Header image
Enter a name
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.

Dorsal view of a Ephemerella mucronata (Ephemerellidae) Mayfly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This is an interesting one. Following the keys in Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019) and Jacobus et al. (2014), it keys clearly to Ephemerella. Jacobus et al provide a key to species, but some of the characteristics are tricky to interpret without illustrations. If I didn't make any mistakes, this one keys to Ephemerella mucronata, which has not previously been reported any closer to here than Montana and Alberta. The main character seems to fit well: "Abdominal terga with prominent, paired, subparallel, spiculate ridges." Several illustrations or descriptions of this holarctic species from the US and Europe seem to match, including the body length, tarsal claws and denticles, labial palp, and gill shapes. These sources include including Richard Allen's original description of this species in North America under the now-defunct name E. moffatae in Allen RK (1977) and the figures in this description of the species in Italy.
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.

Posts: 7
Spud on May 21, 2007May 21st, 2007, 9:23 am EDT
I've been fly fishing since I was 12 in the saltwater. Just recently I've gotten into the whole trout thing because of a change in my location and I never intend on looking back. I have Caddisflies by LaFontaine and Hatches II by Caucci and Nastasi but I need MORE. I consider myself a pretty good fly tier and am currently most interested in angling entomology books as opposed to fly tying books, although any books that combine the two are fine by me.

So... What are the suggestions? Which books are the angling entomologists bare necessities?
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on May 21, 2007May 21st, 2007, 9:45 am EDT
The two that you have top my list. Two other classics are:

Mayflies, the Angler, and the Trout by Fred Arbona, Jr.

Selective Trout by Swisher and Richards

That covers what I consider to be the best books which concentrate mostly on entomology. There are many other good ones, like Ernest Schwiebert's Nymphs, of which a new edition is due out this year. I'm really looking forward to that.

If you include books which focus more on fishing or tying than on the bugs, the list gets a lot longer.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on May 21, 2007May 21st, 2007, 9:50 am EDT
Click on the Forum's discussion board entitled "General Discussion of Fly Fishing, Trout and Salmon, and Stream Insects" and look for the April 25 thread entitled "Entomology Books." In this thread you'll find Taxon's helpful and thorough online review of entomology books. I like Ames' Hatch Guide to New England Streams, in addition to the ones already named.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Posts: 7
Spud on May 21, 2007May 21st, 2007, 9:57 am EDT

If you've got a few minutes, I wouldn't mind hearing that list anyway. I intend on picking up Gonzo's book the first chance I get. I have Selective Trout as well, I just wasn't as impressed by it as I was with Hatches II.

- Mike
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on May 21, 2007May 21st, 2007, 10:27 am EDT
I'm glad you're already getting Gonzo's book. It's worth it.

The other recent tying book I consider really indispensable is Kelly Galloup's "Cripples and Spinners." The "Galloup's Cripple" style is quickly becoming my favorite all-around fly, and the "Ellis Triple Wing" is another favorite spinner imitation.

Another good angling entomology book I forgot to mention because I haven't read the whole thing is Aquatic Entomology by W.P. McCafferty, a leading mayfly entomologist. It has better coverage of the insect orders outside the "big three" than any other book I've seen for anglers, at the expense of relatively little detail about individual mayfly or caddisfly species. I don't own a copy, but I really should. I have it in front of me right now, checked out from the library, and it seems excellent.

I really have to go get some work done right now, but you can see the list of books and papers I (mostly) own here: http://www.troutnut.com/fly-fishing-books

Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

Quick Reply

Related Discussions

Last Reply
Jul 11, 2012
by Softhackle
Jul 20, 2006
by Shawnny3
Dec 31, 2013
by Troutnut
Troutnut.com is copyright © 2004-2024 (email Jason). privacy policy