Float trip on the upper Nottoway? -VA

-- Last Updated: Jun-16-06 12:00 PM EST --

Several people I know are heading for the Upper Nottoway for a float/paddling/fishing trip. Being a newbie to canoeing and never having been to the Nottoway, what should I expect? Difficulty level? okay to solo in a 16' tandem?

Any other suggestions or advice is much appreciated.
Portsmouth, VA

Not familiar with that river.

Please post back with a report. Would love to hear how your trip goes.

You may want to check American Whitewater to see if they list anything about the river, and Virginia Fishing Guide by Bob Gooch or Freshwater Fishing in Virginia by Gerald Almy for fishing information. You can always check topo maps, too, and make some guesses based on gradient.

  • Big D

Trip Report please.
Yes, please give us a trip report afterward - maybe even make an entry in Places2Paddle.

I checked this site:


and the Nottoway looks rather interesting.

  • Jasen.

May have to try that trip with my brother some time. He lives down that way. I didn’t realize there was anything other than slow-moving brackish rivers in that part of the state.

  • Big D

thanks. Will try to post a trip report. Suppose to go this Saturday if the weather holds out.

Whole new experience for me. I usually fish very still waters with no flow.


Take some spare line / nippers
If you get snagged on a ledge or submerged rock and have to cut the line to prevent from flipping, you’ll want to have some nippers handy. Try your best NOT to have to cut off as it does leave a lot of line in the river. If you do have to cut off for safety, you’ll want those nippers where you can get them to the line on a moment’s notice. I keep mine on a retractor on my PFD.

Once you cut off, especially if you have to cut off more than once, you’ll get low on line on your reel very quickly. Bring either a spare spool or reel, or bring some extra line to add to your spool as necessary.

Finally, remember that when you do cut off, you littered. Be courteous and pick up somebody else’s trash to “make up” for the stuff you left behind. If we all do this, over time we’ll be watching each other’s backs to keep our waterways clean and tidy.

Fish current seams and breaks. Ledges can be good producers if you drift something over a down-current facing ledge. Fish hang out under the ledge out of the current just waiting for the current to bring them snacks.

Good luck and have fun.

  • Big D

Nottoway Trip Update
Due to several reports of low water, poor fishing and questionable weather, I did not join the party. Several other people went though. They said that the river was low and portage was necessary in 4 or 5 locations. They also mentioned large logs blocking some part of the river. The fishing was slow with a large variety of species.

The section of the river was Peter’s Bridge (Rt. 631) to Carey’s Bridge (Rt. 653).

Hopefully, I’ll get another chance to get out there in the future.

Bet it’s not low today!
Thanks for the update.

  • D