Lepomis auritus--the black-sheep of the Lepomis lineage, shunning still-waters and preferring the rough and tumble expanses of rivers and streams. They are the 2.0 version of "bluegill" standing toe-to-toe with Micropterus dolmieu in pocket water and along riffle edges.
Many (if not all) Lepomis are are endowed with striking regalia--especially during the romantic seasons--but L. auritus might just be the fairest of them all. A mixture of iridescent indigo-blue and flame-red highlights reminds one of an evening sunset.
The first "bluegill" species that I remember catching and the species that taught me the finer points of upstream drag-free drift presentations. I search for them wherever warm waters flow and always spend a little too much time admiring their beauty.
This is a photo-tribute to L. auritus, Enjoy!
|Eye of the tiger.|
|A color palette on steroids|
|From the Amazon? No, right in your own back yard!|
|A stretch of the Rockaway River along I-287; typical L. auritus habitat|