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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 Skwala (Perlodidae) (Large Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This Skwala nymph still has a couple months left to go before hatching, but it's still a good representative of its species, which was extremely abundant in my sample for a stonefly of this size. It's obvious why the Yakima is known for its Skwala hatch.
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.

Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Apr 8, 2009April 8th, 2009, 10:45 am EDT
I feel a little silly asking this, because I feel like it's something I'm just expected as a fisherman to know, but I don't, so...

1) Are there easy ways to differentiate male and female trout?

2) Are there easy ways to differentiate male and female insects?

Photos would be appreciated (or references to photos on Troutnut).

Thanks in advance for the education that's sure to follow,
Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Apr 8, 2009April 8th, 2009, 11:27 am EDT
Shawn,

1) Gender is difficult to determine from appearance in young trout, but mature male specimens often retain some degree of kype. This gradually diminishes after the spawn, but some aspects of it are typically seen in a generally longer head/jaw. Spawning colors would also distinguish the sexes at/around spawning time. In addition, brown trout have a sexually dimorphic shape to the anal fin. The border of this fin curves slightly inward (concave) on females and curves outward (convex) on males.

2) The females of most mayflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies are larger (on average) than the males. Most (but not all) male mayflies have larger eyes than females. Male mayfly spinners also have longer forelegs and visible claspers at the end of their abdomens. The developing claspers can also be seen in many duns. Of course, you could always resort to looking at their "naughty bits" under a microscope.
Wbranch
Wbranch's profile picture
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Apr 8, 2009April 8th, 2009, 2:28 pm EDT
"Are there easy ways to differentiate male and female trout?"

Yes, male trout are always grabbing, or scratching, their anal fin and female trout usually have headaches and therefore don't rise as often as the males do.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Martinlf
Martinlf's profile picture
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Apr 8, 2009April 8th, 2009, 5:02 pm EDT
Two wonderful answers that are pretty representative of the levels of seriousness evident throughout this forum. Both contain the kind of responses that keep me reading posts here rather than elsewhere.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Shawnny3
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Apr 9, 2009April 9th, 2009, 1:49 am EDT
Yes, thanks to both you gentlemen.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
Patcrisci
Lagrangeville, NY

Posts: 119
Patcrisci on Apr 9, 2009April 9th, 2009, 5:41 am EDT
I agree... there is a really good mix of posters in the forum that helps to keep the flow interesting, fun and educational.

Now I'm wondering...hmm...is there any data to suggest that male trout are more easily duped than females (or vice-versa) by anglers?
Pat Crisci
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Apr 9, 2009April 9th, 2009, 6:00 am EDT
...is there any data to suggest that male trout are more easily duped than females (or vice-versa) by anglers?


This is strictly anecdotal, Pat, but I would say that we are generally more successful at duping male trout than we are at duping women. (Or did I misunderstand your question?)
Patcrisci
Lagrangeville, NY

Posts: 119
Patcrisci on Apr 9, 2009April 9th, 2009, 6:37 am EDT
Agreed, Gonzo. The question is, though, which are easier to catch, female or male trout? This could be the basic premise of a very funny tongue-in-cheek fishing essay, ala Sparse Grey Hackle, who is one of my all-time faves.
Pat Crisci
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Apr 9, 2009April 9th, 2009, 6:49 am EDT
I think you should write that essay before Matt beats you to it, Pat. He's already got a head start, and his witty observation about the differences between male and female trout might be right on target. Perhaps gender differences are more universal than we know! ;)

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