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The New is my smallmouth destination of choice, but I keep hearing there's good fishing through Shoals on the Yadkin if you can catch the water clear(no small task on the 'L'il Muddy'. I lived to canoe the Yadkin growing up, but it just took a backseat to the New, Dan, Mayo as I got older. Back then during the summer dry season I remember you had to stay to one bank(forgot whether right or left) or you'd be walking/dragging your canoe for a couple miles due to lack of water. Someone told me that more water is being released now and you now longer have to pick your way through that section. Can someone who does it regularly tell me if this is true? I also might want to try on overnighter sometime. A couple years ago I think the state park map showed an access to the Ararat river off Quaker Church road near Siloam. If it's still there, is that stretch of the Ararat generally got enough water and lack of obstacles to get down to the Yadkin without portaging? Approx. how long would the float to get to the Yadkin take? From there to Donnaha I think was a pretty good float. There used to be good catfishing where the two rivers met, but last time I was there the Ararat had accumulated mud/silt and was not much more than knee deep. Anybody made this trek recently?
 

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You're right about the clarity, it's tough to find perfect conditions, but when the conditions are good, the fishing is some of the best.

Stay left at shoals to minimize any dragging. Water is almost always high enough to avoid having to get out.

Ararat holds some good fish, but it's fairly silted in and shallow. From what I recall, Quaker Church access is very steep and muddy.

Pilot Mtn state park has established camping on the island at the shoals area. Sites are nice. You access it on the north side of the island (rail tie steps are evident), river right in the left channel. This makes for a great overnight from any of the put ins just above shoals, getting out at Donnaha.
 
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