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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.

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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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Nov 26, 2006November 26th, 2006, 12:46 pm EST
Jason, thanks for giving pictures of bug bellies when you've been able. This is what I want to see when tying, and I'd suggest that you include them whenever you can.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Troutnut
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Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Nov 27, 2006November 27th, 2006, 6:03 pm EST
Thanks.

That was actually one of the main reasons I started photographing insects and building this website. The color plates in my mayfly books are all well and good, but it's pretty hard to see the belly color. That's understandable from the perspective of a publisher who wants to fill his limited space with attractive, elegant side shots, but it's frustrating for a tier to try and guess what color that shaded half-hidden underbelly really is. The Internet was the perfect answer to that little problem.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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