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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.

Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Dec 18, 2011December 18th, 2011, 9:20 am EST
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Dec 18, 2011December 18th, 2011, 11:23 am EST

Wow!..Looks beautiful. I use to live in a big home, made of limestone with a light blue streak through it that came from a quarry in Ohio. We had the home built, and I watched them drop off piles of these blue limestone rocks on our property, and the bricks were chiseled right on the property.
Troutnut
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Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Dec 18, 2011December 18th, 2011, 1:39 pm EST
I can put up a few hundred if you can manage the other $8,999,700!

When do we sign?
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GldstrmSam
GldstrmSam's profile picture
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
GldstrmSam on Dec 20, 2011December 20th, 2011, 11:52 am EST
Sorry, but my first priority is to get a new rod and reel.

Looks AMAZING!. I'll need to come visit you whenever you get it.:)

There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Dec 21, 2011December 21st, 2011, 4:43 am EST
When do we sign?


Let's see...Maybe sometime when you are back in the lower 48...:) Could be a while, no?

Spence

Merry Christmas Mr. & Mrs. TroutNut...I hope you two are hunkered down in your igloo till spring! Hey! Speaking of igloos. Have you ever read "Kabloona" by Gontran de Poncins? This might be a good distraction read so cabin fever won't set in...I should of got it for you as a Christmas gift.
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood

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