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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

Dorsal view of a Zapada cinctipes (Nemouridae) (Tiny Winter Black) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Nymphs of this species were fairly common in late-winter kick net samples from the upper Yakima River. Although I could not find a key to species of Zapada nymphs, a revision of the Nemouridae family by Baumann (1975) includes the following helpful sentence: "2 cervical gills on each side of midline, 1 arising inside and 1 outside of lateral cervical sclerites, usually single and elongate, sometimes constricted but with 3 or 4 branches arising beyond gill base in Zapada cinctipes." This specimen clearly has the branches and is within the range of that species.
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 April 27th, 2015
The ground around Fairbanks is finally mostly snow-free, and most of the creeks are beginning to open up. I went down to North Pole yesterday to test some new drift sampling nets for summer fieldwork in Piledriver Slough, and on the way back home I stopped at Badger Slough to catch the first grayling of the year, and the first fish on my new Hardy Ultralite DD 4000 reel.

This was not idyllic Alaskan fishing, but it's a good place to spend five minutes and put something on the end of the line. I was casting into a culvert pool between a kids' playground and a gas station. Despite my using a size 16 fly, the first fish was somehow hooked in the back, so that didn't count. The second fish was fair hooked, but landed by a kid from the playground, so that didn't quite count. The first "official" (I guess?) fish of the year is below.

I only had a few minutes to fish, but the new Hardy was a pleasure. I'll be testing it out on nicer fish in mid-May, when I'm going to fish for a few days in Slovenia before heading to Spain for a research symposium.

Photos by Troutnut from Miscellaneous Alaska, Badger Slough, and the Tanana River in Alaska

Canada goose returning to Fairbanks at Creamer's Field

From Fairbanks in Alaska
First little grayling on the new Hardy reel.
The mouth of Piledriver Slough on the Tanana River

From the Tanana River in Alaska

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Taxon's profile picture
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1311
Taxon on Apr 29, 2015April 29th, 2015, 5:32 pm EDT
Very nice, Jason. Thanks for sharing.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck

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