Hiding in the currents they wait
Brown Trout leaping
Brown Trout will jump to reach spawning grounds upstream with the Salmon and in some cases can hybridise with Atlantic Salmon though this is rare. It averaged 3 or 4 fish leaping a minute and although I've seen it on Autumnwatch every year nothing prepares you the actual site which put a smile on my face which would not dissipate.
The mystery fish
At the time I thought this was quite a silvery fish to be jumping and wasn't till I got home that I realised it was a steelhead a searun rainbow trout which is a unusual fish for a river. Rainbows often find there way into rivers when they get washed in from fishing lakes or can be stocked by anglers but the anadromous form of the rainbow is a rarity in the UK.
Brown Trout on its way to spawning grounds
Breaching the water the male has developed its pointed snout
Salmon in Scottish and Northern rivers can take up to 3 years to go back to sea while salmon in southern chalk streams will go after just one year because the warmth and extra food. Chalk stream salmon are under threat because they are at there temperature barrier for spawning so if the rivers increase in temperature they may disappear from them for good.
Hen salmon flung high into the air after leaping out of the rapids
Cock salmon making the leap
The sight of a huge Atlantic salmon breaching the rapids to go further upstream was something that will stick with me for a long time and always a nice change not squeezing into a wetsuit and having to get in a freezing river to photograph fish so i could get used to this kind of fish twitching!
BBC Wildlife Local Patch ReporterJack Perks
Facebook: Jack Perks Photography