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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Salmonflies
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Dorsal view of a Skwala (Perlodidae) (Large Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This Skwala nymph still has a couple months left to go before hatching, but it's still a good representative of its species, which was extremely abundant in my sample for a stonefly of this size. It's obvious why the Yakima is known for its Skwala hatch.
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 12th, 2019, 11:16 am EDT
I finally got around to uploading all the photos from a fishing & bug photography trip I took to Montana (and the surrounding area in Idaho and Wyoming) in August 2018. For the first ten days, I fished by myself from dawn to dusk, slept in my car, and got off the water only long enough to drive to the next fishing spot. It was a whirlwind tour of the famous waters of the West and many not-so-famous ones, sometimes stopping for just a few hours to wet a line in a river that takes a lifetime to master. I'll be back again to concentrate my efforts.

It might be a while (or never) before I have time to go through and narrate each day of the trip on the front page blog, so for now I'll just suggest browsing those posts and letting the pictures tell the story. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Firehole River, where cold mountain water meets hot geyers in what Ernest Schwiebert rightfully called "The Strangest Trout Stream on Earth."



My biggest cutthroat trout to date, an 18-incher from a stream that shall not be named:



A herd of bison crossing the Yellowstone River:



A Rock Creek cuttbow that put up one hell of a fight for its size:



Another gorgeous cuttbow from a stream I'm keeping secret, this one with mostly "bow" and less "cutt":



My personal best brook trout, fat and almost 16" long, from the same river:



And a stately caddisfly from the Henry's Fork:



Enjoy!

Comments / replies

Partsman
Partsman's profile picture
bancroft michigan

Posts: 321
Partsman on Jun 13, 2019June 13th, 2019, 12:49 pm EDT
Awesome Jason, your photography almost takes us with you. Thanks for sharing.
Mike
Wbranch
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jun 14, 2019June 14th, 2019, 5:35 am EDT
Jason,

Great pictures! You know of course that Montana Fish and Wildlife consider the Eastern Brook Trout an invasive species and in many waters they compete with wild cutties and anglers are requested to kill the brook trout. That is one heck of a gorgeous brook trout. It's a shame that they rarely grow to that size in their original eastern range (except for NE Maine and the Magalloway and Rapid Rivers)
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Creno
Grants Pass, OR

Posts: 302
Creno on Jun 14, 2019June 14th, 2019, 6:35 am EDT
Nice pics of nice fish and places - and a stately caddis indeed. A Grammotaulius lorettae Denning 1941 female.
Jmd123
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Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Jun 18, 2019June 18th, 2019, 3:46 am EDT
WOW!!!
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Troutnut
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Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Jun 18, 2019June 18th, 2019, 4:43 pm EDT
You know of course that Montana Fish and Wildlife consider the Eastern Brook Trout an invasive species and in many waters they compete with wild cutties and anglers are requested to kill the brook trout.


Yeah, I'm aware. I released this one, because brook trout are there to stay in this drainage. There are native cutts above an impassible barrier higher up.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Martinlf
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Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Jun 24, 2019June 24th, 2019, 7:54 am EDT
Cool, Jason. Thanks!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Wbranch
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Jun 25, 2019June 25th, 2019, 12:27 pm EDT
It would of been a shame to kill that big brookie. Just a great fish and something many guys will never catch that big unless they travel to the northern woods of Maine or Labrador.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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