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Feature Articles

Marjan Fratnik and the History of the F-fly by Fish1


Guest author Tomaž Modic shares this piece about the history of the "F-fly," a simple but extremely effective fly pattern little known in the states but very popular in its country of origin, Slovenia, and elsewhere in Europe. Read more...

Uncle Joe - The "Original Troutnut" by Troutnut


Some recently uncovered stories show why my Great Uncle Joe was the "Original Troutnut," among other adventurous titles. Read more...

An Isonychia Nymph Emerging by Troutnut


As I prepared to set foot for the first time in the Catskills' storied Esopus Creek, I noticed an Isonychia bicolor nymph crawling out onto a rock at my feet. I pulled out my handy little camera and started snapping pictures. Read more...

Mayfly Dun to Spinner Illustrated by Troutnut


When mayfly duns pop out of the water and fly away, they aren't yet officially "adults." They have one more step before they're ready to mate: to perch on streamside vegetation and molt one more time into the stage scientists call "imago (Imago: The sexually mature adult stage of the mayfly is called the imago by scientists and the spinner by anglers.)" and we call "spinner." This article shows step-by-step close-up photos of a Leptophlebia cupida (Black Quill) dun molting into a spinner, and it explains what's going on inside the mayfly. Read more...

A guide to photographing aquatic insects for identification by Troutnut


A guide to which features to photograph most closely to facilitate identification of aquatic insect specimens, especially those most important to fly anglers. Read more...

Trip Reports

Chasing Mule Deer in Idaho 2019 by Troutnut


Having struck out on mule deer two years in a row in Washington, I tried neighboring Idaho to continue my climb up the mule deer learning curve for 2019. Read more...

Chasing gold in the high country by Troutnut


An August adventure backpacking into some alpine lakes with my wife to chase Cutthroat and Golden Trout. The mystical Goldens were again full of surprises. Read more...

Golden trout adventure in the Cascades by Troutnut


Washington stocks the elusive golden trout in certain remote, hard-to-reach high lakes throughout the Cascades. I set out this weekend to find one. Read more...

2015 Brooks Range Caribou Hunt by Troutnut


A packraft hunt in the Arctic at the onset of winter. The caribou action was slow, but there was still plenty of adventure to be had. Read more...

2014 Caribou Hunt - Dad's account by Dneuswanger


This is the account by Dave (Troutnut's dad) of the caribou hunt described elsewhere by Jason, with photos. Read more...

Editorials

In Defense of "Latin" Names by Troutnut


There is a rising chorus of curmudgeons who decry the use of Latin names for bugs, ridiculing the vocabulary contests we hold around the fireplace of their imaginations. In reality we use scientific names because they're the less confusing way to swap practical advice about the details of each hatch. Read more...


Identification gives Information for Imitation by Troutnut


Many anglers aren't too keen on entomology, and they pride themselves on catching trout without identifying any insect beyond the level of "little brown bug." That works surprisingly well, but different little brown bugs behave in different ways, and the trout adjust their feeding habits accordingly. Identifying an insect lets you find information about how it behaves in all its stages. This can be surprisingly helpful. Read more...

Are trout stupid for eating food with a hook in it? by Troutnut


I often hear on forums, "Hey, how smart can they be? They're eating something with a big hook in it." But consider their situation: odds are, you'd let a hook or two in, too. Read more...

Enough with Fly "Patterns" by Troutnut


Write about how people shouldn’t be so concerned with patterns, especially for imitating hatches. Instead, they should focus on learning styles of flies (Catskill, Compara-dun, etc) and learn the strengths and weaknesses of each for imitating different types of behavior under different conditions, and then create the right fly for their insect without needing to see it in a recipe somewhere. Read more...

The Basics

Interpreting Hatch Information by Troutnut


Some important background information will help readers get the most out of information about fly hatches on this website or in any angling entomology book. Aquatic insects are complicated and unpredictable, and emergence dates, times, and habits often deviate from the "typical" behavior. Learn how to predict and understand the most common deviations. Read more...

About the Troutnut by Troutnut


Once in a while somebody asks questions about the guy behind this site, so I've provided the answers here. Read more...

Understanding the Taxonomic Classification System (Phylums, Genera, and All That) by Troutnut


Learn the handy system by which biologists arrange all living things. The Aquatic Insects section of this site will be easier to navigate, and make more sense, for readers who understand the basics of the taxonomic system. Read more...

Using the Dichotomous Key by Troutnut


This article will describe how to use the identification keys on this site, once I've created them. Read more...

How to Get an Aquatic Insect Identified by Troutnut


If you're posting insect pictures on the Troutnut.com forum for identification, following these tips will greatly improve your odds of getting a successful ID. Read more...

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