Stainforth Force salmon run

It’s that time of year again when I go and sit and numb my bum for a few hours by the amazing waterfall at Stainforth Force in the Yorkshire Dales.  This year, I’ve been twice.  On the first day, I set off the day after a heavy rainfall, arriving just after dawn.  For the first few hours there was nothing doing, probably because the rainfall had been too heavy and there was a tremendous amount of water passing over the falls.  I noted a little hollow on the rocks, which was filling up with water and by watching that, I could see the level dropping slightly as time went by.  Around lunch time, the first salmon attacked the falls, following which there was a steady run.  As usual, the fish never announce their arrival at the foot of the falls and you never know where they will hurl themselves out of the water.  My strategy so far is to focus on one spot with a short lens  and hope that I get a few jumping into the frame.  Of course, it’s always frustrating when you do that and the best image of the day appears out of shot.  Whatever, it’s great just to sit and watch for the unexpected and often there’s a dipper fly-past just to break up the day.

On my second visit, the water was much lower and a few fish made it up the first jump relatively easily.  I spent the last half hour at the top fall, a spot where, on reflection, I should have spent more time.  Next year…

And a tip for photographers thinking of making the trip for the first time –  the falls are in shade until late lunchtime after which the sun finds its way past the hill and the trees to shine on the falls from downstream.  This is the best time to be there.


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