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4 Day June Weekend.


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#1 Casper

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

Posted 24 June 2019 - 07:36 PM

Thursday, June 20th.
 
We arrived at the Conasauga River about 11 am and found the water reasonably clear.  The water was a bit high and speckled with particulate from the night's rainfall.  All the rocks were covered with a 1/4" veneer of silt.  Disturbance is going on somewhere upstream of the Snorkel Hole.
 
10-Map.JPG
 
You Are Here.
 
 
11-Sign.JPG
 
All that remains to identify the snorkel hole, a sign up by the toilets.  The sign that was BY the Snorkel Hole is now gone.  Lost by Cherokee National Forest personnel.   :(
I made that sign and every visitor appreciated it.
The loss of that sign agitates me greatly.
 
 
12-BlueShiner1.JPG
 
I mastered a new trick.  Knot up a small piece of bread, roll it hard and tight.  Put the dough ball under a rock.  Focus on the rock and wait for your favorite fish to feed.
 
 
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Three Colors this shiner.
 
 
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A Cray soon appeared.  It obviously smelled the bread and came acrawlin'.
 
 
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Quite content feeding on the bread, even with a camera pushed nearly on top of him.
 
 
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Resting.
 
 
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Rootin' Hog nearby.
 
 
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The Donald holding stones to weigh himself down to the target rock and a visiting Blue Shiner.
 
 
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2 Rob McDo's... today.  The standing is a Dougal, the other a Donald.
 
 
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Donald treated us to a fine meal at the Bald Headed Bistro in Cleveland, Tennessee where this Colorado fish fossil is part of the bar surface.
 
 
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Friday, June 21.
 
Optimist Club meeting.  I made a 20 minute presentation leading onto a screening of "Hidden Rivers".  BBQ cookout that evening at the President's house.  
 
 
Saturday, June 22.
 
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This long legged spider was trapped on a rock island.  Round and round he went until i offered him transport via my capped head and thus freedom at the next landfall.
 
 
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A HIGHLY stressed Whitetail Shiner.  Unusual color, almost like bloodied.  Round and round in the shallows by Bre's feet.
 
 
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A composition showing the ever increasing turbidity.  About 5' visibility when we got there.  An approaching stormline and rain from the night before reduced it to 3'... as the sky fell.
 
 
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Leaving before the rain, 2 shivering, one with mask issues and another happy and content.
 
 
Sunday, June 23.
 
Returned to the same site.
 
 
26-RL-Torrent.JPG
 
Visibility had greatly increased after 24 hours.  Redline Darter at the rifflehead, under a bright blue sky.
 
 
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Quick flip in the torrent.
 
 
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Hunkerin' down.
 
 
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Green eyed Lurker
 
 
30-WT.JPG
 
Galactura.
Today a short snorkel, introducing my Brother's YO8 Granddaughter to snorkeling.  Current, crawdads and cold soon took her cheer.
 
Nice weekend all and all.  3 Snorkels.  5th viewing of Hidden Rivers.  20 minute presentation.  500 dollars plus raised for FWI.  8 year old dunked.
 
 
 

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

#2 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 25 June 2019 - 08:35 AM

wonderful stories and photos!


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#3 Chasmodes

Chasmodes
  • NANFA Member
  • Central Maryland

Posted 25 June 2019 - 10:18 AM

Outstanding pictures and another great report.  Well done!  My favorites are the redline darter pics...stunning!


Kevin Wilson


#4 dsuperman

dsuperman
  • NANFA Member

Posted 27 June 2019 - 10:49 PM

Nice  write up ,beautiful photos. What a weekend.



#5 mattknepley

mattknepley
  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 28 June 2019 - 07:07 PM

Love the Redline photos!  And the bread trick.  

 

I understand all about the silting.  Several of my first seining and dipnetting spots that were as nice and rocky as can be are all large diametered sand traps now...


Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#6 Casper

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

Posted 19 July 2019 - 05:21 PM

Back to the Conasauga yesterday, Thursday, July 18.  Gary was guiding a group of YCAP boys.  A wild bunch and they had fun.  Many inner city youngsters never get a chance to do something like this.

 

 

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These were the boys that refused to get out.

  :)  An enthusiastic pod.

 

 

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While Gary was getting his gear together i snapped a couple darters from the Bronze Age.

 

 

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Note the square openings carefully crafted.

 

 

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Gary prepping teeny tiny.

 

 

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Gary going under.

 

 

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Gary snorkel fishin'.

 

 

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Tricolors were the most eagerly caught, oddly very few Bamas.  This here be a Blue.  Some were still in color with yellar fins.  Gary handed me the 2' rivercane with a micro hooked minnow maggot magnet and watched a black lurking red eyed Coosae gulp it down quick.

 

 

38-BlueShimmer.JPG

 

Clumsy photo, but such a beauty.

 

Our goal, tho unsuccessful, was to capture and ID some of the mystery minnows encountered.  But all we saw were Alabamas, Tricolors, and Blues.  And flurrish waves of YOY whatevers.

I did get a small Silverstripe Shiner but where i often see several big ones, they were not.

Neither found were the potential Burrheads or Coosas we had hoped to capture and phototank.  Where were they?

Its an odd time of year, i consider it the Summer duldrums.

 

Just as we set up for phototanks a massive downpour dumped on us scrambling the two of us to our vehicles.  Why do we stay in the river in contentment, fully immersed, yet when it rains we run for cover?

 

 

 

 


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

#7 mattknepley

mattknepley
  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 20 July 2019 - 04:23 AM

Great work, as usual, Casper.  I'm fascinated by those nymph casings. (Have no idea what type o' bug they belong to.) I was actually just looking at some in the SC mountains this week.  I can't get over how mathematically precise and smooth they are.  You could give me precut lumber and tools and I couldna produce something that sleek and artistic!


Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#8 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 20 July 2019 - 05:31 AM

Cool deal Casper. Good to see the youngsters out there learning from you all.

 

 

   Stick bait Matt. That's what the old timey mountain folk called caddisfly larva that build their case out of wood. I think this is Brachycentrid species, but that is only a guess.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#9 mattknepley

mattknepley
  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 20 July 2019 - 08:11 PM

Thanks, DLV.  Stick bait.  I like that.  So fishes will eat them cases and all?  I'm woefully inept at my aquatic nymphs.  I know dragonflies, damselflies, and well, hellgramites.  But I have no idea what they turn into.  Generally I just refer to 'em as "fish food" to be safe... 


Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#10 gerald

gerald
  • Global Moderator
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina

Posted 21 July 2019 - 08:33 AM

Presumably they chew up the case, spit out the larger wood and leaf fragments, and swallow the insect.  I'm sure you've watched fish (especially darters) alternately chew, blow out, and re-snatch the good bits.


Gerald Pottern
-----------------------
Hangin' on the Neuse
"Taxonomy is the diaper used to organize the mess of evolution into discrete packages" - M.Sandel


#11 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 21 July 2019 - 10:45 AM

I imagine there are 101 ways to eat a caddis. Using snails as an example. Some darters eat shell and all, some suck the good stuff right out of the shell. It is probably similar with caddis. I am more familiar with trout feeding on caddis than I am any other fishes.

 

Many effective Appalachian fly patterns mimic cased caddis. I think trout at least prefer caddis that are not cased. When a "hatch" is going on, many cased caddis are abandoning their cases and rising to the surface. A feeding frenzy ensues. Caddis hatches are not as common or as obvious as mayfly hatches, but they do occur. The other 90% of the time, trout are more opportunistic, and take caddis case and all. Very common to find case fragments in their stomachs. I imagine the chew and spit behavior that Gerald mentioned comes into play to dome degree. Larger fish probably disregard the packaging more than smaller fish. People fishing "stick bait" typically remove the larva from the case.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#12 Casper

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

Posted 22 July 2019 - 01:36 PM

Gary Williams tells me:

The square "chimney" cases are indeed caddisflies of the family Brachycentridae and genus brachycentrus.  They belong to the case maker group.


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



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