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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 Zapada cinctipes (Nemouridae) (Tiny Winter Black) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
Nymphs of this species were fairly common in late-winter kick net samples from the upper Yakima River. Although I could not find a key to species of Zapada nymphs, a revision of the Nemouridae family by Baumann (1975) includes the following helpful sentence: "2 cervical gills on each side of midline, 1 arising inside and 1 outside of lateral cervical sclerites, usually single and elongate, sometimes constricted but with 3 or 4 branches arising beyond gill base in Zapada cinctipes." This specimen clearly has the branches and is within the range of that species.
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.

Comments / replies

RleeP
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Sep 15, 2019September 15th, 2019, 2:17 am EDT
Thanks for the memory with this one, Jason. You shared this creek with me a few years back and I had a blast. It fit my image of the near perfect smaller trout stream like a glove. I felt right at home.

The only problem is that you've jostled my memory now and I need to find a way to get back there and I'm back in PA now and 900+ miles away. Maybe if I tell Petunia I have to go out for milk and will probably bundle a few more errands into the trip. Don't wait up...;)

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