Let me take you back to September 2010, when I could frequently be found in Bowring Park taking pictures at a waterfall where brown trout were trying to make their way up river.

Brown Trout - Bowring Park, St. John's

Brown Trout – Bowring Park, St. John’s

While a small number of trout did succeed, most of them failed miserably at the attempt, leaping boldly out of the water only to hit a rock or to be swept back down the falls again in the raging white water.

At the time, many of the park’s trails were closed due to damage caused by hurricane Igor, and my preferred spot for photographing them wasn’t available. This is why I tried a new spot right in the middle of the cascades, it was a nice vantage point that had me looking the fish straight in the eye as they jumped up the river.

Being in the middle of the river I did get a bit wet of course, especially after I moved closer to the falls to handhold my camera just above the water:

Brown Trout jumping the Waterford River Falls - Bowring Park, St. John's

Brown Trout jumping the Waterford River Falls – Bowring Park, St. John’s

I must have been perched like that for over an hour and I had many trout jump up and hit me! Before you say anything, fish-lovers need not worry: I wasn’t obstructing their jumping efforts because I was positioned in front of a rock. If I hadn’t been there the fish would have hit a wall instead of me, in fact, many of them did hit the rocks just around me:

Trout about to hit a rock - Bowring Park, St. John's

Trout about to hit a rock – Bowring Park, St. John’s

Here’s a shot where a trout actually hit the camera:

Fish in my fisheye lens - Bowring Park, St. John's

Fish in my fisheye lens – Bowring Park, St. John’s

All in all, this ‘day at the falls’ was a fine learning experience for years of wildlife photography to come. If you’re going to try the same thing this week, be careful, don’t fall, and bring some lens wipes…