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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.

Dorsal view of a Grammotaulius betteni (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This is a striking caddis larva with an interesting color pattern on the head. Here are some characteristics I was able to see under the microscope, but could not easily expose for a picture:
- The prosternal horn is present.
- The mandible is clearly toothed, not formed into a uniform scraper blade.
- The seems to be only 2 major setae on the ventral edge of the hind femur.
- Chloride epithelia seem to be absent from the dorsal side of any abdominal segments.
Based on these characteristics and the ones more easily visible from the pictures, this seems to be Grammotaulius. The key's description of the case is spot-on: "Case cylindrical, made of longitudinally arranged sedge or similar leaves," as is the description of the markings on the head, "Dorsum of head light brownish yellow with numerous discrete, small, dark spots." The spot pattern on the head is a very good match to figure 19.312 of Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019). The species ID is based on Grammotaulius betteni being the only species of this genus known in Washington state.
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's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jan 26, 2015January 26th, 2015, 11:01 am EST
Found the following article on the web while doing a little research. I've been forced into service at my fly fishing club to teach a little bug stuff. I am trying to put together a power point that we can use at all the different schools we do through out the year. There is even a Boy Scout Merit Badge session...

Anyway. Found this and thought some may find it interesting...I never knew that Patrick McCafferty fished?! :)

This appeared in July/August American Angler mag.


"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
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Jan 26, 2015January 26th, 2015, 11:52 am EST
I never knew that Patrick McCafferty fished?! :)

Yes, and you can tell from his writing that he gets it. His book Aquatic Entomology is full of angling applications of the science. It is at the top of Taxon's list of book recommendations for those anglers serious about learning fishing applicable entomology. I agree with him.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Konchu's profile picture
Site Editor

Posts: 498
Konchu on Jan 26, 2015January 26th, 2015, 4:07 pm EST
That article is from back before 2000. It is something of a popular companion piece to his "Gentle Quest" scholarly article, published in the Proceedings of a mayfly meeting, in which he summaried over 200 years of mayfly systematics research in North America. It is difficult for me to believe these articles are over 15 years old.

There are actually many things people don't realize about Dr. McCafferty. His being something of a renaissance man is one of them.
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jan 29, 2015January 29th, 2015, 1:33 pm EST

Good to hear from you and thanks for the link to the article.

The anecdotes in it are interesting. The mention of loosing specimens in the Chicago fire, the note about the paper at the American Philosophical Society in 1802 and Jefferson being the president of the APS at the time. Interesting stuff.

I had the chance a couple weeks back to visit the Nat History Museum in Ann Arbor. I have a nephew that has shown an interest in birding. Well, hanging with uncle Spence usually includes a lunch out somewhere, so its difficult to pinpoint his motivation...If you know what I mean. He's 12 and a young mans stomach can be incharge at that age.

The junior birding club of the Detroit Audubon Society had an outing at the museum and I got to tag along. There are hundreds of cabinets with drawers just full of bird specimens.

They had some examples laided out on a large work table for us to check out. We even got a peek in a cabinet with extinct birds in it. A sobering moment for sure...Especially since their extinction was human related for the most part.

We even got to watch as a grad student was sewing up a specimen...An immature Black-crowned Night Heron. She walked us through the process and its remarkable how long some of these specimens last. They have some from the 1800's.

The curator gave me a tour of the Wilson Ornithological Society's library housed there in the Zoology Dept at the museum. Incredible! Something like 3,000 books, 4,800 bound journal volumes, and 63,000 reprints...They get jounals there from all around the world printed in other languages.

Anyway. After getting a chance to tour this place and having not heard from you in awhile I was afraid we had lost you to a similar "backroom" other there where you hide out. :) If someone were to make sure I ate once in a while I could see myself getting lost in that library myself.

I use to go there as an elementary school student on field trips in the 60's. The place had a familiar feel to it, but the memory I had as a youngster was that they had, back then, an aquarium with a Gila monster in it? Go figure?! :)

Thanks again...I'm doing a little ento thing for our club and that info will come in handy.

"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's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Jan 29, 2015January 29th, 2015, 3:39 pm EST
Wow. Neat stuff guys. Thanks, Spence.
Posts: 287
Feathers5 on Jan 30, 2015January 30th, 2015, 4:37 am EST
Interesting. Thanks, Spence.

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