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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.

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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.

Briefly exploring steelhead streams

By Troutnut on January 23rd, 2021
I've lived in Washington for three years and not yet caught a steelhead, or even really tried, in the famed rivers of the Olympic Peninsula. My wife and I had a brief window to get away for about a day and a half and did some exploring over there this week. However, with the short days, beach time, and rambunctious new puppy, I didn't get much serious fishing done. I fished some promising water on the Hoh for about an hour, seeing no fish but talking to others who had, and I spent (Spent: The wing position of many aquatic insects when they fall on the water after mating. The wings of both sides lay flat on the water. The word may be used to describe insects with their wings in that position, as well as the position itself.) all of about ten minutes swinging a fly through a run on the Sol Duc. I'd love to get back there for a few days of serious fishing when time allows.

Photos by Troutnut from the Hoh River and the Sol Duc River in Washington

Dinking around on a small stream

By Troutnut on September 29th, 2020
On September 29th I went up to the mountains to sight in my hunting rifle in advance of deer season. However, the custom ammunition I ordered was the wrong length and wouldn't fit into the chamber, so that job ended quickly. (I won't name the company, because they bent over backward to make it right, and I got it fixed by hunting season.) As a consolation prize to make the trip productive, I drove to a nearby stream and played with the colorful little rainbows and cutthroat trout on perdigon nymphs. As a bonus, I caught a striking and unusual species of Siphlonurus mayfly.

Photos by Troutnut from Mystery Creek #249 in Washington

Boulder-hopping on the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie

By Troutnut on September 22nd, 2020
I wanted to get out one fishing and hone my fledgling Euro nymphing skills one more time before today's major beginning to the fall rainy season, so last night I drove way up the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie to fish a section of fast pocket water for a couple hours.

Working my way up the line of slippery car-sized boulders and fallen trees that comprise the river bank, sandwiched between the roaring whitewater and impenetrable vegetation, was as much an exercise in gymnastics as in fishing. However, I found plenty of what I came for: interesting nymphing water and very pretty, very small coastal cutthroat and rainbow trout. The largest of the couple dozen fish landed were a pair of 9-inch cutthroat. I could have found slightly bigger fish downstream closer to town, but the seclusion of the headwaters was worth the extra drive.

Photos by Troutnut from the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River in Washington

Quick evening on the upper Yakima

By Troutnut on September 17th, 2020
With smoke from the west coast wildfires beginning to clear just a little, I took a few hours to fish one of the nearest access points on the Yakima River, where the fish are small and the water uncrowded. There were some stoneflies and caddisflies in the air--I collected one of each, representing the most abundant species--but there weren't enough bugs on the water to get the fish rising, except for the abundant 3-inch-long Chinook Salmon parr. I continued playing around with my new Euro nymphing rig and landed several rainbows up to 12", including my first double on that rod.

Photos by Troutnut from the Yakima River in Washington

Smoky float down the Yakima Canyon

By Troutnut on September 12th, 2020
With limited weekends remaining for fishing before October gets really busy, my wife and I braved the smoke to float the Yakima Canyon from mile 20 down to Red's. We found very few steadily rising fish, just small ones sipping Baetid duns in a couple of spots, and picked up some rainbows up to 14" on miscellaneous attractor (Attractor: Flies not designed to imitate any particular insect, but to incorporate characteristics attractive to trout. When trout aren't feeding selectively, attractors often outperform careful imitations as searching patterns because they are easier to see and incorporate more strike-triggering characteristics. They include legends like the Adams, Bivisible, and Royal Wulff.) dries and nymphs. I've never seen so many deer along the canyon, perhaps a consequence of the fire burning out much of the adjacent habitat and feed a few weeks ago.

I did a fairly poor job of budgeting our time, stopping at every likely-looking seam early in the float and then having to blow through some of the best water in a rush to reach the landing before it was too dark to see. That's what I get for not learning the river yet. There were some nicer fish feeding at dusk and I missed a couple strikes, but I didn't have time to stick around and keep working on them.

Photos by Troutnut from the Yakima River in Washington

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