Waters & words

Three rivers and their stippled beauties

There has been much talk over the years about the subtle variations in the colouration and spot patterns on browns from different rivers here in the KZN midlands. I too have expressed opinions or generalisations about how the fish look in this river or that.  So it occurred to me to post here a sample of fish pictures from each river. In this way you can not only decide for yourself, but you can help me identify a pattern or trend, if indeed there is one. Because much as I adore the poetry in describing the special colouration of some hallowed stream’s trout, I have to confess that with the hard cold evidence in front of me, I am struggling!

So there you have it: Loch Leven strains , Von Bher (red spots), maybe some Slovenian influence, and who knows what else in between. The photos were also taken at various times of the season, and of course that will have some effect too. But can you think up a rule that will hold true, or describe a pattern that can’t be disproven with these or other pictures? Here is a table summarising what I can see in these pictures.

Characteristic/ River Bushmans Mooi Umgeni
Red spots some yes yes
small spots no yes yes
large splodges yes yes yes
silvery no not so much yes
butter yellow yes yes some
spots up on the head & mouth no no no
 Leopard like spot shapes ? ? ?

Please do drop me a comment if you have any ideas, because this one has me beaten…… Some of these photos are robbed from my friends and colleagues off Facebook or the internet, and many were not taken by me. It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.  Thank you to any of you who unknowingly donated pictures in the name of science !

Thank you to Wayne Stegen, Peter Brigg and Graeme Steart for additional pictures received so far. Their pictures have been added to the albums. Please do keep them coming!

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2 responses

  1. Assuming the origins of the stock are the same then I think that the variations come down to natures evolutionary adaptation best suited for survival based on the environmental conditions that exist in each of the separate waterways – water colouration, bottom structure etc. A little like a chameleon but not instantaneous. But, that is just a layman’s thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    May 28, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    • Thanks Peter.
      I think the possible reasons for differences can be imagined (probably never fully understood). The diversity of features of these Trout from one watershed to another are a source of pleasure to me, as are my attempts here to catalogue them.
      As per your facebook comment on the matter, I think it would be great to receive pictures of browns from these catchments from you and many others. I would be most thankful for those pictures.
      I can add them to these albums, and use them to expand and correct the little table appearing above.

      It would be a small project for flyfishing posterity!

      Like

      May 29, 2015 at 3:20 pm

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