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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.

Dorsal view of a Grammotaulius betteni (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This is a striking caddis larva with an interesting color pattern on the head. Here are some characteristics I was able to see under the microscope, but could not easily expose for a picture:
- The prosternal horn is present.
- The mandible is clearly toothed, not formed into a uniform scraper blade.
- The seems to be only 2 major setae on the ventral edge of the hind femur.
- Chloride epithelia seem to be absent from the dorsal side of any abdominal segments.
Based on these characteristics and the ones more easily visible from the pictures, this seems to be Grammotaulius. The key's description of the case is spot-on: "Case cylindrical, made of longitudinally arranged sedge or similar leaves," as is the description of the markings on the head, "Dorsum of head light brownish yellow with numerous discrete, small, dark spots." The spot pattern on the head is a very good match to figure 19.312 of Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019). The species ID is based on Grammotaulius betteni being the only species of this genus known in Washington state.
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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Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Jun 11, 2010June 11th, 2010, 3:05 am EDT
I live between Johnstown and Altoona. I would like to harvest a few rock bass to cook for my mom. At 78 years of age I think she deserves some fillets. Can anyone suggest a place to pursue them? I'm not asking for your secret place just an area.
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Jun 11, 2010June 11th, 2010, 5:50 am EDT
Any good size stream in PA that has smallmouth will usually have a rock bass population as well. I'm from the area about halfway between Erie and Meadville and don't know your area very well. But if you're willing to drive a little ways, the Juniata anywhere below the junction if the branches is loaded with Rockies. I've also caught a lot of them in the lower Frankstown Br. while fishing for smallmouth.

Stream Rock Bass will often have a number of little icicle-like parasites on their flanks. I once had a biologist tell me these were a very early life stage of a species of fresh water clam and were harmless, even if they look a little funky. If you find them objectionable,just skin the fillet and they'll come away with the skin. I know I've eaten a pile of rock bass in this condition over the years and other than these uncontrollable tic in my left eye (just kidding..) I'm none the worse for it.

In streams where they cohabitate with smallmouth, you'll always find the rock bass in the holding lies where the water is not moving fast enough for the bass. Along very slow banks, in backwaters with downed timber, etc. Those sorts of places. They're also a very gregarious fish. If you catch one out of a spot, chances are good there are at least a dozen more right there.

They fight like a wet gym sock, but they're great eating.
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Jun 11, 2010June 11th, 2010, 6:02 am EDT
I live between Johnstown and altoona not far from the river. I used to fish the Mount Union area, but I heard some guys say there weren't many rock bass left. I guess it has soemothing do with that ongoing problem with disease.
Vinlflyfish's profile picture
northern cambria

Posts: 42
Vinlflyfish on Jun 14, 2010June 14th, 2010, 10:14 am EDT
chest creek is a good spot for rock bass and small mouth
trout; a mans best friend

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