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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.

Oldredbarn has attached these 3 pictures. The message is below.
Modelling his waders...I got these for his uncle when he was his age in the mid-90's...They look like new and he was very pleased that they fit.
He looks pretty serious here with that Sage & Hardy in his hands...Even though he's never fished before.
3/4's of "Our Crew". When one of the guys asked him what year he was born he said 1998...He then looked at me and winked, "Wasn't that just yesterday?"
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 14, 2010September 14th, 2010, 4:32 am EDT
This past weekend I took my nephew Jacob (he's 11, but kept telling me he'll be 12 in a few days) up to the Au Sable for the annual river clean up put on by the Angler's of the Au Sable. I wanted to expose him a bit to our obsession and see if he might not have an interest in it.

We fished one evening at Daisy Bend on the South Branch of the Au Sable. I tried to get a brookie to sacrifice himself but no-such-luck. He had never fished before...period.

We went out looking for deer one evening and I lost a bet that we would see 20 deer between the Lodge and Lovell's. When he was at the counter getting his candy bar he told the ladies behind the counter how he had won it. They told him that, "On any given night young man your uncle would of won that bet!" We saw 29 in all by the time we made it back to the Lodge.

He waded and helped clean up a heavily canoed section from Chase Bridge to Forest Rest on the South Branch. This is the beginning of the Mason Tract. We found shoes, water bottles, beer bottles, plastic lighters, a nearly in perfect shape cassette tape, "The Greatest Hits of Roger Whittaker" (Who knew?), and some weird thing that looked like a homemade spearing rig.

On Sunday I decided to show him his uncle's other obsession birding. We visited the Mason Tract, the north side of Higgins Lake State park, the Houghton Lake Flooding, the Dead Stream Flooding & Reedsburg Dam, and finally the Maple River Wildlife Area!

He was a little confused with the "Life Bird" concept and kept asking me, when we spotted something new, "Is that a life bird?" I told him that since he's grown up in the city that pretty much every bird's a life bird to him...Write it down! We saw over the weekend wild turkey, kingfishers, great blue herons, great egrets, sand hill cranes, spotted sandpipers, ringed-billed gulls, pied-billed grebes, a pair of trumpeter swans, an American bittern, and his first ever male woody (wood duck)! Not bad, eh!

At Higgins Lake, a place I used to sneak in to with a friend back when I was 16 and sleep down on the beach, I stood him in front of a White Pine that they estimate started it's life there in 1854...I leaned down and said, "And you think 12's something!"

I was surprised on how well he hung with the old man and he didn't fall out until we were somewhere between Lansing & Detroit and he finally slept...I deposited him home around 8 pm.

The "old-timers" really got a kick out of having some youth on the river and the waitresses in my favorite dining places, the Grayling Restaurant & Julie Gates' at the Lodge spoiled him rotten! You would of thought that the "Little Prince" had arrived! I never get any extra fries when I'm through with mine!? :)

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Sep 14, 2010September 14th, 2010, 5:08 am EDT
Very nice, Spence. Great legacy to leave.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Sep 21, 2010September 21st, 2010, 3:40 am EDT
Hey fellas...I bumped this back up because of the conversation on another post about the generation gap in fly fishing...Also, I can show off the nephew again. :)

As you may have read we are in the process of reworking our regs here in MI and we were all asked to email the chief of the fisheries division...I happened to give him a little more than the earful I was supposed to...especially about the Mason Tract on the South Branch of the Au Sable here and it turns out, in the early 80's, he cut his teeth there with electro-shock surveys and loves the place as much as I do...I sent him the photo of the nephew and he has asked and was given permission to use the photo...Maybe in next years rule book.

The point of all this is, to the fisheries chief here and to me, that he was under the age of 12. He wanted an image of a young person actully fly fishing so he can show that its being done in our state. A few years back, after years of catch-and-release rules on the Mainstream, a state rep who owns property on the river pushed through a bill that allowed children under 12 the right to fish with whatever gear they wanted and to actually keep a fish in the no-kill stretch.

Rusty Gates had offered to outfit and teach his boys to fish, but this generous offer was turned down, because he's one of those guys like The Beave in PA..."You can't tell me what I can do on my property...Damn the Natural Rivers Act! That's socialistic!" Etc.

In terms of the argument, going on elsewhere, on another post...All across the US fishing clubs everywhere offer intro programs in fly fishing to help younger folks develop an interest in our sport. They provide equipment and there are old dudes, like myself, who sit down with these children and show them the beginnings of fly tying...

Where there is a will there's a way...

Anglers everywhere are reaching out to the next generation...We drag them in to the stream and dredge up a small sample of bugs to show them etc. A cased caddis will blow their minds everytime...They just have no idea!

I guess it's like the love of reading...Once the light goes off when you are younger it never goes out and you will read anything you can get your hands on...If and when the fly fishing bug bites/or you discover the woods it's the same...Nothing will stop you from gathering up more info. Most of us on this site started out with a curiosity and it blossomed in to an obsession...It's not for everyone like anything else.

If someone reads through most of these posts they will hear Tony talking about how he started out, and Gonzo, and just about everyone else here...We read Esquire and the fly fishing stories there, Field & Stream, dug up stuff from Ernie & Chauncey and the old Herter's catalog...Hung out in the back corners of old sporting goods stores in their little fly fishing sections, subscribed to Trout & Salmon from the UK...Once the interest is sparked there is no stopping it and all the tackle and tools and old lore of our sport just makes it all the better...

A few of us are even unafraid of being alone, with ourselves, in the middle of nowhere...And after dark.

I agree with what Lee was concerned about on that other post about the "fantasy fishing experience"...We humans, alienated from nature, objectify it...It somehow no longer seems a part of who we are...Even amongst us anglers it can become only the numbers and size of fish or that I somehow have equipment that's the latest & greatest and somehow I'm better than you...

When I fish the Mason Tract I am usually pretending that I'm "out there" when I know, somewhere in the back of my head,that the car's only an easy hike away...With development and overpopulation we are going to have to somehow work this all out. Fish populations in our oceans are being decimated...

Anyway...I'm rambling again...


"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Sep 21, 2010September 21st, 2010, 8:39 am EDT
Hi Spence,
I consider it one of the best pass-times of all. There's nothing like wading in and casting a fly to waiting fish. I have a step-grandson of 16 who fly fishes with us regularly. I started my first grandson, Cody, some time back. He's now 19 and has fished with me on the Beaverkill and Willowemoc as well as my home water.

If you look at my personal page, you will see a photo of Cody and Grandpa. A little guidance from Grandpa, and he was casting like a pro.

My Personal Page

Keep up the good work!
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html

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