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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.

Ventral view of a Hydropsyche (Hydropsychidae) (Spotted Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
With a bit of help from the microscope, this specimen keys clearly and unsurprisingly to Hydropsyche.
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 July 8th, 2013
I think this was the best day of the hike. I woke up and poked my head outside the tent and saw a bull, cow, and calf caribou wandering around within 200 yards. Better still, it wasn't raining!

After climbing just a few hundred feet into the last pass of the trip, we had a relatively easy mostly-downhill hike for the rest of the trip. Sun and blue sky made the scenery even better, especially as we passed by a series of emerald alpine lakes.

Photos by Troutnut from Clearwater Mountains in Alaska

Beginning of Alpine Creek

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Bull caribou walking away

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Beginning of Alpine Creek. Alpine Creek starts at the lake outlet in the bottom of this picture.

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Denali Highway back in view after hiking 19 miles.

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Mountain harebell (Campanula lasiocarpa)

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Climbing toward the last pass

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Lake atop Alpine Creek

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Wandering tattler. This type of sandpiper is known to nest next to high streams above treeline in rugged Alaska mountains.

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Second lake down Alpine Creek

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Pass at the top of Alpine Creek (panorama). This detailed 360 degree panorama is best viewed full-size.

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Saxifrage of some sort. Maybe yellow-spotted saxifrage (Sagifraga bronchialis) but it could be some other species of Saxifraga.

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Panorama near the pass

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Second lake down Alpine Creek

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Dwarf buttercup (Ranunculus pygmaeus)

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Little creek below the final pass

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Rays of sun in the Susitna Valley

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Morning caribou 2

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Rainbow over upper Alpine Creek

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Lake atop Alpine Creek

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska
Dragonwort (Persicaria bistorta)

From Clearwater Mountains in Alaska

Comments / replies

Oldredbarn
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jul 14, 2013July 14th, 2013, 7:34 am EDT
Wow! That's all I can say Jason. Just wonderful...and you even added some flora for Jonathon and a bird for Spence. ;)

Thanks for sharing! Beautiful!

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
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 16, 2013July 16th, 2013, 7:59 pm EDT
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW...........

I guess there is some compensation for putting up with seemingly endless winters...this stuff is mind-blowing, Jason...the colors alone...and of course I love the flora shots & scientific names (a nod back at ya there, Spence!).

Won't be anywhere near as spectacular but I'll have to share some floral photos of my latest work (Karner Blue Butterfly habitat surveys for the Manistee National Forest). BTW Jason, I'm sure your insects are horrible, but today I saw the front of my work vehicle swarmed by at least 100 deer flies, I'm not kidding...I'm considering a full beekeeping suit and a smoker to keep them at bay when I can no longer avoid those survey areas where they threaten to drain one entirely of blood...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jul 17, 2013July 17th, 2013, 1:37 am EDT
The insects weren't bad on this trip, actually. :) That was one of the benefits of being up at high altitude on rainy days with highs mostly in the forties. Even at the start of and end of the trip (low altitude, fair weather) the mosquitoes were nothing compared to what we've had near Fairbanks for most of June and early July.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Lastchance
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Jul 17, 2013July 17th, 2013, 8:39 am EDT
Holy cow? What beautiful photos and great scenery.
Thanks

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