Troutnut.com Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

Feature Articles

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...

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...

2012 Alaska Range Caribou Hunt by Troutnut


I backpacked several miles off the Denali Highway in the heart of the Alaska Range, searching for a bull caribou during the peak of the area's scenic majesty. Read more...

2014 Alaska Range Caribou Hunt with Dad by Troutnut


This year my dad accompanied me on my annual caribou hunt, and we found more adventure than intended.

We both kept journals during the trip. Anyone interested can read the story from Dad's perspective, too. 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...

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...

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...

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...

The Method to my Madness by Troutnut


Many people ask me many questions about how I created this website. Here's a peek at the inner workings of Troutnut.com, from the bug collecting to database programming to everything in between: photography, research, and more. Read more...

Why Trout Are Selective by Troutnut


This article will draw on my bionb422 final project's findings about energy requirements, what factors can't explain selectivity alone, how well information can be passed, etc. I should also read those books Nick Hughes recommended first. Read more...

Matching Mayfly Duns to Nymphs by Troutnut


Sometimes you don't need to identify an insect to figure out what its other stages look like. There are telltale characteristics which can help separate out the crawlers and burrowers at a glance as adults, at the very least, though it's hard to tell swimmers vs crawlers. Read more...

Eating Mayflies by Troutnut


Eating mayflies. (Interview friends, entomology professor, nutritionist.) This must include a disclaimer that I am not the FDA and have not certified mayflies as safe for eating, so people do so at their own risk.

This is just a good way to promote my CafePress store. Read more...

Experiments with Water Clarity by Troutnut


Article on clarity. Show pictures, under consistent lighting conditions (bright/mid-day), of several different “clarity” types of water from three angles: above the water looking straight down, above the water looking to the side, and below the water looking to the side. Should also use consistent depth (probably about knee deep) and surface form (probably a calm flat). Read more...

Complexities of Opportunistic Feeding by Troutnut


Article about selective vs opportunistic feeding, and the tendency for anglers who get really interested in entomology to treat opportunistic situations like selective ones. Make the point that when trout are feeding opportunistically, it’s better to show them attractors (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.) that take advantage of their present mood than to show them imitations of the last thing they were feeding selectively to. Introduce concepts that give often-overlooked complexity to 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.) pattern selection and help take the randomness out of it... expand on the principles of Dry Fly: New Angles. Read more...

Insects on the Rocks by Troutnut


Article debunking the idea that turning over a rock will tell you what fly to use, because pretty much anything that can cling to a rock when you lift it out of the water is pretty darn good at staying on that rock. Read more...

Water Color and Fly Color by Troutnut


A study of the effect of water color on the color of a fly as seen by the trout. Should include underwater photos from streams themselves, since one of the main effects of water color will be the wavelength of the light scattering below to strike the fly from an angle where it'll go to the fish. Can't really replicate that in a lab. Read more...

Do Trout Seek Fast Water for Oxygen? by Troutnut


Article investigating the idea that trout seek riffles during the summer because the water’s more oxygenated. It doesn’t make sense in many contexts to which anglers apply it. Read more...

Angler's Guide to Scientific Literature on the Web by Troutnut


Talk about how useful scientific papers are and the ways to access them through university libraries, other sources, etc. Read more...

Translucency in Fly Tying by Troutnut


Many of the insects the trout eat are not opaque; their color looks different based on what they’re being seen against. The options are to think about what angle the fish will approach the fly from, what color the backdrop will be, and consequently the apparent color of the fly, or else to simulate the translucency of the real thing in our fly so that it changes color appropriately with the background, just like the real thing. Read more...

The Mayfly's Place in Insect Evolution by Troutnut


Write something about exaptation in evolution: the wing in insects evolved from ancestral gills, which remain gills in mayfly nymphs. Read more...

The science of mayfly duns by Troutnut


This will talk about the details of the dun stage. Read more...

Essential Fly Fishing Book Passages by Troutnut


This will be something like a "top ten list" of things to read. The unique angle will be that, instead of listing top ten books, or various other things based on history or a general coverage of information, I will rank the most interesting passages, including perhaps more than one per book. Read more...

Reconstructing LaFontaine by Troutnut


A response to the debate in an English publication over an article entitled “Deconstructing LaFontaine” in the July issue of Fly Fishing and Fly Tying. Lloyd Gonzales brought the debate to my attention. I think the “Deconstructing” article was not very well done, but it raises an interesting discussion.

It points out that there hasn’t really been any verification of LaFontaine’s widely repeated notion about air bubbles forming under the outer skin of rising caddis pupae. It ends up suggesting that there is no layer of gas, but a thin layer of liquid, and that refraction of sunlight through this liquid around the edges of backlit pupae may have given the impression of air bubbles that LaFontaine reported.

I think it’s an interesting idea, but I’ve also seen how unusually buoyant caddis pupae can be despite a lack of visible bubbles. I think there’s probably something to LaFontaine's air idea.

I would like to collect and observe pupae and do some photographic experiments with backlighting versus bubbles to see how viable each idea would be. Read more...

2016 Dall Sheep Hunt in the Alaska Range by Troutnut


For years I'd been dreaming of and planning to hunt Dall Sheep in the Alaskan mountains, only to run out of time during hunting season between work and caribou hunting -- a higher-priority hunt with better odds of putting meat on the table. This year I finally went after sheep. Read more...

2016 Dall Sheep Hunt in the Alaska Range by Troutnut


For years I've been planning to try to hunt Dall sheep in the mountains. This year I finally got the chance. Read more...

Top 10 Fly Hatches
Top Gift Shop Designs
Top Insect Specimens
Miscellaneous Sites