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Troutnut

My favorite bug pictures so far this year

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I hope everyone's catching a lot more fish this spring than I have. For some reason I've become a skunking superhero. I could not catch a stocker in a hatchery raceway with a diver welding fish onto my hook. I'm sure the peculiar conditions this year in my neck of the woods have something to do with it, but 7 outings before catching a fish is pathetic by any standards! Hopefully I'll do better with the nice weather coming up.

 

At least I've caught some cool bugs to put on Trounut.com, and I want to share a few of my favorite new ones.

 

I'm going to try to add many more midges this year than I have in the past, since there really is so much variety and we rarely look close enough to see it.

 

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Here's a Belostoma water bug, aka "electric light bug" or "toebiter." I'm really curious if this one looks familiar to anyone else, because on the rare occasions when I keep trout, I have found a few with stomachs full of these things. Nobody writes about them, but I think they may be more important than they're given credit for. They're a favorite of mine because they just look so menacing with those strong mantis-like forelegs and that wicked mouth proboscis it can jab deep into its prey. I've been trying to devise a good fly to imitate these, but it's a tricky shape to balance properly and prevent tippet spin.

 

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Another cool thing about these Belostoma bugs is that, like many other "true bugs" or Hemipterans they are semi-aquatic: they can and do come out on land or in the air, too. When I put this one in my aquarium it quickly crawled out of the water and perched at the highest spot for a nice photo:

 

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My favorite caddis larvae are the free-living predators of Rhyacophila, the green rockworms. I've collected some neat ones this spring, including a black-banded variety I've heard called a "tiger rockworm." Here's one of the others:

 

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This spring I finally got one thing I'd been pursuing for a while, pictures of a live caddis pupa. (Technically a "pharate adult," it's the stage we call "pupa" when we're imitating it.) They're pretty hard to capture and bring back to the studio for good pictures, because they usually either die or emerge quickly. I lucked out on this one, which probably belongs to Cheumatopsyche, the "little sister sedges."

 

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Of course no bug post would be complete without some mayflies, the most welcome sight in spring. Here are a few from everyone's favorite hatches. I'll be tying a bunch of flies for these hatches and some grannom caddis imitations tomorrow.

 

Hendrickson/Red Quill spinner (Ephemerella subvaria):

 

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Quill Gordon dun (Epeorus, probably pleuralis):

 

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Blue Quill dun (Paraleptophlebia, probably adoptiva):

 

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