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:rolleyes: If you look back through the archives here, you'll see mention of smallmouth bass:) in the northern Durham County Little River. Of course, having moved here 10 years ago and not having the opportunity to go out to the western part of the state for health reasons, I'm intrigued and interested in fishing for this small population of smallmouths. When Durham had two dedicated fly shops, I would go in and ask the proprietors about the smallmouth. One said he had never heard that before:confused:. The other simply pooh-poohed the idea as a rural (urban) legend:(. I have been interested with meeting up with these smallmouth for some time. Got out maps and tried to find places where the river is intersected by the road, rode out there recently and found that all of the bridges have no parking signs in the areas where I would park to walk down to the river in waders. Some years ago, I did go to Little River Regional Park up in Orange County. After walking what felt like 50 miles :mad:in my waders, I came upon a section of stream that appeared to be about ankle deep:eek:. Now I give you folks all of this to throw out two questions:rolleyes::

1. Is there a section of the Little in northern Durham County that I can access without getting my car towed or must I ask someone with land along the river to get access:confused:.

2. When I went to the Little River Regional Park, could I walk -- walk is the operative word here -- downstream far enough to find much deeper water that might be home to smallmouth:eek:.

For those of you with knowledge, please share...
 

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Ok . The answer you seek .1. Access .2. Small mouth .3.fish ability


1. Access . There are many place you can wade the river and park on the shoulder of the road . NC recognize feet wet as navigable waters . Access via public means stay in the river. Meningitis right of way is public access . Must remain feet wet .. be prepared to explain what you are doing . Alot of folks in that area don't mind you fishing and will even give permission but are more likely to confront you . Make sure to use you best behavior. ..

2. Smallies unfortunately in all my years of liVing on that river . No longer exist . Largemouth and Roanoke bass do but no smallmouth. Sorry to disappoint. But if they existed I would be able to tell you about them .
3. Fish ability. The river is a series of ledges and boulders . Not conducive for kayaking or canoe. And it goes from ankle deep boulders to over your head with a step . Not that all the river is that way . But I lived on Johnson mill just above the lake and spent many many days from there to south Lowell rd . North and south fork . There are sections a Jon boat floats in good . And sections u can hardly wade in . TheRe are good strechs fairly close to the roads short hike . I recommend if you see anyone in the yards of the houses . By any means secure permission for a return trip. Once you can get deeper in the river sections the more pleased you will be
We have caught 4lb largemouth in there. And when you get up towards the section you mentioned in orange co. the fish get smaller . But as for smallmouth I now live on the Dan river 2 hrs from durham I suggest fishing here . They are plentiful and not as pressured as some of the other smallmouth rivers
 

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There are many Little Rivers. Some are quite large.

Little near Hope Mills (Cape Fear Drainage)

Little that starts in Franklin county and sneaks through Johnson (Neuse Drainage).

Little River that is nestled between the Flat and Eno. (Neuse Drainage).

Little River in Dupont St. Forest near Brevard. (French Broad Drainage).

Little River near Troy (Pee Dee River Drainage).

Little River in Allegheny (New Drainage)

And there are two Upper Little Rivers. One in Harnett County, and the other I believe in Caldwell.

There is also a Middle and Lower Little River. Both of which flow into the Catawba.

Oops, I forgot one. I believe there is another brackish Little river that flows into the Chowan.

To muddy the waters even more, there are three Little Rivers not far from the NC border in Va. Once starts in NC and ends up in Va (New), and just north of that is yet another Little River that is actually quite large that also flows into the New. The other Little River is in SE Va.
 

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Jerry, I have caught smallies in the little almost down near Blewett falls, so way below troy. they were small but they were smallies
. Fish Ray-finned fish Frog Tail Fin


also here is my take on the little rivers http://mackinncblog.blogspot.com/2011/03/whats-in-name-little-river-s-of-north.html

also there are 30 bear creeks in NC and there are 38 Big Branch creeks. and there are 41 laurel Branches and guess how many creeks are named Long Branch in NC???? 74 Long branches in NC !!! so the Little rivers of nc dont even come close to those 4.
 

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Smallies were stocked in the area in 1969 I believe. I recall a 2.5 pounder being caught in the nearby Eno in 1979. I can say with confidence there are no more smallies in the Eno now. I seriously doubt there are any in the Little even if the river was stocked.
Ken, i have a photo of that fish and it was checked by a biologist. He said that when he got the call to go check that fish that he would have bet his paycheck that it wasnt a smallie. Good thing no one bet him as he identified it as a smallie. I have have heard of a few reports from the eno and little but what happened is most of them fish never had a successful spawn so they were doomed.
 

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I read many years ago that the railroads were used to stock smallmouth bass especially in the south. Wherever the tracks crossed a small cooler Rockycreek, it was stocked with Smallies from the railroad overpass. They are such at the upper reaches of The eno and the little river. The couple of old timers I trust tell me they were there until they damned the rivers to form falls which warmed it just enough to disrupt their habitat and chances for survival. Ultimately this probably saved the Roanoke bass as the introduction of smallmouth wiped roanoke bass out of the lower James River drainage of Virginia just above the fall line.
 

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I never knew the James had Roanokes. I thought Nottoway river was the the far northern range. Besides plenty of smallies in the Nottoway and plenty of Roanokes too.
 

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According to an research piece that I posted here...it was removed, Roanokes were stocked at the James near Richmond. The USGS picks it up in this map.

The second link cracks me up a bit.

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=371

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/collectioninfo.aspx?SpeciesID=371

Well that's different---stocked Roanokes are not the same a s stocked smallies. Apparently mother nature intended Roanokes to have a very limited natural range and that's that. Smallies scan spread like dandelions relatively speaking. What I meant was Roanokes were never naturally occuring at the fall line in Richmond...or so I've never heard.

Second link has MANY errors.
 

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I never knew the James had Roanokes. I thought Nottoway river was the the far northern range. Besides plenty of smallies in the Nottoway and plenty of Roanokes too.
No, the James never had Roanokes, but some of the streams in the drainage of the lower James (south side of Richmond on down to NC border which includes the Nottoway, Appomattox, black and small streams. I never said in the James. There was an attempt to stock the min the James to secure their presence in the region as many of the smaller streams with native populations were degraded by agriculture and development in places like chesterfield. I lived there and they were found in swift creek, I don't know about now. Ironically, smallies are not native to the James and are now under threat from two other introductions.... Muskies and flatheads.
 

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Nottoiway is not in the James drainage

Ultimately this probably saved the Roanoke bass as the introduction of smallmouth wiped roanoke bass out of the lower James River drainage of Virginia just above the fall line.
 
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