View Full Version : ?Little River Float Trip?

06-06-2009, 03:03 PM
I'm going to take a canoe to the Nantahala River June 12 for 2 nights, and from there up to the GSMNP until June 18th.

The plan in Wesser is to Canoe the Natty during the day (dam release) and fly fish morning and evening.

Then up to Cades Cove Campground. I've never taken a canoe up to the park before, but as long as I have it with me, I may as well try a float trip.

What type of fishing and gear is recommended for Little River from Townsend to Melrose? Is that spinning gear and small mouth? Or is that still trout water? Any info on this section would be much appreciated.

Are there any other sections that are doable for a whitewater OC-2 (no more than class III water)?

If any one is interested in joining me on the Little River, feel free to send me a pm.
Thanks in advance,


06-08-2009, 11:23 AM
I've floated the LR several times in my ducky. You really need close to 200 cfs to get a good float otherwise you will be dragging the canoe in several places. stocker trout in the upper townsend area with good sunfish and smallmouth the rest of the float.
There are a few fun areas to run mild rapids and chutes, but otherwise a fairly easy going river float. No need for the float bags in the middle section of the canoe.
I don't know where "Melrose" is. I usually break the float up into 3 sections of 3-5 mile day trips so I can get plenty of wade fishing along the route.

06-08-2009, 12:41 PM
Thanks for the info.
Is Townsend area still designated trout water with bait restrictions? Most of my small mouth lures have treble hooks. I don't want to break any rules by having restricted baits in a trout water.

Also, where is the USGS gauge for little river? I'll be on a 7 day trip with no internet access.

Do you have any experience with Abrams Creek from Abrams Campground to US-129?

Again thanks for the reply,

06-08-2009, 03:14 PM
Where is Melrose?

06-08-2009, 05:38 PM
If you plan on floating from the little river in Townsend to Melrose you're going to have a few spots where you might have to tote your rig. Melrose is right around 500 miles from Townsend. Melrose, FL. A great place, I live there. If you do decide to make the trip stop in an see us we love to here from anyone who has been to Townsend, another great place.

06-08-2009, 05:45 PM

06-08-2009, 08:06 PM
I know where Melrose Is now! I've never heard anyone ever call it that though. We just call it Perry's Mill for the mill dam you must portage around.
I floated the whole section from The park boundary to Perry mill dam in one day a couple of years ago. I spent too much time fishing the upper section and was rushed to paddle to the takeout by dark. I like to put in at Kinzel springs and float back to Perry mill or float from Perry mill to River John's.

We talked about the Abrams creek float on here last year. You may need to search through the archives for the topic. I have only fished a little ways below the ranger station and have paddled up to the mouth of Abrams from 129.

Duckypaddler has done it and would be the best member to ask about it. maybe he will see this thread.

06-11-2009, 03:14 PM
Abrams is a great Class 2 float from the ranger station down to the lake. I see you found the AW site and much more info is posted there. Feel free to e-mail me. Look for at least 2.5 min on Littlr Rv guage & .75 inches at cades cove rain guage. At levels around 4 feet it is pushy big water Class 2 with 2 or 3 Class 3's. There are 2 spots that kind of dead end and you should watch for wood. Upper section from Cades Cove to Ranger station is generally Class 2 with one Class 3 above the Class 5 Abrams Falls then a soild 1/2 mile of good Class 3 before returning to Class 2. Sorry I was late to respond.

06-11-2009, 04:46 PM


The Dam is right after the BBQ-Motorcycle-Tattoo-Antiques-Adult Shop.

06-11-2009, 07:16 PM
Well I'm headed out in the morning. I'll be back in 8 days with a full report... hopefully...

Thanks guys.

06-12-2009, 09:51 AM
Congrats. there Ducky!!!!! That may put a chink in your fishing time but well worth it.