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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.

Lateral view of a Onocosmoecus (Limnephilidae) (Great Late-Summer Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This specimen keys pretty easily to Onocosmoecus, and it closely resembles a specimen from Alaska which caddis expert Dave Ruiter recognized as this genus. As with that specimen, the only species in the genus documented in this area is Onocosmoecus unicolor, but Dave suggested for that specimen that there might be multiple not-yet-distinguished species under the unicolor umbrella and it would be best to stick with the genus-level ID. I'm doing the same for this one.
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 29th, 2015
I've been lucky enough this summer to see a tremendous amount of good scenery and good fishing during my work on three Alaskan streams and breaks in between. I have a backlog of good photos to share from all these adventures, once I eventually have time this winter. But this one I just couldn't wait to post.

Photos by Troutnut from Mystery Creek #186 in Alaska

Big Arctic grayling eating a Drunella doddsii mayfly dun.

Comments / replies

Crepuscular's profile picture
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Aug 3, 2015August 3rd, 2015, 3:12 am EDT
Wow Jason what a wonderful photo! Thanks for posting. So was that fish rising steadily and you just got it perfect or what?
Falsifly's profile picture
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 660
Falsifly on Aug 3, 2015August 3rd, 2015, 4:49 am EDT
Jason, I hope you have considered the potential contained in that photo.
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Aug 3, 2015August 3rd, 2015, 5:20 am EDT
I hope the next thing that fish ate was your fly! Cool photo!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
PaulRoberts's profile picture

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Aug 3, 2015August 3rd, 2015, 6:55 am EDT
Very cool shot, Jason.
Posts: 106
MiltRPowell on Aug 3, 2015August 3rd, 2015, 7:50 am EDT
Thanks for that photo. You have a way of capturing moments in nature that many of us cannot get to see. I really enjoy this site, info, photos, opinions, & more. Find the site, very eye opening, there 2 very hard 2 explain. But keep it up, the sky is your limit, your work in your field, be your palate.
Thanks, Milt.....
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Aug 3, 2015August 3rd, 2015, 2:01 pm EDT
To say the least, that is awesome!
Steps25's profile picture

Posts: 31
Steps25 on Aug 3, 2015August 3rd, 2015, 6:05 pm EDT
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Aug 3, 2015August 3rd, 2015, 8:01 pm EDT
Nice shot Jason!! You been catching many lately? Or too busy with summer research?

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

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Aug 3, 2015August 3rd, 2015, 11:00 pm EDT
I've been catching lots of them both for research and on breaks during research trips. Each data set consists of a few hours of video recording of the fish, concurrent with drift sampling, followed by diet sampling. While the cameras are rolling, we often have time to go off somewhere downstream to do some fishing without disturbing our data fish. And when the cameras are done rolling, I try to catch the same fish we were filming (and usually succeed) to pump their stomachs for comparison with model predictions.

Anyway yes, I've caught several hundred grayling this year. :)
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Oldredbarn's profile picture
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Aug 4, 2015August 4th, 2015, 4:07 am EDT
Wonderful Jason!

"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
Posts: 1
Jkeag on Nov 1, 2015November 1st, 2015, 6:06 am EST
Incredible photo of the Grayling taking the mayfly. Watched with amazement the film on Alaskan Field Work. Is the project scope posted someplace?
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Nov 2, 2015November 2nd, 2015, 10:07 pm EST
Hi Jkeag,

For more details on our research, see here:

Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist

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