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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.

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Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 10, 2011June 10th, 2011, 9:02 pm EDT
I thought I would post this picture in response to Paul joking about "Your dog is bald" on the "Fly Selection Rut" thread. The look says it all - "Come any closer and that's the last thing you'll ever do with that pair of scissors, buddy..."

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Shawnny3 on Jun 11, 2011June 11th, 2011, 5:17 am EDT
Excellent photo, Jonathon. From experience, the best way to harvest a cat's hair is with a brush - that way the cat is happy and the dubbing well mixed when you're finished.

I have to commend you on your choice of a calico - lots of interesting color blends could be made with strategic brushing.

Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 11, 2011June 11th, 2011, 8:37 am EDT
"From experience..." - you're not missing any fingers, are you Shawn?

Her underfur seems to be mostly white, but hey, I'm set for White Wulffs anyway, my favorite night time pattern...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jun 11, 2011June 11th, 2011, 10:08 am EDT
Judging by the fur colors of the stuffed animal in the back, that cat has been shaved before!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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