In 1608, Captain John Smith (The guy from the Pocahontas story) explored the Potomac River as far as Great Falls. he would later write that the river was "frequented by otters, beavers, martens, and sables. Neither better fish, more plenty, nor more variety for small fish had any of us ever seen in a place. . .[The fish are] lying so thicke with their heads out of the water. . . neither better fish, nor more variety. . .had any of us ever seen in any place so swimming in the water."