NANFA-- Mountain Fork trip
Wed, 4 Oct 2000 22:24:12 EDT
to those concerned...
the last waterlogged diehard members of this summer's foraying nanfa tva
alliance converged NE of Huntsville AL at mountain fork creek. we arrived
late and found the nanfa website lurker who goes by the real name of john
alderman fixing to leave. after reassuring him again after bruce had
reassured him 45 minutes before his one hour late that it is always better to
be late than to never show, rob mcdougal and i stretched our wetsuits on for
perhaps this season's last looki underwater. a salute to our prez, mr bruce
who had done an excellent scout job. It was a mighty fine locale. The water
was clear, spring fed, not toooo brrr... and lush with life. i collected a
variety of greenery; plants, mosses, duckweeds to try back home in the
aquariums, cement pond and bio filtration pool. we immediately saw TN snubs,
big honcho rainbows, greensides and the BIGGEST sculpin ive ever seen. he
could have swallowed a whole chicken bone! gambusia and i would claim N
studfish, counter to bruce were also seen. a fine colored green sunfish was
hooked by rob. a few little rock bass came our way. rosy side dace were
lookin good and unique to my eyes. creek chubbs and stonerollers. mostly
typical tn spring fish for me. rob also claimed to see a redhorse upstream.
we were able to stampede some fish in the seine again while snorkling. this
really helps to get a particular individual your after. being that we are all
four weak on proper id skills there were several more unknowns...
particularly shiners. oh yea... stripe shiners were common too. hogsuckers
were seen too.
bruce and john gave out, claiming household/hubby obligations so rob and i
loaded up w/ the intention of revisiting paint rock back to the east for
another look at the blotchside logperch. we missed our turn, got lost and
found ourselves over the flint river... and it was clear! that is all i need
to alter plans and be happy. we parked the van and tumbled down the steep
bank, stripped down, suited up and i was back in the clear flow. rob had
forgotten his mask back at mountain fork, had to redress, reload, unlose
himself, retrieve the mask and relose himself back to the bridge at flint.
within 15 minutes he has back in and hearing my gabberwoky about the
devildog. as i was laying in a small chute observing a cluster of blotched
chubbs and darters i felt a slimy flat stick rub against me. i took a look
and said well that looks like a hellbender! yea right! well it were true! i
left the chubbs and followed the meandering salamander over and under and
through the debris. he was totally nonchalant... oblivious to the big guy in
the suit... even when i touched him. i found a crayfish, cracked its back and
placed it at the dog's mouth as a offering. no interest but a quick sniff.
hum... he seemed to have more on his mind. on further along it ran its nose
and half body under a rock and out poked the head of another beastie... like
it had just heard... " hey susie, look at this wet dude w/ the big glass eye
following me." well that was something indeed. it seems to me that they were
setting up house for the season... i gotta check my literature on the
another neat feature about this site was that just upstream was the ruins of
a 12' dam. tumbled, moss covered, still pooling the water upstream. very
enchanting. fog was misting over the water. clear water was blasting out of
the dams fissure and the torrent was filled with a multitude of fish. we
stayed till we could see no more.
it's been a few days since and i cant remember all but a return visit this
spring is due. oh yea... big dusky darters too. at one point i had all four
species in my facemask's view... snubs, rainbow, dusky and greenside. good
snapshot. its about time to get my 75 gallon tank up for next spring!
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