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FWI 4 Days, 2 Rivers. May 2016.


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#21 Casper

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  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 30 June 2016 - 12:39 PM

Do all Englishmen need to brush their teeth more?

 

I figured this would please the Tattooed Litten.

The only thing lacking is you visiting and plunging head first into the clear flow.

 

Springtime is the best time to see Redlines.  They are out, about and quite proud of themselves.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#22 Isaac Szabo

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 12:40 PM

Wow, great job on these redline shots! Awesome!



#23 littlen

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 02:14 PM

Have no fear, Casper--(until recently with the pregnancy and birth of #2) I usually make it out to the Clinch and Holston Rivers in VA 2x a year to gaze upon them with dreamy eyes.

 

My first visit to TN back in 09' I took a dip into the frosty Little River mid October and saw a female Redline laughing at me before I washed away.  She was my first-first true love.

 

Sadly, the Potomac drainage around DC and Northern VA are lacking quite a bit.  Not only in diversity, but it's also hard to see anything trying to look through the chocolaty Yoohoo waters around here.  And, I try to limit my mercury exposure time.

 

But yes, excellent photos.


Nick L.

#24 Casper

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 09:13 AM

Chocolaty YooHoo Waters, with a hint of Mercury.  Sounds like you need to move.

 

I really like the last Redline Darter photo.  It illustrates well the elegant patterned beauty of the female.  


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#25 dsuperman

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 04:21 PM

Beautiful photos in beautiful places, thanks for sharing.



#26 fundulus

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 07:33 PM

littlen, you should have seen the Potomac around 1970, the forks up past Harpers Ferry used to run different colors on different days depending on which industry was dumping raw waste in the river. Mere turbidity is almost nothing....
Bruce Stallsmith, Huntsville, Alabama, US of A

#27 littlen

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 06:32 AM

At least Snakeheads find the waters of the Potomac suitable to their liking.....


Nick L.

#28 Casper

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 08:57 AM

Return to the Little July 3.
 
00-Star.JPG
 
01-ViewUpstream.JPG
 
It has been over a month since i laid in the water here and i was curious what was going on after all the previous activities i had observed.  The water was very comfortable at 74 degrees and i was never chilled wearing my 2-3 wetsuit.  The river was a good bit lower and the visibility reduced to only about 6'.  There was much activity downstream as i drove along the highway with cars parked and waders, splashers, jumpers, tubers and paddlers taking advantage of the July 4 holiday.  Being such a busy weekend if one would return on a quiet weekday i would think the river would be much clearer, but nonetheless, and i do desire maximum clarity, it was a wonderful day for me.
I stayed in one shallow area over an hour just observing the various species as they came to visit.  Bigeye Chubs and i think Streamline Chubs were common in the flowing pool area, feeding together along the sandy substrate.  A Blueside Darter came into any area i cleared and was unconcerned with my close camera work.  A month or so before his sides would have been a metallic foil blue.  Several big male River Chubs stayed close by but their tubercules had faded away and their nests were covered with a thin layer of delicate fluffy silt.  A trio of young Blotchside Logperch worked the cobbled run alongside to no concern.  Stonerollers and Striped Shiners rounded out the general population with a few Whitetails and Warpaints passing through.
 
 
02-BigeyeChubs.JPG
 
03-MysteryChub.JPG
 
Puppy dog eyed Bigeye Chubs and either a Streamline or Slender Chub.
 
 
04-ChubLog.JPG
 
The mystery Chub feeding alongside a Blotchside Loggie.
 
 
05-Blueside.JPG
 
Confident Blueside Darter, lacking his spawning vertical bars of blue, but i can see a hint of them!
 
 
The Water Willow was flowering, having grown tall and thick while holding the cobbled substrate tight.  The lush green patches bordered several runs, creating islands along the river's edge and breaking up the quiet flow.  In May i was able to work my way into one nice long run where i had seen all the proud Redline Darters, but today the river was too low to belly crawl up the run more than a few feet.  I only saw a few smaller Redlines and they were generally elusive hiding under stones but the Snubnoses were out in force.  A few Bandeds, Greensides and Bluebreasts poked about too.
 
 
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Waterwillow, i never tire of seeing the lush growths of this plant.
 
 
I following the flow downstream and found a Smallmouth Bass dead, lodged between a pair of stones.  Though i could see no wounds he had probably succumbed to a catch and release upstream.  After a few photos i laid the Bass on the edge of a washed stone, perhaps an easy meal for a Great Blue Heron.  l checked out the area below the 2nd bridge but my battery started flashing low so i worked my way back upstream to the bridge and my stashed batteries.
 
 
09-SM-Bass.JPG
 
Bass.
 
 
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Damselfly.
 
 
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Yawning Redhorse.  It was kinda lethargic but i could see no obvious wounds.  I took advantage of the close opportunity and snapped several photos.
 
 
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Looking upstream over a flatten River Chub mound and illustrating the degree of turbidity on this sunny day.  About 6' was the best clarity and it seemed to vary somewhat throughout the day, i suspect from the activities upstream and the few paddler floater groups who drifted and tumbled by.
 
 
After installing my second battery i decided to snorkel upstream, something i had not done on any of the prior 3 days of May.  Seeing the distant riffle run was inviting so i worked my way up the left side of the river and then crossed over to the right at the end of the long riffle flow.  Settling into an eddy i noticed several Blotchsides to my side.  At first they arched their backs, raising their heads as they eyed me warily but soon returned to unconcerned feeding when i settled into a comfortable vantage position.  At one point 7 more Loggies from further upstream paraded behind me in a single file line, when i looked as to why a big Bass appeared to be tailing them.  I never saw any regular Logperch today nor recall any from this May.  It is obvious the Blotchsides dominate this section of the Little River.
 
 
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Nubby nosed Blotchside Loggie with River Chubs attending.
 
 
14-GravelRun.JPG
 
A clean cobbled run favored by the stone flippers.  Bass nor silt are their friend.
 
 
Crawling further up the right side and pushing my mask into the brisk flow i came face to face with a handsome male Tangerine that generally tolerated my ever advancing camera lens.  This was a prize male and he was actively feeding  along with two smaller Tangerines in the River Weed that carpeted the run.  Some of the larger Blotchside Logperch were also working the run further downstream and i was determined to capture both the biggest Tangerine and Blotchside in the same frame.
 
15-TangerineCC.jpg
 
Tangerine Collage, color corrected.  The same Tangerine but one appears skinny?  Note the markings on the side which confirms they are the same individual.  Playing with sliders and adjusting variables is a tricky business but it does cut the green haze of the turbid water.  Often i had stirred up sand which marred many of the photos either with streaks or particles depending on the exposure length.  Of the many, many photos taken these were the two best.
 
 
16-Tang-Blotch.JPG
 
Tangerine Darter and Blotchside Logperch, the attempted best of the blurred pairings before the battery faded away.
 
 
With the 2nd battery exhausted i still had not achieved a nice image of the desired pairing.  However with the afternoon being well past 4 and having been in the water for 5 hours continuous i decided against retrieving a 3rd battery.  I was content, hungry and eager to return to my Brother's home and partake in his trio of smoked meats, Pork, Beef and Chicken accompanied with the fixin's reciped by our wives, my two daughters and their visiting friend.  A fine day indeed.  
 
 
 
 
 

Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#29 FSsnorkeler

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 10:44 AM

Excellent photography and narrative.  I look forward to snorkeling the Little T.



#30 Casper

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  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 17 November 2016 - 09:05 PM

The fires are burning.

A view from Star Bridge tonight.

 

Fire.jpg

 

The Southeast is severely lacking in rain.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#31 Casper

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 10:29 PM

fireWalland.jpg

 

This is where i park for snorkeling the Little at Star Bridge.  The Walland Post Office is on the right, next to the deli serving Hillbilly Tacos.


Edited by Casper, 19 November 2016 - 10:34 PM.

Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#32 Isaac Szabo

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 03:46 PM

Wow, that's pretty crazy. I hope you get some rain soon.



#33 Casper

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  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 28 November 2016 - 11:25 AM

Many of the regional fires appear to be of a low slow burn.  Not killing the big trees but clearing out the leaves, sticks and dried brush.  Perhaps it is not as bad as it appeared and may offer a spring flush of flowers.  I returned this weekend and looked at the burned hill side.  Much of the black burnt ground was covered by freshly fallen leaves... making for a contrasting image, an array of crumbled orange against an ashy black.  Rains are coming tonight and will continue for several days.  Long overdue and welcomed.

 

 

PostFire.JPG

 

This photo taken from Star Bridge shows the same hillside that was glowing red in the previous photo.

Below the water was clear as we dropped bread crumbs into the river while the fish swirled.

A wonderful site.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#34 Chasmodes

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Posted 29 November 2016 - 11:43 AM

Wow, those fires are pretty scary, hopefully the rain will put them down.  I'm glad the damage wasn't too bad around your collecting spot and maybe some good will come out of it eventually.

 

I meant to post a few months ago and never did, those are some breathtaking fish.  


Kevin Wilson


#35 mattknepley

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 06:14 AM

Talked with a man who was on one of the fire crews in SC. Said the same thing you said, Casper. Many of the fires were quite widespread, but low and cleaning out the little stuff and dead stuff but sparing large trees. Not that you could have guessed it from the amount of smoke we had in the air down here for days! I do believe that in general this will prove good for our mountains in the long run. Btw, plenty of great photos in here, Casper.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#36 trygon

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Posted 01 December 2016 - 08:19 AM

I'm pretty sure that the people in Gatlinburg would have a different opinion of the intensity of the fires.


Bryce Gibson
There are sharks in every ocean...except Billy Ocean.

#37 Casper

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  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 02 December 2016 - 10:30 AM

For the most part the SE regional fires have been low, slow burn fires and not killing the trees... that is until the Gatlinburg event a few days ago where horribly timed 60 - 80 MPH plus storm winds blew the smoldering fires into a tragic loss of people and property.  A terrible confluence of dry conditions, a low, slow fire abruptly intensified by the untimely coincidence of high velocity storm winds.

Tragic.

 

...to note my fire posting was made before the Gatlinburg tragedy.


Edited by Casper, 02 December 2016 - 10:34 AM.

Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#38 mattknepley

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 05:51 PM

Gatlinburg is indeed a different, heartbreaking story. Was not aware of it until after posting as well.
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."



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