On day five we headed west into the Appalachians into the New River drainage. It was beautiful country with the leaves changing color. We found a small stream with fish and got to work. The water was cold! In the pools we found dace and chubs as well as a new shiner species for our lifelists.
Saffron Shiner (Notropis rubricroceus) - new hook & line species #146
Mountain Redbelly Dace (Chrosomus oreas)
Rosyside Dace (Clinostomus funduloides)
Bluehead Chub? (Nocomis leptocephalus?)
Before we packed up for the next location, I looked in a small riffle for darters. I had time to catch just one, a fantail darter. The fantails in the Tennessee and New River drainages are an unnamed subspecies. The vertical bars were especially dark on the upper half of their sides, and their fins and tail were an impressive yellow color.
Fantail Darter (Etheostoma flabellare ssp.) - subspecies from TN / New River drainages
The rest of the day was spent looking for bigmouth chubs (Nocomis platyrhynchus), but we were unsuccessful in finding them. Nonetheless, we couldn't complain with the scenery. Here's the spot where we ended the day. Even if you don't find the fish you're looking for, spending time in a place like this is time well spent!