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at around 2500 metres near the French/Andorran border is where one of my favorite playgrounds, the Ariège river starts its journey.

up here its just a maze of fishless, tiny, seemingly insignificant rivulets racing downhill but most great things start off small and get greater and greater until they eventually turn into something else. ya gotta start somewhere and I couldn’t think of a nicer place to be born.

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“Let the river take you, wherever that may be… “

sounds cliché but how cool is this ?

Sound recordist and Montana local, ‘Fishman’ Mike Kasic, has an unmatched obsession for the underwater wilderness of the Yellowstone River. In this 10 minute essay film, Mike swims the Yellowstone like a human-fish through swift river canyons, watching trout in fast currents filled with frothing water tornadoes, stopping only to body surf river waves.

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

Trout Temple

Trout temple 1
a little, surprising and very charming encounter from under the bridge along a local fishing spot. first thought was these might be a burial ground for someone’s pet mice or cockroaches but i wasn’t about to disturb the mounds to find out. there seems to be no end to the marvels we can find waterside just waiting to fill our minds with their beauty; in my eyes these are trout temples…

Trout temple 2Trout temple 3Trout temple 4trout temple 5

Why do rivers curve ?

a lot of us learned this earlier on in our schools days but a little refresher course can’t hurt. apart from the cool factor and one of the explanations why our stream and river systems are so beautiful in their natural irregularity, anglers can use this great little film from MinuteEarth to help figure out fish holding areas, specially useful in times where they can’t be seen.
its all good, enjoy !

Cutthroat Transmitters

via Wyoming Game and Fish Department

it always leaves a strange feeling seeing our little friends get sliced up, have an antenna pushed up their butt and find themselves with one of R2D2’s spare parts placed in their belly… but if its good for the many then i guess its a good thing.
having but the most rudimentary notions of fish biology and studies, i have no idea of the validity or effectiveness of these types of study projects but knowing about the process is quite interesting. enjoy !

its time to take your water thermometer out

here’s why.

personally, apart from sort-of ‘bragging rights’ where i might use my thermometer to show i’ve been fishing in minus 10° temps (as if that was something to brag about…), this is the only serious use of one i can foresee.
i don’t live and generally fish in an area where any kind of bug activity can be predicted by water temperature but ! i definitely always have it with me in the hotter months to know when to stop fishing.
sometimes its best to put the rod away and go for a swim instead or simply pretend to be a hoot owl.

surprise visit

'canalmay' 2 m.fauvet:tlc 24-6-14TLC headquarters is within spitting distance of a canal in the south of France: Le Canal du Midi. as scenic and tourist-drawing as this little waterway may be, and even though its commercial use of shipment barges is long gone, it nevertheless runs through a valley where agriculture borders it from the Atlantic ocean to the Mediterranean sea. in other words, its a gutter for pesticides and whatever else crap that comes from both sides of the surrounding hills. not the kind of place one wants to go for a swim and its pretty rare to see anyone doing this.
aquatic insect life is what you might expect, mostly chironomids (in great quantities !) and a few dragonfly species just to name the more prominent flutterers. however, in the last few years their have been a few visits at night to my desk from small and lovely caddis adults. a little research and explanations from amateur entomologist friends have countered my idea that these lovely bugs could actually live and develop in the thick sticky silt that beds this canal but yesterday’s surprise was a real slap in the face, at least this guy’s “any kind of mayfly must come from a lovely, clean, bubbling, cool temped, stone-bottomed stream” face. i like to be slapped like this and hope it happens frequently.

'canalmay' m.fauvet:tlc 24-6-14

‘Headwaters

by Elizabeth and Charles Schwarz 1966
SchwartzCharlesElizabethPuerto Rico1b

” The upper reaches of streams are a wonderful part of this world. But they are delicate and vulnerable environments, often assaulted unknowingly by human use of the land. The film introduces the “citizens” of this unique world, featuring the smallmouth bass, and shows how these creatures live and die in a small community. “

filmed almost fifty years ago here’s a lovely refreshing treat, specially if your summer heat is as nasty as it is here. primarily focussed on the smallmouth bass, this lovely time-piece is a reminder that each element in a system is just as important as another.

of course, one can wonder why they’d go all through all the effort of showing us what a special and vulnerable environment it is and end it all by showing fishers stringing up these fish for the sake of ‘sport’, but i guess that just like pollution, watershed management, forestry work and all the other elements that are detrimental to waterways, this  film reminds us that a lot of things don’t change.
ok, i had to include that last part because i can’t help it… but ! to not end on a negative note, the viewer can rejoice because even though death in various forms is normal and present throughout the film, there’s a whole lot of fish sex as well. the film is 30 minutes long so, if you can’t watch it now be sure to save it for later. enjoy !

click on the Schwartz’s pick for more info on this most productive nature filming couple.

The World About Us

 

the educated trout -book cover

what a charming, lovely find. much more than just a fly fishing movie, this very rich one hour film divided in four chapters gives us a view of a not-so-far past on southern england chalk streams, their ecosystems, their habitants, flies, gorgeous under and above water film and photos studies of insects and fish and all sorts of other goodies.
i’ll pass on the ‘educated trout’ aspect but greatly applaud their somewhat early adoption of catch and release. give yourself an hour to kick back, forget the  week-end stress and allow yourself to be emerged in these beautiful streams. enjoy !
thanks Alun !

related articles

for the love of water- Sacred Headwaters

via Patagoniavideo

“In northern British Columbia, three of the province’s greatest salmon-bearing rivers are formed in the subalpine basin known as the Sacred Headwaters. The land has one of the largest intact predator-prey systems in North America and is the traditional territory of the In northern British Columbia, three of the province’s greatest salmon-bearing rivers are formed in the subalpine basin known as the Sacred Headwaters. The land has one of the largest intact predator-prey systems in North America and is the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation.
The Headwaters is at the centre of a dispute between the Tahltan, resource industries, government and environmental groups. Competing interests concerning land use, mining and hunting have created divides and put the future health of the Sacred Headwaters at risk.”

since it seems we’ll be around for a little longer, maybe it’s a sign telling us we might want to help  preserve what we have left and it’s not just about fishing.
here’s a nice place to start.