a thin blue line on the map, where groundwater flowed through a channel I thought might be trouty. In one spot I wanted to try, the channel was dry, but I hunted around and found water. After a long hike over ground that looked like it should be crawling with rattlesnakes (although I fortunately didn't see any), I stepped in and started looking for trout. There were some.

Fishing mid-afternoon on a sunny day, I was pleasantly surprised to find the first fishable October Caddis (Dicosmoecus) hatch I've encountered. There weren't thick clouds of bugs, just a noticeable number of adults flitting around, enough to make trout that seemed generally lethargic rocket to the surface for anything resembling a decent imitation. One long run lined with bank-side alders, a conspicuous feature on this grassy-banked stream, held an exceptional number of caddisflies perching in the leaves, enough that at least a few would fly away when I shook the trunk of any tree. There were trout below these trees in slow, shallow water that would not ordinarily have held them. It was interesting to to see such a convincing example of trout moving between different habitats to pursue a particular food source.

Photos by Troutnut from Mystery Creek #306 in Washington

Mystery Creek # 306 in Washington
Mystery Creek # 306 in Washington
Mystery Creek # 306 in Washington
Mystery Creek # 306 in Washington
This was easily the fattest six-inch brown trout I've ever seen.
Mystery Creek # 306 in Washington
Mystery Creek # 306 in Washington
Mystery Creek # 306 in Washington
Mystery Creek # 306 in Washington
Mystery Creek # 306 in Washington
Mystery Creek # 306 in Washington

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