Bugs from a little Yakima tributary

Troutnut

Active Member
To stay away from crowds on July 4th, I took my wife fishing on a little stream in the Yakima drainage that doesn't see much traffic. It has produced a surprising variety of bugs for me, given that in most places it runs through a wide channel of bare boulders and doesn't look like the greatest bug habitat. We hiked upstream beyond the bouldery canyon to fish some calmer water, where the little Westslope Cutthroat were incredibly easy to catch.



I collected nymphs in the bouldery stretch back in the car. I already have a bunch of Drunella nymphs in my library for the most common species, but for some reason I can't help photographing more. They're just too photogenic.

Western green drake, Drunella grandis:



Small western green drake, Drunella doddsii:



One of my favorite finds for the day was Rhithrogena hageni, identified via a male spinner. There are no keys for female duns or nymphs, but the association of these specimens in the same place, at the same size, with similar markings, suggests they're all the same species.





Epeorus longimanus was getting ready to hatch, too, although I unfortunately didn't catch any adults:



There were some pretty PMD duns around, identified as Ephemerella excrucians based on the abundant mature nymphs:



There were a lot of little yellow Chloroperlid stoneflies, but they were tough to ID beyond family with my microscope. Possibly Suwallia:



By far the most prolific bugs were clouds of Cinygmula par spinners, which I haven't seen discussed in any of the angling books, but they made for a really impressive spectacle at sunset.




Their swarming was really impressive for a species nobody seems to write about. If it weren't happening right at dusk on a stream where the little trout race each other to every dry fly anyway, the spinner fall have generated some noteworthy fishing.


There were also a few interesting green Chironomid (midge) larvae in the kicknet:

And a couple of other oddball Dipterans... Dolichopodidae (I think, could be Empididae):

And Hexatoma (family Limoniidae):


And lastly, I won't make a separate post for it, but here's a cool Brachycentrus americanus caddis from the Dosewallips River a couple days later, when I stopped to net some bugs on the way home from clamming on Hood Canal.



My website has a lot more pictures of the July 4th bugs and some more nymphs from the Dosewallips.
 

creekx

Director of Stoke
Jason, your bug photos are incredible! Are these all taken in the field? I can't even get a dun to sit still without taking flight and escaping, unless I've accidentally destroyed their wings during setup. And that's before actually taking any photos, which itself is very challenging. Any simple 101-level tips you can share?
 

Troutnut

Active Member
Jason, your bug photos are incredible! Are these all taken in the field? I can't even get a dun to sit still without taking flight and escaping, unless I've accidentally destroyed their wings during setup. And that's before actually taking any photos, which itself is very challenging. Any simple 101-level tips you can share?

I take the photos at home. I carry a flybox-sized pill organizer in my vest in the field, in which I typically store one bug per compartment, so they don't damage each other and so I can put new ones in without the old ones getting out. Also this year I started carrying a telescoping butterfly net on a magnetic release alongside my trout net, although I made a custom handle and net bag because the ones that came with it were pretty flimsy and had no easy way to attach them to a fishing vest.

My home setup is pretty dedicated: Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8 macro, Canon EF 65mm 1-5x macro, Canon MT-24EX macro flash with polarizing film over the heads crossed with a polarizing filter over the lens to reduce glare, and various tools to stage the bugs.

To solve the problem of bugs that move around too much (mayflies can be hard, but they're far easier than caddisflies and stoneflies), I use a killing jar with ethyl acetate soaked into a pad in the lid. The trick is to not actually kill the bugs, but watch closely until they stop trying to crawl/fly around but can still hold their posture. Then they photograph nicely.
 

MGTom

WFF Supporter
I've run across some of your other posts and checked out troutnut. Really nice work and helpful. Thx for the efforts.
 

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