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Yadkin Question

2128 Views 17 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  stripes
I realize the water is too high right now....

But in general, if I were to put in at Donnaha access just north of Winston, how far upstream would I be able to paddle without hitting any rapids?
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I am not a yakker, but why would you want to paddle upstream? That seems like too much work, lol.
I am not a yakker, but why would you want to paddle upstream? That seems like too much work, lol.
Frontload the work.

Gene - Red》X《 - Asheboro
I am not a yakker, but why would you want to paddle upstream? That seems like too much work, lol.
I'm most likely to be solo.... I want to paddle upstream, then float back to where I parked my car, fishing the whole time.

Also, in this case, small mouth are reputed to be in the Yadkin as far downstream as the Donnaha access. And between the upstream access (Shoals in Pilot Mountain SP) and Donnaha, there are some rapids that I might not be able to handle comfortably.
At least 2 miles.

Paddling u/s in the Yadkin is tough through that stretch. I paddled up to the Ararat from shoals one day without getting out of the boat. It's a long paddle!
I would suggest paddling upstream from shoals and only at low water. This river is stonger than it looks.
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Just to be clear... I'm talking paddling upstream from donnaha. The HWY 67/ Reynolda Road area. Not from shoals. I live on HWY 67 about 3 miles from the put in, and wanted to try it. I don't want to try Shoals to Donnaha because of rapids, nor do I want to try Donnaha to Old 421 because of the dam.

I definitely respect the power of the river.

I'm not in the nckfa river bassing contest this weekend..... Perhaps people will be more willing to share this info when that has been put to rest, though.
I did my first Yadkin float 3 years ago this August from the state park outside East Bend down to Donnaha. Don't recall very much rough stuff after the shoals area. I recall the river was lower and it was very hot weather. Fish were playing hard to get!
I am not a yakker, but why would you want to paddle upstream? That seems like too much work, lol.
If u r putting in and taking out at the same place it is always better to go up and then float back down. Like FF said frontload the work. If you go down there is a tendancy to bite off more than u can chew and then the return can be painful.
go upstream and if u get tired just float back down.....
Biglenr , none of those rapids are bad. My grandmother could handle them.
Biglenr , none of those rapids are bad. My grandmother could handle them.
But would she smile? :D
I haven't been to Donnaha yet but have put in at Old 421, Shoals, and Tanglewood multiple times. Never true floats, always paddling up from the access. It's all pretty manageable, but the Shoals are much tougher.

I would say if the area around Donnaha is close to as flat as the lower accesses then you shouldn't have much of a problem. And looking at google maps there is a relatively long stretch before rocks and rapids really become an issue.
I floated Shoals many times in a canoe 45 years ago. The concern back then was if you picked the wrong bank (left=good, right=bad I think, which we all know the outside bend of the river should be where you'll find the water) you'd be dragging/walking for a mile. I'm told by local co-workers that the levels are higher now due to increased discharge and I won't have to be as picky about my route if I run it again. Can someone who's done it lately corroborate this info? Sorry, I know the OP has a different concern....I always go downstream! In apology for the hijack I will offer this info, the portage around the dam isn't bad above Old 421 if your kayak's light....steps up and down and you carry maybe 100yds. thanks
Thanks... but my kayak is anything but light. I'm about 100 lbs with fishing gear. Portage / Stairs are both cuss words to me.

Mack - I don't have a shuttle buddy in the area, and I don't do rapids alone. I'm still learning my limits, and I'm exceptionally cautious. I have exactly one river trip on my resume, flat water is more my style.

If I can get a mile or two upstream from donnaha, I'd be fine. That's a good 2-3 hour out and back (with fishing stops) and I think it's within my limits.
I looked at google earth map and your float plan looks pretty clear of rapids from Donnaha up to the Shoals, like i though. Just staying out of the main flow and faster water will help your upstream paddle. Smooth looking water is usually the slower flow.

I forgot but before all the rain I did a short upriver paddle myself 4 weeks ago from a friends property on the Yadkin (above East Bend) and it was an easy paddle upstream close to the banks.
That makes sense about front loading the work.
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I've been from Shoals down to donneha and as I recall the fishing was pretty bad the last mile or two. I have also put in at shoals with Mack and paddled up and that was much better fishy looking water although the day we did it was bluebird high pressure and not so good results. Typically the river clears up in the Fall and should offer better fishing and not be too risky even for a beginner. Down from Shoals is a fun trip even if the fish are not biting. There is a guy in Rockford that offers shuttles.
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No need to. Contact Yadkin River Adventures in Rockford. (336)374-5318 Paul will even do a solo. You cant paddle far upstream in that area. You would be better off launching at the state park on the east bend side or wading around Donaha. You can paddle all the way up to where the ararat comes in if you work hard enough. You could paddle up around Rockford possibly. I am doing a group float (non fishing) with a group called Triad Trekking & (Ka) yaking. Join that meetup group and join us for a 10.5 mile float next weekend. Cost is $10. If you want to see new water in that area that is by FAR your best bet. PM me for more. I fish the Yad a lot when the water is worth fishing - i.e. 1-2 foot visibility. Its just now getting back where you want it.
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