Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Dark Spring Night

It is a dark night with no moon. A big fish swims around me too fast for me to see much more than a white streak, a few feet long. It heads downstream immediately. My world focusses down into a small dot of light on the bottom. I try to find the fish to determine what was swimming with me on this dark night, but all I could see were case maker caddis flies clinging to rocks. I see a white flash occasionally to let me know it’s still there, but I can’t keep up to identify it and it disappears into the night as fast as it emerged. I explore for other fish as I methodically crawl downstream on my fingertips. A huge eel pops out of the dark and startles me as it hunts. The cylindrical fish prods into each nook and cranny and doesn’t recognize my presence initially. When it does, the fish takes off with amazing grace, agility and speed, but I keep up as the current pushes the eel against a flat rock. It lets me get close enough to unintentionally blind it with my dive light and take a bunch of pictures. It is a beautiful eel, large, as fat around as my two thumbs together, olive yellow above creamy white undersides. This was probably a female given her size. She tolerated me for a while then resumed hunting until finally she swam off into the dark spring night.

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