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About Troutnut

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  1. 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. 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. 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: 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: 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." 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): Quill Gordon dun (Epeorus, probably pleuralis): Blue Quill dun (Paraleptophlebia, probably adoptiva):
  2. In the last few weeks I've made three different trips to photograph the fall colors on two of my favorite small trout streams and one new one. The catching ranged from bad to worse, but the fishing was outstanding. I never really managed to find a spot where all the reds and yellows were synchronized -- there always seemed to be some still green and some already brown -- but I think some of the pictures came out alright anyway. They're better appreciated in larger sizes, but here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy! A nice brook trout lives here, miles from anywhere (the ultimate somewhere): The next three are from a pretty remote piece of water in a generally populated area, where there are rumored to be trout, but I only caught one small brown. There are nice pools, though: The two below are from a popular state park where it's sometimes hard to get the hikers out of the picture. Both pools hold lots of trout; the top one gets a lot of pressure and the fish are tough to catch. Tricky cross-currents are partially to blame. The bottom pool is easier to get to, but everybody overlooks it, and the fish come easily. By the way, these are available as desktop backgrounds too.
  3. I really like it. The 65mm is a really great, really sharp lens. It's definitely very specialized, too. There aren't really any "cons" about it for me, but others may find these things to be a problem: Unlike most other macro lenses, this one can only do close-ups within a foot or so of the lens. At the high zoom powers a good tripod and a macro flash are definitely necessary. There's no autofocus. But with my setup it's easier to move the bug stand back and forth than rotate something on the lens, anyway. The biggest "pro" is that it's the only lens made that goes anywhere near 5X magnification without a bellows and other expensive, cumbersome accessories. It was the third spot.
  4. Since I finished the 20-month overhaul of Troutnut.com about a month ago I've been catching up on lost time, trying to make up for all the fishing I missed as I computer-programmed my way through May and June. I put most of my new stream pictures online yesterday, with a bunch of new bugs -- a couple hundred pics in all. I spent a little time trying for big fish, but I really can't get enough of the small-stream brookies. Guess which spot skunked me? A Capniidae stonefly: A cool translucent Paraleptophlebia spinner: Really cool colors on a caddisfly: A flying ant, collected during some of my best ant fishing ever: That's the stuff!
  5. Thanks for putting that together Roger!
  6. I found this interesting story floating around a bunch of places on the Web... the original sources seems to be the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, but it's no longer up on their website. I thought people might find it interesting:
  7. Holy @#%* that's ugly... WOW! Sorry, but somebody needs to say it. You need to make some big changes if you want this forum to get off the ground. Ditch the blinking fader asking for money (you won't get any donations yet, so you're not losing anything), ditch the AdSense ads until you already have lots of members, ditch the Bass Pro logo background image, and remember that brown and green look good together in nature, not in vivid computer screen shades... Check out the applicable parts of the Yale Web Style Guide and Web Design From Scratch to see how to make a website look good. It would help if your forum was more specific, too. Why on earth would anybody want to join a brand new general outdoors forum when they already belong to a community in any of thousands of other outdoors forums more specific to their interest? If you want to succeed, you've got to either make the forum very good and put a lot of money into marketing it, or define your forum as unique in some way -- better than all the others for people with a certain interest. Also, if your heart's not really into having a forum and you just want to make an AdSense site, then drop the forum thing altogether and build a site about flies you've tied with tutorials or something. Forums are hard to start with because there's so much competition and anybody can put one up in about five minutes. They just fizzle and go nowhere 99% of the time, unless you're really dedicated to their success and clever in how you go about it. Also, don't promote your site in forums without making your post a self-contained contribution, meaning people browsing the forum can read it and get something out of it without having to go to your site. I've done some blatant promotion of my own site, but I've never had a user complain about it, and only about 5% of moderators, because I post some cool stuff in the topic so people enjoy reading it without necessarily visiting my site. It's harder to do that when your site is a forum, because you're in direct competition with any forum you might promote on, and any interesting stuff on your own site doesn't convert well into something that makes a good post on another forum. An example of something you might get away with would be posting highlights of an interesting discussion on your forum and asking what people in the other forum think of the topic. Sorry to be so blunt, but I figure a rude wake-up call will get you on the track to success more quickly.
  8. I usually spend 10-20 minutes but I'm distracted by the computer or something while I work. I try to make my flies extremely durable, so that when I lose them in an alder tree they don't fall apart for years.
  9. I would definitely go with the Benchside Reference. It doesn't tell you how to do a single entire fly step-by-step, but it covers almost every known way of making any kind of feature (wings, tails, etc). It will give you infinite ideas for improving the flies you tie and inventing new ones. With so many techniques under your belt, you won't need to follow entire-fly directions anymore.
  10. After more than 20 months of no updates on Troutnut.com, I'm very very happy to FINALLY release the new version! :yahoo: http://www.troutnut.com I've done several all-nighters photographing mayflies and other trout stream bugs over the last two seasons, and all those pictures are up on the new site. I'm using a really cool camera setup, so the pictures are a LOT better than anything on the old site! I also spent about a month writing up the useful-for-hatch-matching behavioral details of every major American hatch and hundreds of not-so-major ones. Check out the Hex hatch, Isonchia, or White Flies for starters, or my personal favorite unsung hatch, the really cool Baetisca mayflies. Here are some shrunken sample pics: Male Hendrickson Dun: Male Isonychia bicolor (Mahogany Dun) spinner: A Leptophlebia cupida mayfly I photographed molting from a dun to a spinner: An Isonychia bicolor Nymph: Hex nymph head close-up: An Isoperla (Yellow Sally) Stonefly: A Hellgrammite: I've also added hundreds of new trout stream scenery photos like this one: I'm breathing a HUGE sigh of relief now that I've got this online, but I'm going to keep working on it full-time. It's just nice to have something more to show for it than, "It's coming! No, really! It is! In a month... no, now in a month... well, maybe in another month..." Apologies to all who were disappointed by my optimistic release date guesses! Hopefully you'll agree it was worth it. Let me know if anything on the site malfunctions. I had the help of several very good testers (like Taxon from Fly Fishing Entomology) but it still hasn't been tested under a high volume of traffic.
  11. May as well plug my site in case anyone here doesn't know about it: http://www.troutnut.com There are more pictures of insects (mostly mayflies) than I care to count. I'll have about twice as many (and at much higher quality) in the new version, which I think will fiiiiiinally be ready to go live around January or so.
  12. Troutnut


    Taxon's probably right again. They could be one of the obscure species of Heptageniidae that live around there, too, and aren't as well known to fly fishers. I don't think they're the main "White Fly" hatch, the Ephorons, if they really have white wings. Ephorons have light gray wings.
  13. Taxon's getting good at this! I'm pretty sure he's right. The description narrows it down pretty well, especially with the water and date. The Namekagon that I fish in Wisconsin has very similar bug life to the Au Sable, and summer evenings predictably include small clouds of Siphlonurus spinners over the riffles. In June, they're most likely to be Siphlonurus quebecensis. In July, Siphlonurus alternatus. The species look practically identical except for a difference in the markings on the bottom of the abdomen. I've never found either species to be very important to the fish at all, but I know they can be important on other rivers.
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