Crystal clear

Brown trout © Linda Pitkin/2020VISION

There is nothing as pleasurable as sitting in a sunny spot, with the crystal clear cool waters of a chalk stream rolling by.

The beams of light flicker constantly on the water’s surface, as if searching for a place to rest, but never quite able to. Upstream, the graceful glide of a snowy white swan heads purposefully towards me, and in the spiky tall stems of vibrant green to my right, a jerky movement catches my eye. A brown shape briefly appears, feathers ruffled in annoyance, backed up by the unmistakable scolding chattering call of a sedge warbler.

Brown trout in a chalk stream © Jon Traill

Brown trout in a chalk stream © Jon Traill

A few moments passed, possibly more, as time seemed of no significance in this timeless world, while the beauty of the chalk stream shone through. With an unimpeded view into the depths, the underwater world is there to see. Water weeds sway in unison, providing cover and shelter for the elusive brown trout. A flick of a tail and the streamlined body moves out into the open, holding position over the river bed gravels like a guard on sentry duty. Black dots and flecks on its side can be seen through the gin clear water and a dark eye scans for movement, alert to threat and food in equal measure.

Brown trout in closeup © Alexander Mustard/2020VISION

Brown trout in closeup © Alexander Mustard/2020VISION

Caught in the moment, I let my mind wander, all the while viewing a scene of serenity and calm. This encounter may be as old as time itself, indeed it is, but remains crystal clear in the memory, a reminder of the beauty of the natural world around us.