“The Final Stretch”

“The Final Stretch”

“Are you tired? Are you feeling that you will not be able to reach your destination? Then all you have to remember is that those who reached their far and hard destinations also felt the same way on their way! Knowing what others felt will give you a great power to complete your journey!” 
― Mehmet Murat ildan

I was looking for a suitable quote for this image and Mehmet always seems to have something that resonates with me.

The journey of the countless rainbow trout up Duffins Creek every April fascinates me. Since I saw salmon spawning in BC, these mass migrations have been a thing of wonder. The distance the fish travel, through almost insurmountable obstacles; strong currents, shallow water, and tangles of fallen tree limbs, to name only a few.

Yet, they persevere and most make it to the destination. In this case, a large dam that separtarates the introduced rainbow trout from the native brown trout. It’s at this dam that I witness the greatest ‘stretches’ as the trout leap high in the air, hoping to conquer the dam, to no avail. It’s their final stretch, literally, as they extend their brightly coloured bodies through the air. Once they figure they can’t go any further upstream, they spawn in a deep pool at the base of the dam, and make the return journey to Lake Ontario, this time, with the current to their favour.

In case you are wondering, I sat on a rock near the base of the dam for about an hour, waiting for just the right moment, and testing my reflexes, to make several images and settling on this one, which nicely shows the colour of the trout as the sunlight shines on its outstretched body. Also an act of perseverance.

If you like this image, I made another one similar to it, 3 years go, in the same location.


Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200mm
1/2000 sec, f/5.0 ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

13 Comments on ““The Final Stretch”

  1. Your patience, waiting at the base of the dam for a shot, was worth the wait 🙂

      • That’s key. Getting right position. Wanted you to know your blog is similar to mine in terms of a photographic focus, versus something less related. Like you I try to add some words to photos posted, many times explaining my thoughts at the moment. I enjoy your blog. Thanks.

      • Thanks Michael,

        I started journaling some time ago, as I found people at art shows always wanted to know more about the photos. I have found that by writing about my art it was a good way to getting more of an understanding of my own processes, as well as a nice log of my journey.

  2. I watched the salmon in Port Hope last year and it was the first time I’ve seen this trek upstream. It was heartbreaking to watch as they failed repeatedly and then the loud cheers when one would actually make it … only to then face the next obstacle.

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