The closer he looks at the fish, the less he sees…

“We refer to the custom of placing a quantity of small dots of two colours very near each other, and allowing them to be blended by the eye placed at the proper distance … The results obtained in this way are true mixtures of coloured light … This method is almost the only practical one at the disposal of the artist whereby he can actually mix, not pigments, but masses of coloured light.”
Georges Seurat on Pointillisme

“We do it out of contempt for human art, but mostly because it makes us pretty.”
Trout on ‘The Beautiful art of Camouflage’

RB dosalfin m.fauvet-TLC 3-6-15

fishbird

although not exclusively as we’ll also find sculptures, fish art tends to be a painted, drawn or digitised, two-dimensional affair.
regular readers here already know how much i love 2D fly fishing art but clever stuff like this anamorphic object made out of 160 glass strips adds another level of magic to this love. beyond the cool visual stimulation, the inevitable fish/bird symbiotic connection makes it all the more special, i hope you’ll enjoy this as much as i do.

for more visual/mind candy by Thomas Medicus click here.

some might see coke bottles or phallic thingies,

but what i’m mostly seeing is a big largemouth bass about to chomp the fly i just cast.

largemouth bass fireworks m.fauvet:TLC 1-2-15

from a very chilly and snowy night in the south of France, i hope this fireworks image will warm you up at least for a little while.

“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”

~ Cormac McCarthy, The Road

no accompanying image or film could give those words any more meaning, they would only be a distraction.
let’s just take them in, inhale their beauty and deep respect and do our best to not make them creatures of the past but of an eternal present.

Sockeye Butts

and a few flanks and heads.

by Eiko Jones, here’s a lovely, can’t-get-enough, intimate and wonderfully silent underwater escapade featuring these fascinating migrators in their glorious party attire. be sure to watch it in full screen, enjoy !

Wild vs Stocked Trout- The Purity of the Breed ?

by Peter Lapsley via FlyFishing & FlyTying

sonagnan trout

one of the more interesting articles i’ve read on this oft heated argue/debate: preserving the genetic and ecological integrity of wild indigenous trout species while introducing farmed diploid (fertile) or triploid (infertile) trout to their environment.
in the article we’ll notice that a few taken-as-facts notions aren’t what we might have thought.

even if these studies where performed in the UK let’s not forget that most ‘wild’ brown trout around the world where stocked, brought in from elsewhere, not exclusively, but often from the UK so these findings are probably valid for any trout waters around the globe, and since they’re salmonids we can also suppose that these findings could very well be applicable to all the other salmonids whether they be purely freshwater or seagoing .
ok, i’m no ichthyologist and that last part is just a guess but i’d bet its mostly true. anyhow,

here’s a few random tidbits from this great article i highly recommend reading in its entirety.
“It seems reasonable to suppose that farmed brown trout stocked into rivers will necessarily discomfort those rivers’ wild trout – that they will harass the wild fish, dislodging them from their lies; that they may prey on small wild fish, particularly if they themselves are large; that they may disturb wild trouts’ spawning redds; or worse, that they may mate with wild fish, diluting the genetic integrity of wild trout populations.”

“Intriguingly, the outcomes show the suppositions set out at the beginning of this article to be completely wrong on both upland and lowland rivers, chiefly because wild trout – far more stream-wise than farmed fish – have no difficulty in holding their own.
There was no statistically significant drop in abundance or growth of wild fish when stocking took place. Stocking did not cause the displacement of wild fish. Fish formed a very small part of the diets of both stocked and wild fish, and bullheads, stone loach and minnows were the predominant species found in the stomachs of the few trout that did occasionally take fish. The growth of stocked fish was negligible.”

“The question that must niggle away in the back of one’s mind, of course, is how so distinct a sub-species could have come to be present in waters as far apart as Lough Melvin in Ireland and Lochs Awe and Laggan in Scotland. The answer may lie in the fact the as recently as 15,000 years ago there were no fish at all in British or Irish lakes or rivers, because those waters were buried beneath 13,000ft of ice. All our freshwater fish came in from the sea after the ice cap had receded.”

and that’s just to wet your appetite. click the trout image for the complete article, enjoy !


Sonahgan trout image courtesy of
Paul Vecsei on flickr

Milking a Stonefish

not all fish are pretty, soft and cuddly and the Synanceia is a good example of a seemingly non-threatening yet very dangerous fish.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
don’t let yourself be tricked by this little one’s cuteness, specially if your walking around barefoot in the coastal regions of Indo-Pacific oceans as well as off the coast of Florida and in the Caribbean. of special note is you most probably won’t even see it before walking on or touching it as it buries itself in the sand, blending in to its natural environment.

“I got spiked on the finger by a Stonefish in Australia … never mind a bee sting. … Imagine having each knuckle, then the wrist, elbow and shoulder being hit in turn with a sledgehammer over the course of about an hour. Then about an hour later imagine taking a real kicking to both kidneys for about 45 minutes so that you couldn’t stand or straighten up. I was late 20s, pretty fit physically and this was the tiniest of nicks. Got sensation back in my finger after a few days but had recurrent kidney pains periodically for several years afterwards.”
—Stonefish victim

they don’t attack people. in a sense its people who un-expectantly ‘attack’ them by pressing their venom-filled dorsal fin spines unknowingly. the video below shows how people get stung.
apart from the joys of massive pain and being messed up for a long time, people can die from the sting, it’s that bad.
you might want to keep your everyday Doc Martins on at the beach.

i typically like to include an enjoy ! at the end of my articles but today’s post is more of a watch out !
for more on the Synanceia click the top image.

Melanocetus,

you’re both butt-ugly and beautiful.

“Deep-sea anglerfish are strange and elusive creatures that are very rarely observed in their natural habitat. Fewer than half a dozen have ever been captured on film or video by deep diving research vehicles. This little angler, about 9 cm long, is named Melanocetus. It is also known as the Black Seadevil and it lives in the deep dark waters of the Monterey Canyon. Doc Ricketts* observed this anglerfish for the first time at 600 m on a midwater research expedition in November 2014. We believe that this is the first video footage ever made of this species alive and at depth.”
* a research submarine. scientist humour i guess.

i love all you readers and i can’t leave you with this vision before going to bed so, here’s a much cuter cousin to the Melanocetus, the pink and purple panda bear of the anglerfish family- Chaunacops coloratus

and in case you’re wondering what it might sound like down there, wonder no more. enjoy !

wild ’bout

“It is not every day I find a special stream like this with such robust wild brookies and indescribable beauty below the surface.”
i couldn’t agree more. here’s a lovely little river snorkelling film filled with curious and adorable little brookies and bigger ones making more curious and adorable little brook trout.

there’s also a whole lot of leaves. billions.

big thanks to BlueBlood for this gorgeous treat. enjoy !

hit or miss

in a nutshell, that’s what underwater fish portraits are about, specially when the camera’s held at arm’s length and i’m not looking at the screen or viewfinder while playing ‘my third eye is in the palm of my hand’ and gently holding a slippery/slimy creature that would rather not be held all the while trying to keep most of me above the water and not loose anything to the watery gods in the process.
hit or miss M.Fauvet:TLC 10-11-14this lovely out of season she-chunk wasn’t in an area known to have trout making it an even lovelier surprise even if she didn’t like posing, but that’s part of fun and joys as well. just as fly fishing itself and about a gazillion other things in life, getting a good portrait is hit or miss. best not to get expectations up too high.

some pretties

sure, i’m always happy to see kids and friends displaying with joy the fish they just caught but i’m so over the typical grip and grin shot its not even funny. its actually turned into a turn-off/repulsion of sorts thats hard to explain in a blog post but one thing’s for sure, the turn-off is at its strongest when there’s a clear disrespect for the fish and the image or film is all centred around the angler and not the magnificent, temporary partner.

as an obsessed fly fisher, i get more and more flack from by my flybrethren by saying things like this but the truth is, i like seeing fish unattached and free. its not like i don’t want to catch them, in fact, i’ve been fishing like crazy lately but the image that i want to remain doesn’t include tackle marketing, hands or a face.

something like these pretties…

2% by museline

Tarpon Cave by Frans De Backer

Love in a Mountain Stream by Mathew Hall
http://vimeo.com/user32721256/loveinamountainstream

black and white Butterfly

via the New York Zoological Society (1896)

butterfly fish

these magnificent little tropical fish are very colourful and have a distinctive black stripe that goes down their head, covering the eyes (“to confuse predators”) when they’re alive but the subtle transparency and graphic qualities outlined by the fish’s bone structure make this zoology specimen quite beautiful, even in its death.

Return of the Warrior II

a few days ago we’d seen this lovely fish’s gill plate with a ‘part One’ suggestion there’d be more in the form of its return to its home.
neither film needs any comment but i wanted to explain the ‘King of the Pond/Warrior’ bit.

Lake Trouto (my name for it) is a farm pond i regularly visit when wild trout season is closed. being a private and closed environment (to natural waterways and wild fish), french regulations allow these types of waterways to remain fishable year round which means i can get my trout fix without being the miserable git that goes through trout depression throughout the closed months like so many of my friends.
it is of course a stocked fishery mostly consisting of rainbow trout but there’s also perch, rudd, a few sunfish and monstrous yet uncatchable grass carp. i’ve tried… they don’t seem to eat grass but i haven’t given up !

Trouto has never been a high-pressure fishery. the owner always considered it a small sideline to his farming activities and as such, stocked it maybe once a year and irregularly at best, never did much bank-side grooming and basically let it and its dwellers take care of themselves. fisher convenience came last. this is just about as close to a wild environment as we can find in an artificial system. the trout here all came from a fishery that never fed them industrial pellet food but natural things like bugs, worms and whatnot. these fish switch over to natural feeding habits instantly.
blobs and boobies and whatever typical flashy, fluorescent, over-saturated stockie reservoir-type flies don’t work here and put the fish down. in fact they scatter as if they’d seen thunder.
they want real food and their imitations. a local entomologist once told me there’s approximately 40 (yes 40) different species of Ephemeroptera/mayflies in this small area (if that isn’t a fly fisher’s nightmare i don’t know what is… ), stoneflies, caddis, bibbios, younameits, several species of dragonflies and chironomids galore. a favourite pastime in the warmer months is to go there and watch the trout race after the dragonflies, jump out and grab them on the fly.

as you’ll have guessed, these are not the dumb stockies we so often hear about. they’re as tough-fighting, resistant, cunning and glorious as their wild-borne counterparts and that’s why having this resource close to home is priceless to me. over the last ten or so years Trouto has become not only a great place to have fun but also a place to test flies, techniques, equipment, observe all of the dweller’s behaviours and “try” to break the semi-wild stillwater code but to be honest, i’ll never break that code and don’t want to.

to conclude, on friday 10th of October 2014 the Warrior measured in at 55cm/22″ and weighs 1,25 kg/2,75 lbs. most would smirk at such a little fish but it happens to be the biggest catch on record at Trouto in four years.
it managed to thrive, escape and remain beautiful throughout, fishers, cormorants, otters, osprey and the occasional poacher that sneaks in at night: he’s the King of the Pond and i’m humbled to have spent a little time with him.

the magic of giffology allows us to see the same film in C&R&R&C mode. i hope you’ll like it too.

Return of the Warrior backandforth M.Fauvet:TLC

composited trout

another visual treat from Jason Borger assembled from the fantastic and sorely missed Drawing Fish 52 project.
its so good to see it come back to life. enjoy !

J.Borger Trouty Collage

click here to access Jason’s great blog Fish, Flies & Water

brainwashem’ young- drifting babies

via TED’s Discovering the Deep

“Coral reef fish, like the yellow tang surgeonfish, begin life in a fascinating and weird way – as tiny floating larvae! These babies are capable of drifting thousands of miles on ocean currents, far from the reefs where they were born. Amy McDermott describes how these tiny trekkers travel across vast oceans, searching for the far-flung reefs they will one day call home.”

although in cartoon form, this very interesting account of coral reef baby fish and their growing-up process is anything but childish but you just might want to share this with your little ones as well as its never too early to help them discover the wonders of the water world. enjoy !

what Piranhas sound like

when they’re about to eat you.

piranhas attack!
half way between a honking snore, beating on a coffin with the palm of your hand and a speeding fly saucer, here’s eleven seconds of something you’d probably never want to hear in real.


“The clip features three sounds. The first is a “bark” produced in what the researchers called a “frontal display”, meaning where two fish swam quickly towards each other and stayed still, aggressively intimidating and staring at each other. The second is a “drum beat” produced by the largest fish in the group when circling the shoal, mostly when there was competition for food. The third “croak” was generally associated with a piranha chasing and biting another fish.”

via The Cabinet of Freshwater Curiosities, click the pic for more on the Red-Bellied Piranha.