Luckily for the trout, I made a very poor grizzly bear despite years of practice. My paws often touched a tail or belly, but not for long. In more than two decades, I only caught a few trout and a handful of other species. In my rare moments of success, the prize always seemed diminished without the magnification of the water. The unblinking eye did not understand the point of the game. It seemed somehow pointless for me to rejoice at pawing my prey when the consequences of failure were so unevenly balanced.
Now I am more interested in photographing trout than catching them. I don’t want to harm the trout in any way and a camera is a pretty non-invasive tool. Unfortunately, even these attempts often end in some disappointment when the images fail to contain the deep, illustrious glow that reflects the true spirit of the trout. Similarly, the dust covered trout mounted as trophies above thousands of fireplaces might help to illustrate good fishing stories, but equally fail to capture the essence of the majestic creatures. I now realize that the beauty of the fish is in its motion. It is this gracefulness that has drawn many people to the river. Few people can argue that trout are most beautiful while they are still swimming in the river.