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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives
Baetis

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Lateral view of a Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing this one.
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.

Martinlf
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Martinlf on Nov 28, 2006November 28th, 2006, 1:04 am EST
"Bay tids," say it loud; say it proud. What an amusing thread! Gonzo, after this week's full schedule, things should quieten down at Etown. Let me know if you want to drop over.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
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GONZO on Nov 28, 2006November 28th, 2006, 6:38 am EST
Thanks Roger. Sometimes I settle for being only "as sharp as the edge of town." So, as long as you found my convoluted comments agreeable, I am quite satisfied.

Louis, next week sounds good--I'm looking forward to it! Per Jason's comment on your witty mock-avoidance of the dangling participle, I'm reminded of the advice I once received from another English professor. We were discussing the awkwardness that sometimes results from an obssessive attention to problem participles. He compared it to "going commando" (wearing no underwear, for anyone not familiar with the expression). His advice was that "You just let them dangle and trust that anyone who notices is paying too much attention to things that they should politely overlook." :)

Go ghoti!
Gonzo
Martinlf
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Martinlf on Nov 28, 2006November 28th, 2006, 10:11 am EST
Gonzo, Once again I get a good laugh out of this forum after a long stint behind my desk. On the subject of correctness, and not entirely out of line with the previous thread I'll share a bit of my day:

I observed a new colleague in her class this morning, an Oxford Ph.D, who on the board spelled wistful "whistful." I joked with her about it, and when she said it was a British spelling, I quickly retracted my opinion. She later dropped by my office to look "whistful" up in my OED and rub it in, only to find the wh- spelling missing in action. With a laugh she said something like, "you Yanks have me again." (Colleagues had teased her about the British ou's in "honours," etc. that appeared when she took minutes once--a hilarious series of emails about the revolutionary war, and a lot of cockney slang in retaliation) I then admitted misspelling some Latin bug terms(and a common English word in a grad school paper) and we had another good laugh--also reassuring a student (who was sitting in my office going over the dangling participles etc. in his paper) of our fallibility. Well later in the day, not to be done in, she emailed me a URL. It seems that whistful is a variant Northern English or Scottish spelling of wistful. Language, it seems, is about as predictable as the Subvariae on Fishing Creek. (Or should that be Subvarias?)

Tuesday through Friday should work next week, with Tuesdays and Thursdays most free. Wednesday or Friday you run the risk of being hauled off to class with me, but you're welcome there too. If you email me at MARTINLF@ETOWN.EDU (already easily found on the Etown website)I can send you directions.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZO
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GONZO on Nov 28, 2006November 28th, 2006, 1:24 pm EST
Hi Louie,

I just knew that you would find the subject of this thread irresistible--I'm glad that David uncorked it again.

By the way, when you say that your "whistful" colleague retaliated with "cockney slang," was that cockney rhyming slang? (And by my standard, if it ain't in the OED, it ain't English!)

As for the species plurals--you got me. I know I've seen "cornutas" somewhere, so I suppose "subvarias" would be acceptable in informal usage. (Of course, by "acceptable" I mean according to our loose Americanized standards of acceptability.) Personally, I would probably resort to the "Hendricksons" cop-out for the plural form. (Unless it was a flight of male spinners, in which case "red quills" would be the preferred form of common address.)

Anyway, Tuesday would be good for me. I'll email you for the directions. (The prospect of being dragged into class actually sounds kind of tempting, but you'll probably be teaching Chaucer, and I could never quite warm up to that. Sorry. I did enjoy what I've read of Richard Dawkin's The Ancestor's Tale, but I know that doesn't count.) :)

Gonzo

Martinlf
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Martinlf on Nov 30, 2006November 30th, 2006, 1:34 am EST
Hi David,

Please don't take offense at our delirious ramblings. My comments, and I'm fairly sure Gonzo's, were made playfully. But if there is a serious point to be made it's that language is a living organic kind of thing that is very hard to control. One may take a prescriptive approach and try to set rules, or a descriptive one, and reflect usage. To some degree, as a teacher of English, I do both in my job. And I lament unclear phrasing, misspellings, and other things that make writing jar the reader. I even, very gently, correct my students' pronunciation from time to time, but never when it reflects a dialect variant established by usage.

As those in the 18th century who sought to create an Academy to control the rules for English similar to the one established by the French quickly found out, English is an unruly language by its nature, possibly because of its roots that go back to those warlike Anglo Saxons. Usage is the final arbiter, and we all ultimately bow to the rules it makes or risk being a lone voice crying in the wilderness.

I actually very much appreciate everyone who contributed to this thread, because it let us amuse ourselves a bit and also allowed these points to get some air time. Oh, I was really joking about Subvariae. I'd just say Hendricksons anyway--note my spelling, Gonzo--and while we're mentioning neuter plurals in -a, let's not forget the masculine alumni of all those hark knock fishing schools, the piscatores--or should that be piscators??

And while I'm at it, David, let me note that I admire your interest in Latin. I came to love the language myself in grad school reading the poetry of Catullus and Vergil, but my first experience with Latin in high school was much like Jason's. It's a damned difficult tongue, and you fall into the same category as Alfred the Great, who also didn't have to study latin to please a guidance counselor or to meet a requirement to graduate, but who simply chose to for his love of learning. If anyone on this site doesn't appreciate that, he or she's googled the wrong bug.

Ave atque vale,

"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
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Troutnut on Nov 30, 2006November 30th, 2006, 4:06 am EST
I even, very gently, correct my students' pronunciation from time to time, but never when it reflects a dialect variant established by usage.


I suppose that's a good policy, although I think dialect should only be allowed to go so far. Otherwise we end up with leaders trying to stop nucular proliferation or making culan water so hard to find we need to use binoclears.

who also didn't have to study latin to please a guidance counselor or to meet a requirement to graduate, but who simply chose to for his love of learning.


It's also a matter of what we love to learn, too. We have infinite interesting things to learn and finite time to learn them. I enjoy problem-solving but I can't stand rote memorization, so I really dislike learning any language I'm not going to be using.

If anyone on this site doesn't appreciate that, he or she's googled the wrong bug.


In the interest of not scaring people away from my website, I want to point out that a love of (or even an interest in) Latin isn't needed to learn about aquatic insects. Even a mild tolerance will do.

I did a lot of tricky computer programming to make the common names as prevalent on this site as scientific names, in hopes that people who only know the common names will still find it easy to navigate and the scientific names might rub off on them without any conscious effort.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Shawnny3
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Shawnny3 on Nov 30, 2006November 30th, 2006, 10:33 am EST
I've really enjoyed reading this thread, especially Louis's posts - very good stuff.

I'm a science teacher, but I still try to instill in my students the desire and ability to write well. I don't know whether English teachers just don't care much anymore for fundamentals or whether e-mail and text-messaging have completely destroyed all semblance of linguistic order, but I find it appalling how badly my students abuse English in their written assignments (and I teach at a school that takes great pride in its academics). I am always shocked when they are shocked after I shred one of their lab reports while pointing out only the most egregious errors in spelling and grammar.

I always have to remember, though, not to be too much of a Nazi about it. As you guys have pointed out, language is a mess borne out of centuries of torturing earlier tongues. To take a most American tack, one need not look further than Mark Twain, who's left us with both reminders not to too easily ascend our literary high horses ("I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.") and not to take literary rules too lightly ("In one place in "Deerslayer," and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115. It breaks the record."). As an American, I don't know who better to agree with on these matters.

On the subject of pronunciation, my favorite quote comes from the Introduction to Strunk and White's "Elements of Style": "If you don't know how to pronounce a word, say it loud!" White follows up this statement of Strunk's by adding, "Why compound ignorance with inaudibility?" I don't know that I follow this advice very often, but I like it.

I appreciated the comments you guys made about pronunciations varying depending on dialect. I agree with Louis that there should be some leeway, but I also agree with Jason that leeway can go too far (poor Bush is just too easy a target - shame on you, Jason...). One of my pet peeves is when someone who clearly has no knowledge of a certain language goes so far out of his way to pronounce something in textbook fashion that he sounds ridiculous doing it. Golf, for example, is painful enough to watch on television without having to hear Bob Freaking Costas (who probably doesn't even pronounce his own name as God intended) try to say "Jose Maria Olazabal" in a pretentious Castilian accent. Just drop the facade, Bob, and say it as best you can with your white-bread American accent intact. Native speakers are always more charmed by a foreigner who makes an honest attempt than one who pretends to be an expert native speaker. I think we should approach Latin the same way: None of us can really claim to be native speakers, so we should probably just do the best we can without putting on airs, and extend grace to our co-ignorant brothers.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
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Martinlf
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Martinlf on Nov 30, 2006November 30th, 2006, 11:39 am EST
Amen, Shawn. One thing you might try is not correcting mistakes in those lab reports, but just putting a squiggly line under anything you want students to rethink, along with a clarifying abbreviation (such as CS for comma splice--you can give them a master sheet for these) or a handbook number or page (if your school has a standard grammar handbook--I use two: Keys for Writers and Elements of Style).

Then insist that THEY correct the errors to keep their grade. A thorough and more elegant rewrite can even earn a higher grade, and failure to fix things properly means the grade goes down. This way they actually learn something, and your work as a teacher doesn't just end up filed in the round file in the corner without having any effect. This way they actually learn something. It only takes a few minutes to skim over the corrected work unless they do a full rewrite, and that's rare in my experience.

As for Bush, though I'm a Southerner(who talks funny to some here in Pennsylvania) I don't consider his pronunciations dialect, but a pure indication of ignorance, and simply wrong. But don't get me started on him; I'm biased, partly due to the last six year's attack on clean air and pure water. [Jason, if this comment is too politically charged, delete it, or tell me to.]

Shawn, sounds like we're going have to go fishing. When spring rolls around let's meet up on the J and compare Latin pronunciations.

Jason, you've done a superb job at making the site non-threatening and user friendly to bug geek and everyday fisherman alike. Sorry if I suggested otherwise in my joking close. It was just some of those caddis conversations that left me dizzy and longing for something easy like the third declension of Latin nouns. And you're absolutely right about learning what you love. If it weren't for Catullus's poem where he talks about how his tease of a girl left him obdurate (stony in his heart and in another place) I might have never gotten through those damn Latin "q" words (the ones that all look alike and have a hundred conflicting meanings) -- as one of my favorite Latin professors called them.

Sir Philip Sidney playfully closes an essay with sympatheties for those who "have had the ill luck to read this ink wasting toy of mine." I extend the same for those plagued by the preceding cyber ink.

OK . . . back to fish and bugs.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
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Troutnut on Nov 30, 2006November 30th, 2006, 12:01 pm EST
But don't get me started on him; I'm biased, partly due to the last six year's attack on clean air and pure water. [Jason, if this comment is too politically charged, delete it, or tell me to.]


No worries. I've decided that the best thing for the growth of this website is to keep political discussion to a minimum on the forum. It is impossible to completely separate politics and conservation, especially when politicians attack conservation, but I would prefer that those charged topics be discussed elsewhere. I won't fault anyone for an occasional dig at Bush (it's easy and fun) but I'd rather avoid making it a major topic of discussion.

I also promise not to be an even-handed moderator, and if anyone from the other side speaks up in support of Bush's environmental policies (or his pronuncification) I will be happy to ban them and recommend a good mental hospital.

The bottom line is that I'd like people from both sides to keep mum on the issue, apart from the occasional joke.

Jason, you've done a superb job at making the site non-threatening and user friendly to bug geek and everyday fisherman alike. Sorry if I suggested otherwise in my joking close.


I understand it was a joke. :) I just wanted to make extra sure that nobody's scared away.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Troutnut
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Troutnut on Nov 30, 2006November 30th, 2006, 12:40 pm EST
Not really. :)
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
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Shawnny3
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Shawnny3 on Nov 30, 2006November 30th, 2006, 12:56 pm EST
Uh-oh. I think I may have given the wrong impression in my last post - I don't know a scratch of Latin, bug-related or otherwise. I used to be fluent in Spanish, though (my Mom is Colombian and I was an exchange student there for a year), so I do feel equipped to pronounce Latin at least passably.

If we get together on the Little J. (and by all means we should), expect me to come armed with a glorified green weenie and a bit of grey dubbing thrown on a hook in a classic pattern best known around here as a "muskrat". Let me know the Latin names for those and I'll be happy to try to learn them by next Spring.

-Shawn
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Shawnny3
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Shawnny3 on Nov 30, 2006November 30th, 2006, 1:11 pm EST
By the way, Louis, thanks for the editing hints. I'll have to try some of those techniques with my kids. They're always trying to grub points somehow - a good motivator for this overstimulated generation unable to find any transparent intrinsic value in learning.

-Shawn

P.S. I'm really not that cynical. Well, maybe that's not true, either...
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Martinlf
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Martinlf on Dec 1, 2006December 1st, 2006, 12:39 am EST
Shawn,

The two biggest fish I caught on the Juniata last year were both on the immortal green weenie, and I wouldn't go anywhere near Spring Creek without a muskrat nymph. Does it work well on the J? By the way, I almost minored in Spanish as an undergraduate, and that's where I learned to enjoy literature in another language. I've credited my undergrad Spanish for getting me ready to like Latin later in life (a little alliteration for Gonzo, when he returns). I'm far from fluent though, having forgotten so much. Email me at MARTINLF@ETOWN.EDU and I'll have your address in my mailbox to make it easier to get in touch for some fishing later on. I may even do some winter fishing up that way, though I usually stick to the spring creeks of the Cumberland Valley for most of my cold weather trips.

Jason, I appreciate all you said about W. And I mean all.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
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GONZO on Dec 4, 2006December 4th, 2006, 10:26 am EST
My comments, and I'm fairly sure Gonzo's, were made playfully.


Of course they were. (Though Louis did feel the need to qualify with "fairly sure," so perhaps my playfulness was not as obvious as I intended.)

My only point was to empathize with those who find the public pronunciation of scientific names intimidating (because I'm one of them) and to suggest that the notion of formal and informal use of language includes some aspects of pronunciation and spelling as well. A bow to local convention is often wise.

Hey Jason, how do the locals feel about visiting anglers who insist upon calling the Bois Brule the "bwa broo-lay?" I'm told that it's not the best way to learn the local secrets. :)
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Troutnut on Dec 4, 2006December 4th, 2006, 4:36 pm EST
Hey Jason, how do the locals feel about visiting anglers who insist upon calling the Bois Brule the "bwa broo-lay?" I'm told that it's not the best way to learn the local secrets. :)


Heh, I've heard that as well, though I've never met somebody so impractical as to actually pronounce it that way. In fact, even calling it the "Boy Brule" will draw some very suspicious looks. It's the Brule, and that's about all there is to it up there.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GONZO
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GONZO on Dec 4, 2006December 4th, 2006, 4:58 pm EST
And that's Brule as in "cool," correct? Here in Southcentral PA, you get funny looks if you don't torture and elongate vowels, hence the Letort is pronounced LEE-tort. :)
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Troutnut on Dec 5, 2006December 5th, 2006, 7:29 am EST
Yeah, Brule rhymes with cool.

I'll try to remember that about the Letort. I want to fish the famous PA streams next spring while I'm still in the area, and it's certainly on my list.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Martinlf
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Martinlf on Dec 5, 2006December 5th, 2006, 12:47 pm EST
Hey Gonzo, (and others who may have been wondering), I said I was "fairly sure" that your posts were playful because I was hesitant to speak too authoritatively on your behalf without consulting the source. It appears that it was clear to David, and probaby to everyone else that we're both hams who love to talk on. At least when we think we know something useful. Now that post on trout vision is one place where I have to just sit quiet and try to take it all in.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GONZO
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GONZO on Dec 6, 2006December 6th, 2006, 6:08 am EST
Hey Louie, just teasing (again). A fairly dry sense of humor is a tricky thing to convey in writing, so I resort to using the colon and parenthetical mark to emphasize my intent. However, your gentlemanly consideration is much appreciated.

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