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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.

Trump's trying to attack fish & wildlife research

By Troutnut on March 21st, 2018, 6:54 pm
News broke yesterday that the Trump administration's latest budget proposes to practically eliminate the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research units. The Coop Units are extremely valuable partnerships between the state and federal governments and universities that facilitate training of new scientists, keep students and university researchers engaged with the needs of management agencies, and conduct a sizable proportion of the most management-relevant research in fisheries and wildlife science. I earned my Ph.D. in fisheries science as part of a Coop Unit, and so did many of my friends in the field. Our research and career prospects benefitted tremendously from these partnerships, which were supported by all institutions involved including the federal government.

Here's the American Fisheries Society's take on this plan. (They're the largest professional organization of fisheries scientists.)

"Eliminating the coop units" is not an idea that was ever previously on the table under any administration, Republican or Democrat, because they are a shining success story of cost-effective federal spending, matched by the states and universities, to serve the public good. They're a tiny drop in the bucket of federal spending, and they give taxpayers a positive return on our investment. Trying to eliminate them is the kind of mistake that only happens when you put a completely inept and untrained person in charge of some really complicated job. Asking Trump to fix the government was like asking a Kardashian to rebuild your transmission; it just isn't going to work, and they're going to leave a much bigger mess than when they started. A pampered reality TV host with no real-world skills just isn't cut out for work that takes a lot of training and expertise.

Fortunately, the mistake isn't final yet. Congress still has a say, and they're not all insane. Contact your Congressperson, share the AFS link, and make sure they stop this ridiculous idea.

Quick evening trip to the mountains

By Troutnut on October 3rd, 2017
After work last night I drove up to the Taylor River, a tributary of the Middle Fork Snoqualmie. I was just in the mood for the aesthetics of this place, and it didn't disappoint. The largest of the several wild coastal cutthroat I caught was less than 8" long, and most were around 6".

I'm glad I enjoy catching small trout in big places.

Photos by Troutnut from the Taylor River in Washington

Fun float down the Yakima

By Troutnut on October 1st, 2017
I drove out from the gloomy rain of the Seattle area this morning to float the Yakima River in the rain shadow of the Cascades. The weather in the lower Canyon reach (from mile 20 to Red's Fly Shop) was beautiful, although a bit windy for casting.

I floated solo in my packraft, which isn't really a good craft for anchoring and fishing, so the plan was just to use the boat to move between spots to get out and wade. At this water level (1500 CFS at Umtanum, fairly low), there still aren't a lot of great spots for that, at least not compared to the total amount of water fishable from a drift boat. I can see why those are so popular on this river. Still, I found a few decent spots.

Insect activity was quiet. I saw one October Caddis flying around and a handful of other things, but the only numerous insects were Baetids of some sort (I didn't catch any), and they weren't especially thick. They did intersect with one of the better spots I stopped, though, and my first cast with a size 18 parachute BWO hooked a nice rainbow, around 18". I fought it for a few minutes and was beginning to tire it out, just about ready to pull the landing net off my back, when I got a little bit too aggressive against its bulldogging and it bent out the little hook and got away. I fished a cast's length downstream for half an hour or so, then tried that spot again, and to amazement I hooked a fish of the same size, in the same spot, on the same fly. It's possible there was more than one nice fish right there, but I'm more inclined to guess this was the same fish hitting again. I've never had a big trout give me a second chance so quickly. I've done it with naive little grayling in Alaska, but this was a first, if indeed that's what happened.

After that, surface activity really died down for the rest of the day. 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.) some time swinging a small olive Sculpzilla, on which I missed too many strikes throughout the day. Some might have been small trout that only nipped the tail, but a couple fish were solidly on the line for a few seconds before dropping it. I think my ten years throwing dry flies to grayling dulled my other technique a bit. Finally I managed a solid hookup in a deep riffle and won a great fight with a 20" rainbow that kept dodging the net, trying to run between my feet, and other crafty tricks.

Mule deer, quail, and other wildlife complemented the golden canyon scenery to make this trip really enjoyable, even though the fishing was slow at times.

Photos by Troutnut from the Yakima River in Washington

Finally got an October Caddis

By Troutnut on September 29th, 2017
I've been itching to photograph one of these for years and had an unexpected opportunity tonight when this one flew into a house full of aquatic scientists. It's the first insect I've collected for this site by chasing it around a kitchen with a tupperware container.

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

Female Dicosmoecus gilvipes (October Caddis) Caddisfly AdultFemale Dicosmoecus gilvipes (October Caddis) Caddisfly Adult View 16 PicturesI've been hoping to add a really good October Caddis to the photo collection here for years, but so far I had struck out on finding them on the river. Tonight, this one flew into the kitchen during a pizza party at a house along the river, and was quickly pointed out -- one of the perks of hanging out with other aquatic biologists! Maybe next year I can finally get a salmonfly on taco night or something.
Collected September 29, 2017 from the South Fork Snoqualmie River in Washington
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on September 29, 2017

Chasing Golden Trout high in the Cascades

By Troutnut on September 3rd, 2017
I just posted a report on my Labor Day weekend fishing adventure, trying to add a Golden Trout to my life list. Physically, this was the hardest thing I've ever done by far, and it was the only adventure that's ever left me committed to never doing anything remotely like it ever again. But I did encounter some interesting fish -- read the Golden Trout trip report to see how that went.

On-stream insect photos by Troutnut from Upper Lake in Washington

Callibaetis spinner on an alpine lake in Washington's Cascades, the one referred to by the alias of Upper Lake in my Golden Trout trip report.  In this picture: Mayfly Genus Callibaetis (Speckled Duns). From Upper Lake in Washington.
Callibaetis spinner on an alpine lake in Washington's Cascades, the one referred to by the alias of Upper Lake in my Golden Trout trip report.

In this picture: Mayfly Genus Callibaetis (Speckled Duns).
LocationUpper Lake
Date TakenSep 3, 2017
Date AddedSep 5, 2017
AuthorTroutnut
CameraNIKON 1 AW1
Page:1234...99

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