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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.

Lateral view of a Female Sweltsa borealis (Chloroperlidae) (Boreal Sallfly) Stonefly Adult from Harris Creek in Washington
I was not fishing, but happened to be at an unrelated social event on a hill above this tiny creek (which I never even saw) when this stonefly flew by me. I assume it came from there. Some key characteristics are tricky to follow, but process of elimination ultimately led me to Sweltsa borealis. It is reassuringly similar to this specimen posted by Bob Newell years ago. It is also so strikingly similar to this nymph from the same river system that I'm comfortable identifying that nymph from this adult. I was especially pleased with the closeup photo of four mites parasitizing this one.
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.

About "Mystery Creeks": If you recognize one of these, you already understand why I'm keeping it a secret. I'm not as strict as some anglers about hiding where I fish, mostly because I don't expect to substantially affect fishing pressure on already well-known or simply unpopular waters. But there are some gems where I don't want to add a single unfamiliar bootprint to the mix, due to the fishing, their wild character, or keeping a friend's secret. They're all "Mystery Creek" here—even the lakes.

Landscape & scenery photos from Mystery Creek # 186

Big Arctic grayling eating a Drunella doddsii mayfly dun.
Mystery Creek # 186 in Alaska
Mystery Creek # 186 in Alaska
Mystery Creek # 186 in Alaska
Mystery Creek # 186 in Alaska
Mystery Creek # 186 in Alaska
Mystery Creek # 186 in Alaska
Mystery Creek # 186 in Alaska
Mystery Creek # 186 in Alaska

On-stream insect photos from Mystery Creek # 186

Mystery Creek # 186 in Alaska

Closeup insects by Troutnut from Mystery Creek #186 in Alaska

Dorsal view of a Male Cinygmula ramaleyi (Heptageniidae) (Small Western Gordon Quill) Mayfly Spinner from Mystery Creek #186 in Alaska
This one was preserved in ethanol and partially dissected, so it doesn't have its natural wild coloration, and it's missing some appendages. I'm posting it for identification purposes.
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