Get settled by the water’s edge this autumn and marvel at Atlantic salmon bravely leaping homewards to reproduce.

With fishing topping the poll of Britain’s most popular outdoor pastime, it is somewhat surprising that the fine art of fish-watching appears so far down the pecking order, when compared to birdwatching. But on a few key days spread across October and November, Atlantic salmon are capable of putting on a display that measures up to any performance our feathered friends are able to muster.

The spectacle of salmon leaping up their natal river can be traced back to a previous autumn when they started their lives as pea-sized eggs laid by their mothers in gravelly riverbeds. In April or May, they hatch as ‘alevins’ before becoming fry and feeding on aquatic invertebrates.

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