Field Research (The Beginning)

November 13, 2008

After work I dawned a set of hip-waders and a rain coat, no rod, no reel, and no fly box just a backpack, camera, and items for research. I drove to a stream that I spent much of my summer on. I figured this would be a good place to start gathering samples. The rain poured down as I walked the stream searching for the areas I wanted to sample. I brought several small mason jars to hold the captives until they could be more closely inspected at home. I stumbled through the water not really able to see the bottom because of the rain obscuring the surface of the water, as a result I almost stepped on a few trout that were held up in places that I hadn’t seen them in the summer months. I used a strainer, the handle broke almost instantly and I was forced to used my arm as a replacement to gather samples from shaken aquatic plants and kicked up substrate. The stream water and rain made me rather cold and wet but I had a hard time quitting. Two hours of taking samples, looking for the specifics I’ve been reading about and I decided to pack it in before catching something nasty.

    Stream Running In the Rain         W.F.F. Field Research         My other Rod and Reel

I wanted to take a semi-scientific approach to this so I labeled my samples with the types of substrate or plant they came from, this to help in the future determine what lives where. I also started a field log with date, time, weather conditions and location. I plan to continue this behavior.

Insects

I brought my jars home and after gathering a few house hold supplies I was ready to begin my investigation. I did a rough count of each type of insect caddis, mayfly, scud, and what I believe to be midge pupa (maybe not). I measured in mm. many of the subjects and tried to figure out each species. I was pleased to see that my little stream camera takes decent close up images. 

  Nymph 1  Nymph 2  Nymph 3

  Cased Caddis 2 Species  Nymph 3/4  Cased Caddis Minus the Case.

In addition to the pictures above I found several examples of scuds and non-cased caddis. I believe that the picture labeled Nymph 2 is a Baetis. I compared it to images I have and I am pretty sure, it fits the right size in mm, and the right attribute with regards to the slightly shorter middle tail. I found no burrowers but I think I found both an example of a fast swimmer (Nymph 2 above), and a feeble legged crawler (Nymph 1 above). I found several types of caddis both cased and non. The image on the bottom right is of a caddis larva removed from its protective rock built shell. Note: this is not a tubular shell, it is the kind that looks like a tiny pile of pebbles stuck to a rock.

This was a good time.

p.s. After looking the photo’s over I think Nymph #3 is a Stonefly nymph, thoughts?

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3 Responses to “Field Research (The Beginning)”

  1. #3 is a stonefly. I always call those golden stones. I believe one of the most common caddis is hydropsychidae (sp?) – maybe those caddis in your pics.

    Good closeups of the bugs. What camera?

    I too am happy with the macro feature on my camera – a Pentax Option (takes underwater photos too). http://fishingandthinking.blogspot.com/2008/05/he-cried-when-we-had-to-break-tent-down.html

    Watch out for redds – not sure when eggs are laid but it has to be right around now I bet, if not earlier.

    Great stuff here.

  2. winonaflyfactory said

    Redds? Explain this last part. Still ignorant in some area I suppose.

    The Camera is a Sony Cyber-Shot 6.0 Megapixel

    It started out Liz’s and since I started using it for fishing it has been beaten up. Works great though.

  3. Redds are trout spawning beds. I am not sure that you could create more havock collecting bugs than a cow can do crossing a stream.

    Great photos.

    Looks like Epheremerlla and Baetis for sure.

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