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About JasonN

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  1. I've gotta go with the Royal Wulff too. It just outproduces everything else.
  2. Short answer: all mayflies do have tails, either 2 or 3. Many of them can lose their tails incidentally, just because they're very fragile. That may be what you saw. Or perhaps you mistook a very small stonefly for a mayfly.
  3. (Click thumbnail to expand)
  4. My camera setup is detailed at the bottom of this page. I used the MP-E 65mm 1-5X Macro lens for these shots... better than a bellows or extension tubes.
  5. Soon I'll be free to continue working on the new version of my site, finally! Classes are over and I've got one week left until I'm done with finals and projects and everything. (Incidentally, one really interesting final project is a mathematical model of trout selectivity for my theoretical ecology class.) But I did find time to get a few adult insects to photograph with my new camera. These are just a small sample of the "keeper" pictures from about 7 insects I photographed... the rest will appear in my site's next major update. Male Epeorus mayfly dun (Gordon Quill): Closeup underneath a caddisfly's head: Stonefly: Enjoy!
  6. They just swim around and hang out on vegetation, I think. They can also come out of the water and fly around, just like boatmen and water scorpions.
  7. Yeah, I think these are a really under-explored, important food for really big trout at certain times of year. A couple years ago before I got into fly fishing or C&R (don't worry, I've converted!), I kept a couple of big browns who had stomachs packed with dozens of these things and nothing else. They've got a hard profile to imitate properly in the water but I think doing it right will have very big payoffs at times. I've got pictures of one of the naturals here. Here's my favorite:
  8. Wow, some of you guys have really impressive lists. I've met Salmo trutta... the most important one of all!
  9. Ditto what Taxon said. It's interesting you should mention water boatmen. I had never read about them flying before, so last year around this time I was really surprised when some of the first insects I saw in the air all season turned out to be boatmen when I caught them. It's neat to watch them land on the water and dive back down. Also, I'd caution against trying to "identify" anything to its common name. There are lots of scientific species for most common names and lots of common names for most species. They really are a joke for the most part, inaccurate and subjective, so you shouldn't sweat it. Some people call just about anything small a BWO, for example. For basic fly selection, knowing the common names doesn't matter much -- just catch one of the critters and find something in your box that kinda looks like it. There's much to be gained from actually identifying them, but there's no substitute for learning the scientific names, because knowing how to tell the actual taxa apart is how you learn to associate the appearance of the insect with its behavior, which is what's really important. The names are just labels.
  10. It's really fun seeing the imitations you guys come up with to match that picture. Here's the link to a few pictures of that specimen at different angles: http://www.troutnut.com/naturals/caddisfli...addisflies_24_1 I'm unfortunately too busy with school to join in on the challenge right now, but here's a fly I tied at the time based on that picture, to imitate that hatch. The design proved itself very quickly with several nice browns: (Full-sized version here.) In other news, I can't wait to get some caddis pupa pics with my new camera this summer! I almost cringe when I look at the current pics on my site after playing around with the new camera. My last final is a month away... and then I can finally go back to 24/7 troutnuttery!
  11. Glad you guys enjoy them! I do plan on writing print books eventually, maybe starting in about a year. I have certain goals I want to accomplish with the site before I start on books, but the book ideas are cooking in my mind's kitchen.
  12. This summer I'm completely redoing Troutnut.com from the ground up, drastically improving pretty much everything about it. One of the coolest improvements is that I'm getting equipment to make my photos much nicer. The new camera stuff just came in this week, and even though I don't quite have the accessories straightened out yet and don't really know how to operate the professional camera to its full potential, the early results are really nice! I'll be too busy this semester to do much more until after finals, but this summer will be a dream. Anyway, you can read about the updates and see the new nymph and larvae pictures here. Here are a few of my favorites, very very shrunk to fit the forum: The down side to getting all this new equipment for my site is that I won't be able to afford any more fly rods for years! I still only have 2. But I think it's a worthwhile sacrifice.
  13. Yeah it probably is Psilotreta labida, the Dark Blue Sedge. You're getting into tricky territory with caddisflies, though, because there are so insanely many species. That would be the most common one for the description you gave, I think... I snooze, I lose! Well, not really. I've just been verrrry busy. :-/
  14. Thanks for the props on the site. It's gonna get WAY better this summer--I've spent my whole winter break programming the code base for a really powerful new back end. I can't wait to get it up and show it off but it's a several-month project. I'm gonna be able to spend the whole summer fishing and adding critters to the site too so that'll be fun. The molting is an interesting idea, but very few freshly molted nymphs are close to pure white as far as I've seen. I've had a lot of mayflies and stoneflies molt while I was playing around with them after collecting and they're often a pale tan or ginger but it's still much closer to brown than to white. They're more like the shade of a hare's ear I think. I don't think hellgrammites (and other soft-bodied larvae) molt actually... the pale ones you found might actually not have been hellgrammites but alderfly larvae, which look like hellgrammites but they don't get quite as big and they're more pale. I've got some of them on my site too. Molting is for stuff that lives in rigid exoskeletons. As for why the prince outfished an Isonychia nymph, I would imagine that the fish weren't really keyed on the Isos. At least I've never seen an Isonychia hatch so thick that it caused the fish to be selective to them--it seems like it gets them alert and anxious to take Isos but they'd go pretty hungry if they only waited for those to come by. Iso time brings a lot of other mayflies too... my guess is that the Prince simply grabbed their attention much better and looked food-like enough that they were willing to try it. One thing Gary Lafontaine wrote about attractor patterns in general is that a really good one should work better than a real insect most times. It makes a lot of sense that that would be possible, and it explains why patterns like the prince often outfish imitative patterns--they would probably also outfish a live nymph swimming around on a bare hook if you could manage to get one out there. At least in those situations where attractiveness is more important than imitation. This is an interesting discussion.
  15. I've heard of the stonefly and boatman ideas too. I don't think it really looks like either of them. Real stonefly antennae and tails do not look anything like biots, except on the very largest stoneflies, which are about ten times the size of a prince nymph. And they're not white and laid over the back like that. There's a kind of conventional wisdom floating around that biots = stonefly. That's more of an angler myth than anything I think. Boatmen and backswimmers may be the closest match, although a beadhead prince doesn't imitate their form really at all. It's about the right size for a really big one, though, and the wet herl and white are roughly the right colors in roughly the right amounts, if in the wrong configuration. A dead drifted nymph doesn't really move like one of them at all, though. I really doubt they're actually taken as these. Here's my take on the white: I bet the reason it appeals to the fish is that it's the color of the underbelly of various chubs and minnows. When one of them panics and moves, it flashes its underbelly. When one of them is floating around half-dead, its belly is often showing. Those are probably the trout's main experiences with the color white in a food form, and it would explain why it's such a strong trigger. So again, I think the prince is very rarely if ever mistaken for a particular food form the trout are familiar with. Instead, it has one or two characteristics in common with a lot of familiar food forms, and the combination attracts trout. Have you ever walked into a restaurant and seen somebody eating something that looks delicious, but you have absolutely no idea what it is? You've never seen it before; but your mouth waters just looking at it. I think that experience is the closest thing we can picture to what a trout's "thinking" when it takes a Prince.
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