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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.

Report at a Glance

General RegionMissouri Ozarks
Specific LocationCan't remember........
Dates FishedMarch 7,2011
Time of Day4 P.M. to Sundown
Fish Caught5 wild rainbows
Conditions & HatchesJust enough caddis to get a passable rise-air temp 48 degrees, water temp 47

Details and Discussion

Motrout
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Mar 7, 2011March 7th, 2011, 1:00 pm EST
I haven't posted here in quite a while, and that's because I haven't been doing all that much fishing-life gets crazy, and you sometimes don't have time to get out there and do what you love more than anything else. But I'm back, and I did get out today on a little spring creek about a half hour from home, a creek that I've written quite a few reports about on here. I couldn't get on the water until about 4 PM, but it was reasonably warm (upper 40s) and there were some caddis coming off. Anyway, I fished with a #12 Elk Hair Caddis with a #20 Pheasant Tail underneath. The water was up a little and off color after a recent rain, but not too bad. The first spring grass of the year was coming up, and there were even a few flowers just trying to bloom-which made my time out there pretty nice. The fish were up in the riffles feeding pretty actively, and I got two on the Caddis and three on the Pheasant Tail. They ranged from very small to 12", which is about as good as you can hope for on a daily basis from this creek. Anyway, it was good to see that after too long being off the water that I still more or less seemed to know what I'm doing, and it just felt unspeakably good to feel a couple of pretty wild rainbows in my hand.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 7, 2011March 7th, 2011, 2:09 pm EST
MO, that sounds fabulous! Especially the part about the first green grass and flowers trying to bloom, even beyond the fishies...We are still looking at a foot of snow up here in the frozen North, though I hear there are steelhead now in my new "backyard" (see my post for pictures) that I need to get out and harass. At the moment, I am desperately trying to finish up my aquatic entomology project for a quite incompetant project manager (not my own boss, he is in agreement with my opinion on this person) and once it is done I can dedicate some free time while awaiting the next work project to some early spring fly fishing. Besides the steelies there is a lake in my hometown downstate that should be ice-free in the next few weeks, and once it is the blugills, crappie, and occasional yellow perch will be in the shallows looking for food, which apparently a chartreuse Woolly Bugger or silver/gray KBF seems to imitate very well. But trout, now I'm in proper country to pursue them again and soon enough they will be in season...Light Hendricksons starting in mid-April if all goes well...

Good job and send us some photos!

Jonathon

P.S. How's "Plan Montana" coming along? Any job prospects?
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Motrout
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Mar 8, 2011March 8th, 2011, 8:25 am EST
Glad you enjoyed the report.
"P.S. How's "Plan Montana" coming along? Any job prospects?"

Not well at this point-and thinking back on it, what could I really have expected with the job market as it is? It just doesn't seem to be in the cards for this year, though I still intend to make it work as soon as possible. A bummer for sure, but its hard to be too upset right at the moment with the local fishing getting pretty darn good-even the bass and bluegill are starting to wake up. It seems I will have at least another spring and summer of fishing in the Ozarks.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 8, 2011March 8th, 2011, 12:22 pm EST
MO, I'm envious that your spring comes earlier than ours does here. My local weather forecast has nothing approaching 40 F for the next 10 days. I can't wait for those first few 60+ days! Fishing will be right behind them. The last flies I threw were at bluegill feeding on some kind of midge hatch (I think) last November in my hometown lake downstate, a couple of nice black crappie in there as well. As I said, if it's not at steelhead up here (which I really should do, the boss is bugging me to do it since I'm within walking distance of steelhead holes) it will be on this little lake in a few weeks that those same 'gills & crappie should be waking up and getting hungry. In fact, way back in January I did a couple of ice-fishing runs out there and the second time I caught 9 'gills. I'd much rather do it on my 3-weight though!

Too bad "Plan Montana" has to be put on hold, but if you want it bad enough, you'll get there. Let's just hope our economy gets better. Hey, I'm actually back to work for the first time in over three years, not really full time but I may get there if we can focus on the aquatic entomology stuff and get a foothold in that market. If that ends up being the case I'll never leave here - I practically have the Huron National Forest in my backyard! And almost too many fishing opportunities to mention - northern Michigan is loaded with them. Not very hard to find a nice stretch of water all to yourself, either...BTW, I have a guest room in my new place if you should ever find yourself up this way!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Motrout
Motrout's profile picture
Posts: 319
Motrout on Mar 8, 2011March 8th, 2011, 1:20 pm EST
Well wouldn't you know now that I'm talking about spring, I just figured out its supposed to snow tomorrow night...But I think spring is still here anyway, as the highs every other day in the 10 day forecast is 50+.

We had absolutely torrential rains all day today anyway that will make even the most stable spring creeks unfishable for a few days.

By the way, good luck with the steelhead! That's a kind of fishing I've always wanted to try but never have been able too.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
http://fishingintheozarks.blogspot.com/

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