Skagit River, Underwater Photography

Published on August 25th, 2014 by Rodney

The Skagit River is a popular playground for river trout fishermen in July and August. From Vancouver, it takes around two and a half hours to reach so day trips are possible for those who don’t mind the long days. It produces bull trout and rainbow trout, which are not hard to entice even in clear water condition. This presents plenty of opportunities for the photographers. During our recent trips, I invested more time on capturing our fish underwater before they swam away. Here are some of my favourites so far.

Skagit River Bull Trout

Skagit River Bull Trout

Skagit River Bull Trout

Skagit River Rainbow Trout

After each fishing trip, I usually have hundreds of photographs to go through and only the few best ones make it on here. This particular photograph sat on my desktop for a week now while I tried to decide whether it should be shown or not because the bloody eye kind of ruins it.

Skagit River Rainbow Trout

In the end I wanted to show this photograph for a couple of reasons. It’s one of the better underwater shots I have taken so far this year. Secondly, it raises an important topic on lure hook size and fish mortality, an issue which we like to conveniently ignore more often than not. The size of the hook you choose to use on your lure can determine the outcome of your catch. If the hook is too large, a small fish can be injured when caught, sometimes fatally.

In this case, a small rainbow trout grabbed a spoon intended for the larger bull trout, which had a size 1 hook on it. The larger gap of the hook ended up injuring the right eye of the fish. It’s difficult to determine the survival of this fish despite of the fact that it swam away quickly. In hindsight, to avoid this, a smaller hook like a size 2 or 4 could have been used which we do from time to time. If you are targeting big fish in streams where small fish might be caught, definitely take that into consideration. I know we will remind ourselves this more often in the future to reduce catch and release mortality.

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