Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Coattails of a Rockwasher

Tradition is that I fish my home system for end of stream trout season. This was the scene mere days before I wandered in...

And I'm sure you're aware of the various flood stories in SE MN over the past couple weeks. My goal was to investigate: look for bugs and fish. Had only ~2 hours, but even in that span I was able to see: (1) intact periphyton, (2) cased caddis on woody debris and rocks, (3) scuds, (4) fish of all sizes - ranging from ~2-3" up to "too large to land."

Amazing and comforting to me that a quarter-inch amphipod can survive such a raging torrent... while the constructs of man crumble and wash away.

I've heard that "the fish can always find the edges" no matter how big the flow. That makes sense to me. The caddis and scuds, etc. are another story though: they cannot migrate laterally. Their persistence and endurance is notable.

Also observed significant channel modification, some of which is depicted below. You can see the sorting of various particle sizes as the flow receded.

As for the fish: only one was remarkably beat up - see pics: damaged fins and pale in appearance. Not sure on the year class of that little trout pictured, but I caught three of that size, which was heartening. Most all fish ate orange scuds.

Maybe reflect on the 2010 trout season later on.

“To a river, as to any natural force, an obstruction is merely an opportunity. For the river’s nature is to flow; it is not just spatial in dimension, but temporal as well. All things must yield to the impulse of water in time, if not today then tomorrow or in a thousand years. If its way is obstructed then it goes around the obstruction or under it or over it and, flowing past it, wears it away. People may dam it and say that they have made a lake, but it will still be a river.” --Wendell Berry, The Unforeseen Wilderness


Anonymous winonaflyfactory said...

glad to see you were able to enjoy the sun during the end of the season.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Always amazed at the resiliency of salmo trutta.

9:44 PM  
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