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Fly anglers live for the "hatches" when trout erupt in a feeding frenzy over the mass emergence aquatic insects from the river's surface. In these moments, trout can become so focused on one specific type of prey that they will pursue only a skillful imitation. Anglers who study aquatic insects to meet this challenge find that they're as captivating as the fish themselves. Every species has its own story, its own personality. We cross paths with these characters at the climax of a perennial drama of life and death, and--as with any great drama or sport--every play means so much more when we know the players inside and out. It's not just about catching fish. It's about knowing the stream and loving everything in it.'s aquatic insect encyclopedia is a guide to these players and their stories. Read about the behavior of each species and view thousands of closeup photos, or join the fly fishing forum to meet other devotees of the world's healthiest addiction. You can learn the basics of mayflies, caddisflies, or stoneflies. Or dive into the details of storied species like the Hendrickson hatch and the Hex hatch.

Latest updates

The blog posts below describe every update ever added to by myself (Troutnut) and other contributors, along with occasional other thoughts and stories from my adventures in fishing, hunting, research, and travel in Alaska and beyond.

Quick bug stop on the Dosewallips River

By Troutnut on July 6th, 2020
This long day trip from home to the Olympic Peninsula was primarily an attempt to dig a geoduck, a Pacific Northwest delicacy and the largest species of burrowing clam. I built a special tool to help dig them up from 3 feet under the sediment in the tidal flat off the Dosewallips River estuary, where the big clams are exposed only during the lowest tides of the summer. They're apparently located among the eelgrass at this beach by locating where they spurt jets of water 5-10 feet into the air as the tide recedes or rises. Unfortunately, I didn't see a single jet of water nor any other sign of a geoduck, even with the tide dropping to -2.8 feet.

My consolation prizes were some delicious steamer clams (manila clams), an easy find higher in the tidal zone, and some bugs to photograph from a short sampling stop upriver.

Photos by Troutnut from the Dosewallips River in Washington

 From the Dosewallips River in Washington.
Date TakenJul 6, 2020
Date AddedJul 12, 2020
CameraiPhone XS

Closeup insects by Troutnut from Mystery Creek #249 and the Dosewallips River in Washington

July 4th getaway to a small stream

By Troutnut on July 4th, 2020
Looking to do something outdoors and asocial during July 4th of the year of Covid-19, I took my wife to a small stream full of feisty westslope cutthroat trout. Of course, being July 4th, there were a few people around the easy-to-access spots (i.e. places to drive and set up a cushy camp ten feet from the truck), but it was easy to walk past them and have a beautiful little stream to ourselves. I'm both baffled and grateful that so few people see the value in chasing little trout in pretty little streams.

Videos by Troutnut from Mystery Creek #249 in Washington

Cinygmula par mating flight
It's remarkable what thick hatches, and especially spinner flights, can come from a species few anglers have ever heard of. The genus Cinygmula is thought to produce unremarkable spinner flights, but this one would certainly have gotten the trout going if it weren't happening just before dark on a small stream where there isn't a lot of nocturnal feeding.
Date ShotJul 4, 2020
Date AddedJul 12, 2020
CameraiPhone Xs

Photos by Troutnut from Mystery Creek #249 in Washington

 From Mystery Creek # 249 in Washington.
Date TakenJul 4, 2020
Date AddedJul 12, 2020
CameraNIKON 1 AW1

Closeup insects by Troutnut from Mystery Creek #249 in Washington

Trip report from my Idaho mule deer hunt in 2019

By Troutnut on June 22nd, 2020, 1:35 pm
I just completed a trip report article about my first Idaho hunting experience, a lengthy trip last fall seeking a mule deer buck. I won't recap the whole hunt in this blog post, but the trip was full of great scenery and lessons learned about hunting those wily deer.

I covered an incredible variety of country:

For more pictures, see the full report.

Trip to the mountains in WA, a bit early

By Troutnut on June 6th, 2020
Saturday I drove east from the rainy Seattle side of the Cascades to seek sunnier weather and take some friends on their first flyfishing trip. We went to a small stream where I've caught small trout from a meadow with plenty of backcast room, but unfortunately the water up there at 4,400 feet was still high and too cold from runoff. I like to think I could have found a few fish on nymphs on a solo trip with lots of time to kill. However, being focused on teaching, I only fished myself long enough to tell that the fishing wasn't going to be much good yet (i.e., I caught nothing in a few promising spots).

We moved on to a high lake, Taneum Lake, mostly just for the easy, scenic hike. We saw a few cutthroat trout cruising around, but it was not a good lake to flyfish from shore. I had brought my packraft, but nobody else much felt like paddling around on the lake when the wind picked up and snow started to fall. I might have fared better with a spinning rod. The fish did try to hand me one opportunity on a silver platter, but I blew it by failing to have the right setup when opportunity struck. I was rigged up with a heavily-weighted fly and sink-tip line from a deep shoreline when I walked up toward a shallower area and spotted a cruising fish. It paused behind an isolated boulder as if it were trying to give me the perfect opportunity to sneak into a good casting position, so I did. There was no time to change flies, so my heavy dragonfly nymph dropped into the water about 20 feet in front of the fish with a loud "plunk" that sent it darting off into the depths. Whoops.

Photos by Troutnut from Taneum Lake and the South Fork Manastash Creek in Washington

Views from the Parks Highway

By Troutnut on May 31st, 2020
On my way back to Fairbanks from fishing, the area around Cantwell produced the same kinds of dramatic views it always does under Alaska's midnight sun.

Photos by Troutnut from Parks Highway in Alaska

Storm view south of Broad Pass From Parks Highway in Alaska.
Storm view south of Broad Pass
Date TakenMay 31, 2020
Date AddedJun 8, 2020
CameraCanon EOS 7D Mark II
 From Parks Highway in Alaska.
Date TakenMay 31, 2020
Date AddedJun 8, 2020
CameraCanon EOS 7D Mark II

Featured on the photo forums

This is just a quick sample from the 43572 posts in 5318 topics on our forum. Join to discuss fly fishing, fly tying, bugs, or anything!
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