Day two put us in the Dan River and Roanoke River drainages. Our first stop was a small stream going through a public park. A footpath bridge made the perfect microfishing spot. It was a sunny day, and tons of minnows were hanging out in the pool beneath the bridge. When the reach of the 12 foot crappie pole isn't necessary, I switch to my 5 foot ultralight. Just like the day before, the new lifers came in one after another!
Mountain Redbelly Dace (Chrosomus oreas) - new hook & line species #122
Rosyside Dace (Clinostomus funduloides) - new hook & line species #123
Crescent Shiner (Luxilus cerasinus) - new hook & line species #124
We then headed to a dam on the Pigg River with a small stream flowing in downstream. Miciah headed to the stream, and I fished above and below the dam. Bryce, who had done most of the driving on the trip, took a nap in the car. I used a size #10 Octopus hook with my ultralight, and quickly caught the larger chub and shiner species hanging out below the dam.
Bluehead Chub (Nocomis leptocephalus) - new hook & line species #125
White Shiner (Luxilus albeolus) - new hook & line species #126
Crescent Shiner (Luxilus cerasinus) - adults at this spot, the previous ones were juveniles
I also tied on a small Mepps spinner and caught this nicely colored brown trout above the dam.
Brown Trout (Salmo trutta)
After catching more of the same, I made my way down to the small creek to see how Miciah was doing. He said that he was catching mostly juvenile shiners and chubs, but had also caught a fantail darters. I knew that the fantails on the east coast have been in the process of being split into new species, so I was excited to catch one. After a while looking through the rocks in the creek, I found a few! They certainly look different than the striped fantail darters we have in Illinois.
Chesapeake Fantail Darter (Etheostoma humerale) - new hook & line species #127
Back at the dam, we continued fishing as the sun began to set. The fish we caught began to change, and we each caught a fish that we weren't expecting, cutlips minnow!
Cutlips Minnow (Exoglossum maxillingua) - new hook & line species #128
These guys had really interesting mouths.
As it got darker, we began catching nothing but rock bass. We photographed each one, hoping for Roanoke bass, but apparently we were in a part of the drainage where rock bass are more dominant.
Rock Bass (Ambloplites rupestris)