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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.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
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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Chris_3g has attached this picture. The message is below.
I was told that the mark on his side is a lamprey mark.
Posts: 59
Chris_3g on Nov 21, 2007November 21st, 2007, 7:19 am EST
I nabbed a 14-15" female brown (my first lake run) and headed upstream to land this mean looking dude, both on a streamer I tied, which makes things that much more satisfying. I don't have a tape, but scaling from the photograph puts this guy at 20-21". It was definitely a change from the 8-10" rainbows I've been catching over the past few weekends.

Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Nov 21, 2007November 21st, 2007, 8:38 am EST
Nice fish. Interesting about the lamprey mark.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Northwest PA

Posts: 87
Grannom on Nov 21, 2007November 21st, 2007, 9:03 am EST
Gorgeous brown...It is rare the we get a lake run in Erie...
"Be calm - you're there..." "...Tell yourself there's no rush, even if there is."

-John Gierach
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Nov 23, 2007November 23rd, 2007, 1:40 pm EST
A HEAVY 20-21", I'd say. Nice fish, Casey. Too bad they stopped the lamprey treatments in Cayuga before they were finished. Idiots.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
State College, PA

Posts: 103
Smallstream on Nov 28, 2007November 28th, 2007, 2:57 pm EST
very nice! are those fish wild or fingerlings or do they actually stock brown trout in the lake?
Posts: 59
Chris_3g on Nov 29, 2007November 29th, 2007, 10:52 am EST
Hey Smallstream. This year the NY DEC stocked 24,960 eight to nine inch browns in Cayuga Lake, and they did the same last year. They also stock comparable numbers of landlocked salmon and lake trout. I don't know whether this guy was wild or stocked, but he's been around long enough that I would respectfully refer to him as wild.

Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Nov 29, 2007November 29th, 2007, 12:05 pm EST
Oops, I congratulated the wrong guy. Congratulations, CHRIS. Glad to see there are still a few big ones in Cayuga. I've heard bad things about it for the past several years. My dad, who used to be a daily lake fisherman in late Spring, went no more than a couple of times last year.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis

Posts: 59
Davez on Dec 7, 2007December 7th, 2007, 12:14 am EST
nice fish. 10 years ago that place rocked. landlocked atlantics and browns in the most "landable" sizes and lots of them too. I've heard its pretty BAD these days with crowds. and its a small stream.

he looks better than 20" to me, but what he lacks in length surely makes up for in attitude and girth!

Nice fish.

Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 15, 2008March 15th, 2008, 1:09 am EDT
That looks to be a huge 20" - 21" brown - maybe Chris is too modest looks like it could be 22" - 23".
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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