|Fry, about 3 inches long in a gentle current.|
These are probably first-year fish, aka fry. Cougar Creek is home to cutthroat trout, Coho and Chum salmon; I'm not sure which these little ones are. The spots along their sides may be a clue to those who know their fish. I don't.
Some trout, such as the rainbow trout, are salmon species; cutthroat trout is a salmonid, but not a salmon.
A bit further up the creek, where the shade is deeper and the current more variable, water striders chase each other over the surface.
|This may be a male trying to capture a female.|
Water strider females need to mate only once, whereas males mate as frequently as they can; the last male to mate is the one who passes on his DNA. The females, once they've mated, flee or fight other hopeful suitors. (More detail in The Case of the Reluctant Brides.)
I love the way their feet always make circular spots on the water, and when the water is clear, a half-dozen circular shadows some distance away.
And I just liked the pattern on this log:
|Moss, bleeding heart leaves, spots of lichen, and peeling bark.|