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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.

By Troutnut on May 27th, 2013

Photos by Troutnut from Prince William Sound in Alaska

School of baitfish near camp.

From Prince William Sound in Alaska
We saw very few bears along the shore, and had to climb up on the mountain to go after them. Exceptions were the very first bear we saw on the trip, which we didn't get, and this one spotted during the raft trip back to camp with my bear.

From Prince William Sound in Alaska
Troutnut's first bear!

From Prince William Sound in Alaska
Bear backstraps roasting over the campfire.

From Prince William Sound in Alaska
Working my way down the mountain with a backpack full of bear.

From Prince William Sound in Alaska
Eelgrass showing at low tide.

From Prince William Sound in Alaska

Comments / replies

GldstrmSam
GldstrmSam's profile picture
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
GldstrmSam on Jun 10, 2013June 10th, 2013, 6:45 pm EDT
The photos are great as always! Looks like it was a fun trip. I always enjoy your blog updates. It "takes" me places I wouldn't be able to go otherwise.

Samuel
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 Jun 10, 2013June 10th, 2013, 7:15 pm EDT
Troutnut's first bear!


Jason...We about to see a name change here? :)

You going native up there? Nice pics! How are things going? We don't hear from you much these days.

I would really like to get back up there again sometime. Its beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Congrats! Now lets scuff up that camo a bit...It looks too new. :)

Spence
"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
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jun 14, 2013June 14th, 2013, 11:13 am EDT
I've been really busy working on finishing my dissertation. Some friends invited me along for this bear hunt in Prince William Sound though and I couldn't pass it up. It was an awesome trip.

Check out the blog section of the site (main page) for some nice pictures from the other days of the hunt.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jun 14, 2013June 14th, 2013, 11:35 am EDT
Great stuff Jason! Awesome! You are sure going to be one spoiled puppy when they chase you out of there. Flatland just isn't going to cut it anymore.

You been keeping a bird list at all? I'm sure that if you were you could knock off some birds most folks would never have a chance to see.

I was thinking about tying you up a muddler for those sculpins until I saw that big one...This old dry-fly guy just doesn't have a hook big enough for it. :)

I said to my wife, "We should visit Alaska." and showed her your pics and she said, "OK"...Hmmmm.

There may be a book...maybe a diary in your future for all that you have been able to do up there. How long has it been now? You have been up there for some time!

Did you see my PA Trip post...We fished high and low and couldn't find Gonzo...:)

Spence
"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
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jun 14, 2013June 14th, 2013, 11:52 am EDT
You been keeping a bird list at all? I'm sure that if you were you could knock off some birds most folks would never have a chance to see.


One of my hunting partners kept a bird list from this trip, I'll ask him for it.

Did you see my PA Trip post...We fished high and low and couldn't find Gonzo...:)


Didn't see that yet... I haven't kept up on reading the forum unfortunately.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jun 14, 2013June 14th, 2013, 5:59 pm EDT
Tony, Eric, Bruce, and Louis...Spoiled me this spring and I fished 6 streams with them in 11 days. Shawny stopped by to say hello when we were fishing Spring Creek...Also fished The Little J,Penn's Creek, the Letort, Yellow Breeches, and Big Spring.

Great time!
"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
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Jun 16, 2013June 16th, 2013, 4:35 pm EDT
Congrats, Jason.

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