Sunday, May 19, 2013

Down to the River

Spawning Arctic Grayling (c) John Ashley
Arctic Grayling spawning in northwestern Montana

After a couple of weeks of running non-stop, I finally got a chance to sit still today. I chose to plop down in the mud beside a little creek here at the end of the road. During much of May, this meter-wide creek gurgles and splashes with thousands of spawning fish, Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus). After running up the creek for a few weeks, many of the fish have returned to the lake and we're down to "just" a few hundred remaining in the creek nowadays.

These grayling are native to Montana but not to this little stream, or the lake that it flows into. How they arrived here almost 90 years ago is an interesting story, but one I'll save for another day.

Today I just wanted to sit and watch fish. I carried my little underwater video camera along because, well, I can't help myself. The evening was dark and spitting rain - not really enough light for filming. But I stuck it in front of some fish anyway, shooting some grainy and underexposed footage. Somedays it's best to just sit in the mud and watch.