The Waiting Winter Trout

It’s winter, and I wait, somewhere buried deep in a river. Behind a rock, I’m finning with the slow current. In a trance, I sway back and forth. My metabolism slowed, I find whatever tiny morsels happen to float by my pocket out of the current. My hole is a pad, an eddie, a thin slice of backward momentum behind one particulary beautiful stone that holds me on the edge of a constantly prying flow.

On those few days when the sun peeks out from behind a cloud and warms the water just a bit, I can find those tiny little bugs racing for the surface.

I see them streak from the bottom, and make haste for the other world. I don’t freak out about them. I see them off in the distance through the wavy water column bolting out from their hiding places and rising to the meniscus. If I watch the rocks below me carefully, a few will eventually emerge and streak right past my nose. The placement of my eyes doesn’t make watching things below me very easy, so I flick my tail to point my head towards the rocky bottom in cadence with my side to side motion.I make about one look down for every four side to sides. Its a delicate balancing act between getting food and maintaining my position in the stream. Too many looks and I tire out, too few and I miss my quarry.

My reaction must be swift, but calculated, my concentration complete. To miss an opportunity to intercept one of my tiny adversaries could mean I tire out and fall victim to the swift current barreling over my head. Patience is my virtue, so I wait, and wait, and wait.

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