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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 Onocosmoecus (Limnephilidae) (Great Late-Summer Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen keys pretty easily to Onocosmoecus, and it closely resembles a specimen from Alaska which caddis expert Dave Ruiter recognized as this genus. As with that specimen, the only species in the genus documented in this area is Onocosmoecus unicolor, but Dave suggested for that specimen that there might be multiple not-yet-distinguished species under the unicolor umbrella and it would be best to stick with the genus-level ID. I'm doing the same for 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 29, 2006November 29th, 2006, 12:02 pm EST
If new members have not yet checked out "Landscapes & Trout" take a look to see some of the most beautiful photos of streams you'll find anywhere. Jason's stomping ground is too far for a casual trip by me, but if it weren't I'd be walking the woods trying to find these brooks as much to see their unique geology firsthand as for the fish.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Gripngrin
Front Range - Colorado

Posts: 17
Gripngrin on Nov 30, 2006November 30th, 2006, 4:11 pm EST
You are right-on Louis. Jason's landscape photography is awesome.

Frankly, I am a little jealous of the colors. So rich and vibrant. Beautiful contrasts.

Sitting on high on the Colorado plateau, our trout streams are mostly pine - some aspen, cottonwoods & willows. Lots & lots of green. Almost monochromatic. We do not have the rich oranges, golds and yellows, except in the fall for a few brief weeks.

Jason, which lens do you like to use? Filters?

Mike

Grip'n Grin Mike
Troutnut
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Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Nov 30, 2006November 30th, 2006, 5:15 pm EST
I'm really glad you guys enjoy the photos! That makes it easier to lug my tripod and digital SLR body/case/lenses around for miles when I find a pretty spot (although one day hiking 9 miles with that stuff this September just about did me in).

My main lens for landscape shots is Canon's EF-S 10-22mm lens. I sometimes use the 70-200mm f/4 L, which is pretty nice, although I often wish I had the f/2.8 version with image stabilization. If I ever stumble upon a money tree I'll be sure to fix that.

I use a polarizing filter for many of my shots, which helps with the colors. I also use a 6-stop ND filter to blur the water. I've had a few polite complaints about overuse of that effect. I don't quite agree, because I really like the large-scale structure and sense of motion it adds to most of the pictures, but next season I will try to balance it out by getting a little closer to the water and shooting stop-action exposures. I don't really like the texture of water "frozen" by a picture at normal landscape / stream portrait distances, but I think it will make for interesting pictures if I get in close enough to the turbulence to see interesting lines and forms rather than just a rough texture. Maybe the pictures will be crap, too. I'll just have to try it and see.

The colors and contrast are all in the post-processing, for which I use RawShooter Pro (which has unfortunately been discontinued as the developers all jumped over to Adobe Lightroom) and Photoshop. RawShooter has a "vibrance" tweak which is much nicer than playing with saturation, and in Photoshop my favorite trick is local contrast enhancement. I'm sure you know this as a photographer Mike, but I always feel obligated to point out for the general audience that computer enhancement isn't "cheating" in any way because all digital photos are computer enhanced; I just do it manually rather than letting the camera's software do it automatically.

I'm quite jealous of your position in the Colorado Front Range, Mike! I visited there once when I was about 12. My first memory of actual live trout (I grew up in troutless northern Missouri) is from that trip, and I vividly remember seeing one around 12" spook and dart upstream in the clear water of the Colorado River in Rocky Mountain National Park. I didn't get to fish because we were on a sightseeing trip -- that drove me crazy! It's been a downward spiral into troutnuttery ever since...
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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