Salmon – or Trout – leap?

It was like a scene from an Alaskan wildlife film, tumbling waters and leaping salmon.  Was there a bear there trying to catch them?  I’ll leave that to your imagination!

It is many, many years since we had seen salmon on the river and then usually further up in the shallows as they lay there spawning. But now we have the new field we have the perfect salmon leap waterfall and the opportunity to stand and watch. 

It was by chance that, one morning after reading my rain gauge, I sauntered down the river to see how the overnight rain had raised the water level.  I was just turning away when something caught my eye.  

We’d heard from a friend in Llangenny that the salmon had been spotted down there, so maybe one had managed to get up to us.  Yes, there it was again – or maybe it was a different one.  After being sure that I wasn’t seeing things, I ran back up to get Sue and together we watched as about a dozen forced their way through the churning water and launched themselves – with varying degrees of skill and luck – at the four- or five-foot high barrier in front of them.  

Surely it must be trial and error, for the waters were so rough and muddy that they wouldn’t have been able to see where they were going.  But they kept on and some surely must have made it. 

Many weren’t as big as we would have expected, maybe sea trout rather than salmon, but some were a reasonable (main course) size!  

We watched for three or four days then there were no more.  It was almost impossible to get a picture of them.  One had no inkling of when one would break the surface and the jump lasted for less than a second.  Even with finger poised over the camera button all we got was water!  I tried leaving the video running for more than ten minutes at one stage, but they were being particularly camera shy and again all I got was water.   

Our neighbour Nick did manage to capture a video – slowed down 10x here! – of this small one – probably a sea trout – which looked as though it didn’t make it, but otherwise you will just have to believe us. 

Post script: Via the wonders of social media, I’ve been informed that what we were seeing were indeed trout and that the salmon should be coming soon. Thanks @LoveYFenni. Back to river watching for me then.

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