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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.

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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Dorsal view of a Gomphidae Dragonfly Nymph from unknown in Wisconsin
Troutnabout
Posts: 20
Troutnabout on Sep 22, 2006September 22nd, 2006, 10:00 am EDT
I need some help with identification. I found a yellow opaque nymph in a river in north Carolina. Body characterisitcs are like the drsgon fly you show here but the color was yellow. What do you think?
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Sep 22, 2006September 22nd, 2006, 12:24 pm EDT
It probably was a Dragonfly nymph. I often turn up small yellow dragonfly nymphs in the streams I fish. I've assumed they were immature and that the yellow color reflected a recent molt; however, because the small ones almost always seem to be yellow (as opposed to the large mottled olive nymphs I find emerging on rocks along the same streams), I'm not sure about that. Jason? Roger?
Troutnabout
Posts: 20
Troutnabout on Sep 22, 2006September 22nd, 2006, 1:31 pm EDT
Gonzo: Thanks for your response. How little is little? The nymph I found was about 7/8 mm.
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Sep 22, 2006September 22nd, 2006, 2:15 pm EDT
I have found them as small as you describe. I'd estimate that about 8-15mm is the range I see most. I've rarely picked up the large olive nymphs in the little pocket seine I always carry, but I see quite a few emerging just like stoneflies around the end of May through June.

One additional thought about the little yellow ones--if they are molts, perhaps the reason they get captured so often is that they are relatively helpless. The regular dragonfly nymphs may be too damn swift to get caught very often. Still all guesswork, though.
Troutnut
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Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Sep 22, 2006September 22nd, 2006, 2:38 pm EDT
Yeah, they're probably dragonfly nymphs. I've found them in a range of light olive/tan or "yellowish" colors. It depends on the species and age of the nymph.

The old ones aren't all that hard to catch. Some dragonfly nymphs can scoot around alright, but they're all pretty slow compared to traditional "fast" aquatic insects like scuds or swimming mayfly nymphs.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GONZO
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
GONZO on Sep 22, 2006September 22nd, 2006, 2:49 pm EDT
Thanks Jason. I manage to catch plenty of scuds and Isonychia nymphs in the seine, so I guess that shoots the speed theory.
Troutnabout
Posts: 20
Troutnabout on Sep 22, 2006September 22nd, 2006, 2:50 pm EDT
Gonzo and Jason: Thanks for the help! I was quite bewilderd on the stream today when I discovered that nymph. This is all new to me but very facinationg. It's nice to have others experience and knowledge so easily available.

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