Just below the surface of the fast-flowing stream he lay waiting. Below the bubbles and foam the water was clear and cool, he could see all the way up to the steel-grey rocks ahead. He had waited here for many days, occasionally rising to the surface, looking upstream, judging the depth over the first stone. This morning was different, in the dark he had felt the raindrops crashing into the waters inches above his head. Now it had stopped but long experience and instinct told him that further up the valley where he would be heading there would be a rush as all the small streams emptied their collected waters into the river in which he lay. It took many hours but soon the level would start to rise and he could attempt to make his way further up. He would try to be early at the spawning ground, this year he was stronger and larger, his red-flushed flanks were brighter than the last throws of the sunset. His hooked jaw curved over his upper lip, making it impossible to feed. He was starving but he did not have time to feed on the juicy maggots, flies and morsels that drifted lazily over his head. He was only concerned with finding one of the many spawning females, ready to woo and persuade her to release her eggs into the sand in order that he might spray them with his milt. This would be his dying gift to the river, a new batch of young salmon to clean and purify the waters before they departed on their long journey downstream to where the river flowed into the dark sea and set off on their three year journey before they too returned to the place of their birth.