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What is Troutnut.com?
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.

Troutnut.com'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 Troutnut.com 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.

Updates from July 11, 2017

Updates from July 5, 2017

Photos by Troutnut from the South Fork Sauk River in Washington

Closeup insects by Troutnut from the South Fork Sauk River in Washington

Male Epeorus (Little Maryatts) Mayfly DunMale Epeorus (Little Maryatts) Mayfly Dun View 12 PicturesI hoped this dun would molt into a spinner for a positive ID, but it didn't. My best guess is Epeorus dulciana, but that's only because that's the smallest western Epeorus species, and this specimen is smaller than any of the others, with a body length of 5.3 mm (although it would be longer as a spinner) and a wing length of 8.5 mm.

It was collected at the same time as a similar-sized female dun.
Collected July 5, 2017 from the South Fork Sauk River in Washington
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on July 6, 2017
Male Rhithrogena virilis Mayfly SpinnerMale Rhithrogena virilis  Mayfly Spinner View 12 PicturesI'm fairly sure this is a specimen of Rhithrogena virilis based on closeup examination of the reproductive anatomy under the microscope (not shown in photos). The other other species of Rhithrogena this large is Rhithrogena flavianula, but the key in Needham's Biology of Mayflies mentions annulation in the abdomen (visible in some images on bugguide.net) more distinct than that on this specimen.

The body and front wing were both about 15.5 mm long, while the cerci (Cercus: The left and right "tails" of an insect are known as the cerci or caudal cerci. The middle tail of a three-tailed insect is not.) were 40 mm long.
Collected July 5, 2017 from the South Fork Sauk River in Washington
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on July 6, 2017
Female Epeorus (Little Maryatts) Mayfly DunFemale Epeorus (Little Maryatts) Mayfly Dun View 5 PicturesI'm guessing this female is of the same species as this male dun, because they came from the same pool at the same time and the size matches, although the males and females would look very different in this case.
Collected July 5, 2017 from the South Fork Sauk River in Washington
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on July 6, 2017

Updates from July 1, 2017

Photos by Troutnut from the South Fork Stillaguamish River in Washington

Closeup insects by Troutnut from the South Fork Stillaguamish River in Washington

Female Cinygmula (Dark Red Quills) Mayfly DunFemale Cinygmula (Dark Red Quills) Mayfly Dun View 6 PicturesThis one was collected in association with a male spinner probably of the same species.
Collected July 1, 2017 from the South Fork Stillaguamish River in Washington
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on July 2, 2017
Male Cinygmula (Dark Red Quills) Mayfly SpinnerMale Cinygmula (Dark Red Quills) Mayfly Spinner View 11 PicturesI'm unsure of the ID on this one; keys put it closest to Cinygmula reticulata, but I'm very doubtful of the species and not positive on the genus. Epeorus is another possibility, but I don't know which species it would be.

This one was collected in association with a female dun probably of the same species.
Collected July 1, 2017 from the South Fork Stillaguamish River in Washington
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on July 2, 2017

Updates from June 22, 2017

New aquatic entomology book for the southeast US

By Troutnut on May 22nd, 2017, 11:58 am
A group of prominent aquatic entomologists, including longtime Troutnut forum member Dr. Luke Jacobus, have just released a new book, Larvae of the Southeastern USA Mayfly, Stonefly, and Caddisfly Species. It's edited by John C. Morse, W. Patrick McCafferty, Bill P. Stark, and Luke M. Jacobus.

Luke sent me this description for anglers:

Whether your flies are wet or dry, identifying larvae of mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies can be helpful for recognizing, and communicating about, the species that live in your favorite body of water. This book enables naturalists, sport fishers, freshwater ecologists, and biomonitoring workers to identify larvae for most species of these insects occurring in and around the southeastern US. Keys for several genera are good for all of eastern North America, and several keys are the first available for their taxonomic group. Previously unpublished stage associations are reflected in the keys, and geographic and habitat distributions are discussed.


I haven't had a chance to read the book yet, but given the previous work of these authors, I'm sure they've put together a good resource for any technically inclined fly anglers fishing that part of the country. Species-specific ID information is especially hard to come by, and this seems like a valuable addition to our very limited resources.
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Featured on the photo forums

This is just a quick sample from the 41387 posts in 4946 topics on our forum. Join to discuss fly fishing, fly tying, bugs, or anything!
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