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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 Grammotaulius betteni (Limnephilidae) (Northern Caddisfly) Caddisfly Larva from the Yakima River in Washington
This is a striking caddis larva with an interesting color pattern on the head. Here are some characteristics I was able to see under the microscope, but could not easily expose for a picture:
- The prosternal horn is present.
- The mandible is clearly toothed, not formed into a uniform scraper blade.
- The seems to be only 2 major setae on the ventral edge of the hind femur.
- Chloride epithelia seem to be absent from the dorsal side of any abdominal segments.
Based on these characteristics and the ones more easily visible from the pictures, this seems to be Grammotaulius. The key's description of the case is spot-on: "Case cylindrical, made of longitudinally arranged sedge or similar leaves," as is the description of the markings on the head, "Dorsum of head light brownish yellow with numerous discrete, small, dark spots." The spot pattern on the head is a very good match to figure 19.312 of Merritt R.W., Cummins, K.W., and Berg, M.B. (2019). The species ID is based on Grammotaulius betteni being the only species of this genus known in Washington state.
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.
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This is a tributary of the East Branch of the Delaware that flows in at Shinhopple.

Landscape & scenery photos from the East Branch of Trout Brook

This pretty little mountain valley pond held several browns and brookies, not huge but outsized for their small stream, and the water was so clear I could sight-fish for them across half the pond.  There was also a school of bullheads swimming laps.

From the East Branch of Trout Brook in New York
The East Branch of Trout Brook in New York
The East Branch of Trout Brook in New York
This old artificial dam (possibly the former site of a bridge) creates a nice little trout pond upstream.

From the East Branch of Trout Brook in New York

Underwater photos from the East Branch of Trout Brook

The East Branch of Trout Brook in New York
I tried to photograph this salamander but it kept scurrying away from the camera.  The rocks in this little backwater are covered with a thin layer of very easily disturbed silt, so anywhere I followed it I didn't have much time to photograph before the water was too turbid for a good shot.  This is the best I got.

From the East Branch of Trout Brook in New York


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