Patrick Bridge, The Fishy Follow-up

Since this is part 3, let’s recap one last time. Dayna and I, along with our friend Tricia, were paddling on the lower North Fork White River. Stopping below Patrick Bridge Access, I hit the water looking to photograph fish, primarily Duskystripe Shiners, of which I found plenty. Unfortunately, the water wasn’t as clear as I’d hoped, making it difficult to get a decent photo unless I could get very close to my subject and not have to shoot through a lot of water. That led to me getting distracted, shooting lots of photos of crayfish (NOT that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you) and turning those images into the last two posts. And now that we’ve run out of crayfish photos, it’s time to talk fish, which was the reason I was in the water in the first place.

As previously mentioned, the Duskystripe Shiner (Luxilus pilsbryi) was my primary target. This is probably the most common fish in the drainage, they were present in large numbers and though I shot approximately 200 photos of them (no exaggeration), I got almost nothing worth showing. This is the best shot I got and it’s certainly nothing to be proud of.

If this were the breeding season, he (assuming this is a male) would be much more colorful, suffused with red over much of his body. But this was August, nearly September, and the breeding season and bright colors long gone. I’ve since made another trip to the North Fork drainage and got a few better photos, which will undoubtedly become another post, and I absolutely intend to return next May and shoot them in all their glory.

Meanwhile, I was also hoping to find trout and I did. I had expected to see Rainbows but all I found were Browns. Which was OK—they’re beautiful fish in their own right and I didn’t have any photos of them either.

These images came out better that I expected considering the piss-poor water clarity. Thank goodness for Photoshop, it’s saved more than one image for me. I got a little heavy on the blue in the middle image and too light in the other two. I couldn’t quite find the Goldilocks zone.

There was a Northern Hogsucker (Hypentelium nigricans), which I could barely see through the view finder and nearly cut out of the frame,

as well as a Knobfin Sculpin (Cottus immaculatus).

There were Logperch (Percina caprodes) everywhere I looked—there must have been a dozen of them.

But my favorite fish of the day was this guy,

a Banded Darter (Etheostoma zonale) that was still showing an awful lot of color for this late in the year.

Anyway, that’s all the photos I have from the North Fork trip. But hey, I managed to get three posts out of one 45 minute stop to snorkel. Just call me Peter Jackson.

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