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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.
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Neilstall has attached these 2 pictures. The message is below.
Neilstall
Washington

Posts: 2
Neilstall on Jan 5, 2019January 5th, 2019, 4:52 am EST
Hey everyone!

Last summer I backpacked to an alpine lake in Western Washington and caught several fish. Elevation was 3800' and the lake was fairly small with snow runoff nearly year round. I caught two or three typical rainbows (picture included), but what really made me scratch my head was one that I assumed to be a cutthroat. It was a female and has the red gill plate, but no slash under the jaw. What really interested me was the DARK red fins with slightly white edges (but not on the dorsal or pectorals). She seemed to be an old timer based on the wear and tear on her fins and seemed to be losing scales sadly. Released her right away after snapping this picture, but the longer it's been since then, the more I wonder what she was.

I know there are cases of trout cross-breeding (Tiger Trout), especially in small lakes with little contact and it becomes their only option for survival, but I'm not finding any pictures like this anywhere online. Thanks for your help identifying this beauty!
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jan 5, 2019January 5th, 2019, 9:57 am EST
Hi Neilstall,

I'm really interested to see this picture, since I fish western WA high lakes too, but it looks like it didn't get posted somehow. Maybe try uploading it to imgur.com and posting the link here?
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Neilstall
Washington

Posts: 2
Neilstall on Jan 5, 2019January 5th, 2019, 10:29 am EST
Sorry for the delay in posting the pictures, I somehow failed to include them originally!

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