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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.

Case view of a Pycnopsyche guttifera (Limnephilidae) (Great Autumn Brown Sedge) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
It's only barely visible in one of my pictures, but I confirmed under the microscope that this one has a prosternal horn and the antennae are mid-way between the eyes and front of the head capsule.

I'm calling this one Pycnopsyche, but it's a bit perplexing. It seems to key definitively to at least Couplet 8 of the Key to Genera of Limnephilidae Larvae. That narrows it down to three genera, and the case seems wrong for the other two. The case looks right for Pycnopsyche, and it fits one of the key characteristics: "Abdominal sternum II without chloride epithelium and abdominal segment IX with only single seta on each side of dorsal sclerite." However, the characteristic "metanotal sa1 sclerites not fused, although often contiguous" does not seem to fit well. Those sclerites sure look fused to me, although I can make out a thin groove in the touching halves in the anterior half under the microscope. Perhaps this is a regional variation.

The only species of Pycnopsyche documented in Washington state is Pycnopsyche guttifera, and the colors and markings around the head of this specimen seem to match very well a specimen of that species from Massachusetts on Bugguide. So I am placing it in that species for now.

Whatever species this is, I photographed another specimen of seemingly the same species from the same spot a couple months later.
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.
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Jmd123 has attached these 3 pictures. The message is below.
Never seen a brookie like this before
Big mushroom by the Pond
Goldenrods are in peak bloom around here right now
Jmd123
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Sep 17, 2016September 17th, 2016, 6:21 pm EDT
Well, they haven't been very big, but they have been biting...Wednesday night on The Rifle at Sage Lake Road (which closes two weeks from yesterday) was a beautiful night with ample caddisflies and a few mayflies, but the river would give me nothing over 9" or 10" so no pics. Last night on [REDACTED] Pond didn't yield anything bigger, but one of the brookies had a color variation I have never before seen. Notice the abundance of cream-colored spots WITHOUT pink dots and blue halos, like only 5 on each side and the rest empty. The other three (all smaller) I caught looked "normal" (and just gorgeous), so who knows? Somebody let a few splake go in there?? Anyone else seen this?

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

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