“Companions on the Way”

“It seems that most tasks are easier and more enjoyable when we have companions to accompany us.” – Ed Lehming

This photo was caused by a bit of fortunate timing and my desire to recreate an image I made several years ago. Fortunate timing in that this spring has been quite unpredictable and the regular cycles that I follow are off by a few weeks. My trigger for visiting this local creek is the blooming of coltsfoot, a native wildflower that is usually the first to bloom. Once I see them it usually means that the Rainbow Trout are about to start their annual spawning run. I saw my first Coltsfoot only a few days ago but it seemed early for the run. I followed nature and sure enough, some of the trout were making their trek to spawn. I’m not sure if the spawn was just beginning or just ending, a return visit next week will answer that question.

I walked the shores of the creek, looking for an opportunity to get a nice side view of the brightly coloured male trout in the water. My first observation was that there were quite few trout. Agin, I wondered if I was too early or too late. After a few so-so images I ventured back to the place I had made a good image a full five years ago. Sure enough, mere steps away from where the first image was made, I saw a pair of trout in clear water. The next trick was to get close enough for a good image, not obscured by the tall shrubs that crowd the shoreline. After fifteen minutes of slow movement, I got close enough to set up an capture some photos.

Something that I have noticed over the years, that really stands out in this photo is that the trout, usually solitary animals seem to travel up-stream in pairs; not as mates but simply pairs. The two shown here are both males, as indicated by their bright spawning colours. I have to look this up but I expect that the reason for this is it simply makes the journey easier, as one fish blocks the current for the other. They did seem to move back and forth, looking for an opportunity to make the next move forward against the current, separating on occasion and then nudging close to each other once more.

For those who click on the link to my previous photo, you’ll notice quite a difference in the colours of the fish and the water. This is because the previous image was taken earlier in the day, when the sun had not risen so high above that and the few days of mild temperatures have already caused pale green moss to grow on the rocks. In my 2016 image, the ice had just come off the creek and the rocks were still freshly scoured.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 155 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 800

3 Comments on ““Companions on the Way”

  1. An absolutely amazing picture Ed! I get really jealous, an experience to follow these fish in their right element. Clear and bright water that reflects the environment nicely, brilliantly!

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