View Full Version : LR Float trip

08-27-2009, 06:37 AM
I haven't fished the little river this year for warm water species due to all the rains and extra work load at my job. Yesterday, I took a day off to spend floating the river. I hooked up with John (River John) for a shuttle and started my float at 12pm. It was a beautiful day, no wind, no tubers and a perfect flow of clear water.


I was into fish pretty quickly on stealth bombers and though the sizes of the bass were smaller than I hoped, I was happy to stay hooked up a lot. Caught smallies, rock bass, redbreast, bluegill and largemouth. I was surprised by the number of largemouth in the river and John said they were Kentucky bass. Something to do with the tooth patch.
A couple of bass from the day.


It's a great float trip with great scenery and fishing.
See ya on the river.


08-27-2009, 08:19 AM
That float is a nice little float. I have never had what I would consider great fishing on it, but have always had a good time. I have caught more largemouth on that section of river then any of the other warmwater stretches in this part of the state. The bass in your pics appear to be largemouth and not spotted bass, but that is just my opinion.

08-27-2009, 08:24 AM
if they've got a tooth patch, then they are spots. (or so I've been educated that way) A river near me is getting more restored to life every year from the mine run off and now it's full of spots. They don't get very big, but they seem spunkier.

08-27-2009, 08:43 AM
Yes, if they have a tooth patch on their tongues they are spots....usually. There are cases of largemouth with tongue patches, but not that often. Spots look much different then largemouth usually with more vibrant colors and a smaller mouth, similar to a smallmouth.

08-27-2009, 09:41 AM
I think they were just plain ole largemouths. I didn't look at the tongue, just going by the size of the mouth and marking. The thing that throws me off about these LM is where they were caught. I usually catch LM in deeper water during late summer. These bass acted more like smallies. Hanging out in faster water below riffles and in the tailouts where the water picks up speed. Maybe its just an acclimation to type of habitat in the river, but none were caught in typical LM ambush spots..weedlines, logjams , rocky bluffs ,etc. The redbreast and bream were present and I caught well over 50 in of those in those areas. I've never caught any smallies over 16" in the LR. There are alot of bass, but its not nearly the quality bass fishery as the pigeon, french broad or holston. I know one guy, John M that got a 19" smallie this past spring on this float, probably on a streamer when the bass were prespawn.
The float from Perry's mill to river johns is long, I believe it is 7 miles or so. Next time I will spend less time in the upper section and not be rushed to make it to the takeout by dark. I had to skip over the last mile of water.
As I said, the scenery is great. Lots of fun rapids, birds and I even saw a deer being chased by something along a ridge. It was a doe and she had her head down running as hard as she could. Maybe a coyote was after her?
Anyone who plans on floating it in a canoe or kayak, I would look for at least 150 cfs. It was 165 yesterday and perfect for me. I only had to portage once all day around a fallen tree about a 1/2 mile above John's place. A raft with frame and anglers might need 200 cfs to keep from getting stuck on some mid stream rocks.

09-07-2009, 10:43 PM
That looks like a great day. You ever want to take a float on the Pigeon, Holston or French Broad let me know. We never got to it summer before last.

09-08-2009, 12:58 PM
Yeah John , we need to do that. They will start dropping the lakes soon also. Between heavy work schedules and all this rain this year, I haven't been out on the rivers as much as usual.

No Hackle
09-09-2009, 11:28 AM
Gary theres alot of spots in LR there are also Largemouth and that last pic is a largemouth. A good way to tell is when a LM has his mouth closed the joint hinge extends behind the eye. He told you right about the tongue patch. The jaw joint on a spots will be more like Smallmouth that you have caught so many of. Hope this helps, I know just enough to screw someone up.

09-09-2009, 11:33 AM
Here's a good link to the TWRA which has some good pics to help identify the various bass types.

09-23-2009, 09:40 AM
I'm a little late jumping in here, But those are great pics troutman. I spent about 10 years floating rivers in central VA chasing smallmouth with spinning tackle. I was considering giving the long rod a try when I moved back to NE TN. When I moved back I tried the fly rod and have only touched spinning tackle when on the lake with some of my bass buddies. I really need to get on the river and try the smallmouth with a fly rod. Your pictures remind me that those fish can be a lot of fun.