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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.

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.
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.

This page refers to the small American River that flows eastward from headwaters near Mount Ranier in Washington to join the Naches, Yakima, and Columbia rivers.

Although it is known to have some trout, I have not had good luck fishing here.

Landscape & scenery photos from the American River

The American River in Washington
The American River in Washington
Elk tracks all over the gravel bars

From the American River in Washington
After an hour or more of getting skunked in beautiful water, I finally found a decent rising trout and got it to hit in this pool. Naturally, I had tied a knot poorly and it broke off on the hookset.

From the American River in Washington
The American River in Washington
The American River in Washington
The American River in Washington
The American River in Washington
The American River in Washington
The American River in Washington
The American River in Washington

Closeup insects by Troutnut from the American River in Washington

Lateral view of a Female Drunella grandis (Ephemerellidae) (Western Green Drake) Mayfly Dun from the American River in Washington
I collected this specimen while away from all my good photography equipment except the camera and one of my macro lenses, so I made do. The lighting is from lamps in a hotel room, so it was hard to edit for really true colors, but I tried to get as close as possible. The body was 13 mm long, wing 19 mm long.
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