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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
Baetis

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 Holocentropus (Polycentropodidae) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This one seems to tentatively key to Holocentropus, although I can't make out the anal spines in Couplet 7 of the Key to Genera of Polycentropodidae Larvae nor the dark bands in Couplet 4 of the Key to Genera of Polycentropodidae Larvae, making me wonder if I went wrong somewhere in keying it out. I don't see where that could have happened, though. It might also be that it's a very immature larva and doesn't possess all the identifying characteristics in the key yet. If Holocentropus is correct, then Holocentropus flavus and Holocentropus interruptus are the two likely possibilities based on range, but I was not able to find a description of their larvae.
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 June 27th, 2016
I mentioned in a previous post that my friend and coworker Sierra's father started a guide service on the Kenai River this summer. Lena and I were down in the area in late June and took them up on an offer to go out fishing.

Following a winter of heavy snowpack and a recent spell of hot weather, the middle Kenai River was about three feet higher than normal, well up into the streambank trees.



Fishing from the bank was out of the question anywhere along the river, as all the gravel bars were inundated, but it was very comfortable fishing from Perry's new power drift boat using a mix of spin and fly gear.





Despite the really high water and starting--at our request--later in the day than would have been ideal for the fishing, everybody still caught trout.









Even if we hadn't caught fish, the scenery and company alone would have made for a great day on the water.



Thanks for a great trip, Perry and Sierra!

Photos by Troutnut from the Kenai River in Alaska

Lena's Kenai River rainbow
The Kenai River in Alaska
View to the Kenai Mountains from the river below Skilak Lake

From the Kenai River in Alaska
Sierra landing a trout

From the Kenai River in Alaska
Kenai River rainbow I caught on a leech pattern Perry tied
Lena with a trout on the line

From the Kenai River in Alaska
Unhooking another trout for Lena

From the Kenai River in Alaska
Water on the Kenai was about 3 feet higher than usual, up into t

From the Kenai River in Alaska
Netting Lena's trout
The Kenai River in Alaska
The Kenai River in Alaska
Motoring up the Kenai River with Perry

From the Kenai River in Alaska

Comments / replies

Troutnut
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Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jul 21, 2016July 21st, 2016, 2:34 pm EDT
Just posted this trip. Commenting to bump it up on the forum.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Crepuscular
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Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 920
Crepuscular on Jul 22, 2016July 22nd, 2016, 7:58 am EDT
Nice Jason. you are definitely correct about the scenery. Jeez it's gorgeous. and it's good to see you smiling in a photo for once. ;)
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 22, 2016July 22nd, 2016, 10:55 am EDT
The color of that water just blows my mind...not to mention the color of those fish! And I love spruce trees too, fell in love with giant Sitka spruces in Oregon, they are so picturesque. Very nice Jason, and thanks for sharing.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Martinlf
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Palmyra PA

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Martinlf on Jul 22, 2016July 22nd, 2016, 5:59 pm EDT
Looks like a great trip, with great folks. Hope to get up that way sometime soon. Thanks for posting.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jul 23, 2016July 23rd, 2016, 7:47 am EDT
The color of that water just blows my mind...


Jason, Jonathon lives a little "off-the-grid", we won't tell him about Photoshop...:)

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
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jul 23, 2016July 23rd, 2016, 9:22 am EDT
Don't think that's Photoshop Spence...I've seen some mighty pretty blue waters here in the Great lakes and out in the ocean, but never quite that shade, somewhere between royal blue and turquoise! (Did see a lake in Chile that was emerald green, too, no kidding.) I'm wondering how much that has to do with mineral content, spring fed waters in Texas from the limestone Edwards aquifer are a very pretty blue-green as well, also some sinkhole lakes. Whatever the cause, it's stunningly beautiful.

And yeah Spence, I'm so far off the grid that I teach at a community college! You want off the grid? Take a boat ride to Isle Royale (and see some pretty Lake superior blue on the way) and hike into the backcountry there...your smart phone won't work!!

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

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jul 25, 2016July 25th, 2016, 10:46 am EDT
Yeah Spence, that's what the Kenai really looks like. Its color is almost otherworldly. Most rivers that get most of their water from melting glaciers are dark gray/brown and as clear as chocolate milk. But some, like the Kenai, have a big, deep lake between the glacier and most of the river, where most of the silt settles out, and only the finest particles remain. Apart from adding some clarity (it's still not the cleareast water, but usually you can see 1-3 feet into it) the ultrafine remaining silt gives it a bright emerald green color.

Like Jonathon mentioned, I've also seen that color in some non-glacial streams from limestone country, like the Soca in Slovenia. I would guess it has to do with similar physics of extremely fine suspended particles, but I don't know how that works exactly.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Oldredbarn
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Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Oldredbarn on Jul 26, 2016July 26th, 2016, 8:28 am EDT
Nice!
"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

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