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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.
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CaseyP has attached these 3 pictures to this report. The message is below.
One of the larger ones caught; day 1 on the River Nidd at Summer Bridge.
The bigger trout were busy assuring the future, but this little gal splashed about near the bank in a patch of sunshine and made us think of spring.
Sunny morning, handsome fish--life is good! River Ure at Masham.

Report at a Glance

General RegionYorkshire, England
Specific LocationSummer Bridge and Masham
Dates Fished11/15-16
Fish Caughtgrayling and a couple of wild brown trout
Conditions & HatchesNovember: temps 45-50, cloudy, cold, and a little windy with some sun, rivers a little high from rain three days before, water "peat-stained" but clear. hatches surprisingly continuous, small olives and some caddis as well as some unexpected yellow mayflies. first day many rises, second day only a very few.

Details and Discussion

CaseyP's profile picture
Arlington, VA/ Mercersburg, PA

Posts: 653
CaseyP on Nov 19, 2012November 19th, 2012, 3:21 pm EST
added two rivers to my Yorkshire life list: Ure and Nidd. trout season was over so we were after grayling. they seem to live in the bits of the river that the trout don't: quieter water at the tails of pools and the end of riffles, mostly. they like nymphs down on the bottom, but they can be caught with dries as well.

if you would like the name of the guide and a link to his really great web-site, shoot me a PM.
"You can observe a lot by watching." Yogi Berra
Softhackle's profile picture
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Softhackle on Nov 20, 2012November 20th, 2012, 7:22 am EST
Great photos. I'd love to go there, someday!

"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Nov 26, 2012November 26th, 2012, 10:09 am EST
Wow, that looks like a fun trip! Some "natives" there, back in the "Old Country"!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Nov 26, 2012November 26th, 2012, 4:50 pm EST
Beautiful fish, Casey. Thank you for sharing these photos!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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