Day six was our final day of fishing. We decided to spend our time in the Clinch River and its tributaries. Before fishing the main river, we drove a ways up a mountain road to check out a small tributary creek. One of the locals was confused why were fishing in such a small creek. We enjoy talking with locals, but at the same time we want to keep conversations short, so we explained that we were having a competition with each other to see who could catch the most fish. It wasn't exactly true, but it's easier to explain than the concept of lifelisting.
The Clinch River drainage did not disappoint. Miciah caught a nice warpaint shiner, and I caught a number of other species. I would have liked a warpaint as well, but I strategically did not catch one so I can visit this part of the country again *wink*.
Sawfin Shiner (Notropis sp.) - new hook & line species #147
Telescope Shiner (Notropis telescopus) - new hook & line species #148
Whitetail Shiner (Cyprinella nivea) - new hook & line species #149
We knew that even more fish were waiting for us in the main river, so we wrapped up at the stream and drove through the mountain valley until we found a good access spot on the Clinch. We really wanted to find tangerine darters (google search them and you'll see why), but unfortunately I don't think we were in their preferred habitat. We were, however, in the right habitat for smaller darter species. Within a few minutes I had added two new darters to my lifelist! Besides redline and bluebreast, we saw eastern greenside, golden, and some kind of snubnose darters. If only we had more time...
Redline Darter (Etheostoma rufilineatum) - new hook & line species #150
Bluebreast Darter (Etheostoma camurum) - new hook & line species #151
Upstream of the riffle there were lots of Tennessee shiners and streamline chubs. The streamline chubs were especially cool to watch as they grazed on the sandy bottom. I think Miciah got another warpaint shiner here, and once again I selectively chose not to catch one so I have an excuse to come back.
Streamline Chub (Erimystax dissimilis) - new hook & line species #152
This wrapped up our fishing trip. I'm so glad we chose to finish the trip at this location! The fish diversity was nothing short of incredible. I started the trip with a hook & line lifelist of 114 species and finished with 152! Thirty-eight new species in six days is going to be tough to beat.