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.
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.
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.
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?