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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.

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
StateAlaska
Date TakenMay 31, 2020
Date AddedJun 8, 2020
AuthorTroutnut
CameraCanon EOS 7D Mark II
 From Parks Highway in Alaska.
StateAlaska
Date TakenMay 31, 2020
Date AddedJun 8, 2020
AuthorTroutnut
CameraCanon EOS 7D Mark II

Exploring a favorite Alaskan stream

By Troutnut on May 30th, 2020
Late May is an odd time to hunt for rainbow trout along Alaska's road system. The adult salmon aren't in yet, most of the smolts aren't really running yet either, and the rainbows are in limbo between their mysterious headwater spawning locations and the places they enjoy salmon smolt and egg buffets later in the summer.

Last year, when the rivers were atypically low due to a light snowpack, I fished three miles of a favorite creek and moved only three rainbows, all of monstrous size. This year, greater snowmelt had the creek swollen beyond long-distance wadeability, so a friend and I explored some absurdly off-the-beaten-path access points, the kind where it takes an hour to reach a piece of water in which nobody else has set foot for years.

On this new water, I caught one 19" female and briefly saw a nice male rocketing downstream post-spawn. Mostly, though, the scenic new reaches were a bust from a catching standpoint. At the end of the day, I bashed through half a mile of alders and devil's club (R.I.P. my waders, 2019-2020) to reach a known hotspot and caught six fish, mostly 18-21", before a storm rolled in and chased me back to the car.

Photos by Troutnut from Byers Creek in Alaska

A quick fishing detour from a work trip

By Troutnut on May 29th, 2020
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.) most of the month of May in Alaska, and most of that sitting in an AirBnB in North Pole abiding by the required 2-week indoor quarantine for travelers from out-of-state due to Covid-19. After the quarantine came a frantic sequence of fieldwork to train the technician we hired to complete our second summer of data collection on a study of food resources for juvenile Chinook Salmon in the Chena River. However, our weather-dependent sampling schedule allowed for a break from May 29th-31st, and I drove south to chase rainbow trout.

Photos by Troutnut from Mystery Creek #252 and the East Fork Chulitna River in Alaska

Lower 4th of July Cr From Mystery Creek # 252 in Alaska.
Lower 4th of July Cr
StateAlaska
Date TakenMay 29, 2020
Date AddedJun 8, 2020
AuthorTroutnut
CameraiPhone XS
I tried fishing the East Fork Chulitna River near the mouth of Hardage Creek. It's a pretty little creek mouth and not difficult to access, but the mixing zone between the clear tributary and more turbid river was all over shallow, fast water and there wasn't really any good habitat to hold fish. From the East Fork Chulitna River in Alaska.
I tried fishing the East Fork Chulitna River near the mouth of Hardage Creek. It's a pretty little creek mouth and not difficult to access, but the mixing zone between the clear tributary and more turbid river was all over shallow, fast water and there wasn't really any good habitat to hold fish.
StateAlaska
Date TakenMay 29, 2020
Date AddedJun 8, 2020
AuthorTroutnut
CameraiPhone XS
 From Mystery Creek # 252 in Alaska.
StateAlaska
Date TakenMay 29, 2020
Date AddedJun 8, 2020
AuthorTroutnut
CameraiPhone XS
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