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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.
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.

SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse

Posts: 71
Jjlyon01 on Apr 10, 2008April 10th, 2008, 10:18 am EDT
We had a professional casting instructor all lined up to give us a casting clinic on Wedding Pond in Liverpool. Unfortunately, he had a loss in the family recently and was unable to attend. So I decided the show must go on. We had a small showing, but it was nice to see them there. We decided we ought to skip the pond and go straight to the trout. We headed down to Butternut Creek and found ourselves facing the wind with every cast. Luckily the students were very understanding and enthusiastic even though they were only able to wet an indicator. Dan, Woody and myself who all had licenses were able to catch fish while we taught our few eager students. We were able to catch and release a few and show them the beauty that is a brown trout. All in all I think our first off campus event was a great success. We will be back on Butternut in a few weeks doing electroshocking and stream surveys with Trout Unlimited and other organizations on the 26th.
"I now walk into the wild"
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Apr 10, 2008April 10th, 2008, 11:57 am EDT
That's OK. Tell them that sometimes even experienced fishermen do nothing more than wet an indicator. In the immortal words of Steven Wright: "There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot."

I know I've crossed that line many times.

Good job with the ambassador work - keep it up.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
argyle ny near saratoga

Posts: 48
Flyfisher06 on Apr 10, 2008April 10th, 2008, 12:11 pm EDT
Well Jamie sounds like you guys all had fun and your main purpose is to get more people into the sport and teaching them respect for the fish and the waters how could there be a better day than that.
IF I am not flyfishing or bird hunting I must be doing something bad like working !!

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