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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.

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 # 217

Inviting pool on a sizable river in the Yellowstone backcountry

From the Mystery Creek # 217 in Wyoming
A 15 3/4" Brook Trout, my personal best. I saw this fish chase a smaller one out of the depths of a deep pool, but without a great view I thought it was just a good-sized rainbow. I worked the pool for 15-20 minutes trying to catch that "rainbow" and was thrilled when, after a few minutes of strong fighting, it came close enough for me to see the giant brook trout on the end of my line.
The Mystery Creek # 217 in Wyoming
14 1/2" brook trout -- my 2nd biggest ever.
The Mystery Creek # 217 in Wyoming
The Mystery Creek # 217 in Wyoming
The Mystery Creek # 217 in Wyoming
The Mystery Creek # 217 in Wyoming
The Mystery Creek # 217 in Wyoming
The Mystery Creek # 217 in Wyoming

References

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