So, what species if only one...
When I look up through my barely visible breath I see towering conifers shattering the dull morning sunlight into streaks, spiritual rays, as if God himself spends his dawn moments in this same canyon where I stand alone with my soul. In what most would perceive as quiet, the churning of the river and sigh of the wind, the ruffles of vine maple leaves proclaim loudly the messages that blatant neon ads, television ads, chattering crowds and revving automobiles fail to convey.
A tiny sculpin darts underfoot, a prehistoric relic of a raging jurassic past, some distant millenia ago; before glaciation and tectonic violence that sculpted stone pillars and stacked pressurized blue ice on mountain elevations that only now in 2001 melts and carries the dust from the grinding of these ice floes into the aqua blue currents of steelhead rivers to the sea, to dissipate into the briny pacific like smolts venturing from their natal streams in search of pelagic currents they have never seen, nor had anyone spoken of - yet they yearn to see.
As different as the north pacific ocean is to it's freshwater counterpart, the river and sea are inseperable. Though most species would suffer a horrible death trying to bridge the two, some thrive on the differences. The pacific's rich organic soup and cyclic currents carry the young silver trout several thousand miles to feast on the riches of the ocean, to become the epitome of trout, a super-trout, not by steroids or pellets but by the hand of nature and her artistry. She paints streaks of mercury into every ray of the sea borne warrior's tail and carefully forges it's flanks with chrome plating. She paints delicate black spots over the emerald green / gunmetal blue back and streaks white pectoral fins as pure as snow. Inside all this armour she lights a flame and let's it go.
There are few honors that compare to being the one, standing with the humble sculpins in the shore rocks casting a line into the mystery of steelhead canyon.
That's the short version
No, it's not easy to say... one species.... I need more time...