I think this is the "most boat for the least money" at $ 349.00. Sold at Academy Sports under their private label brand Magellan Outdoors, it's really a Perception boat with a roto-molded hull. It's the same hull and dimensions as my Wilderness Systems Tarpon 100, but without the fancy seat and adjustable footrests. (It has the seat pictured here, which is still better than most at this price point). Magellan Outdoors 10' kayak
The Magellan boat has two rod holders built in behind the seat, two dry storage access hatches, heavy duty carry handles, of course it's sit on top, and self bailing. These paddle great on flat water, and we take them on up to class III rapids fairly often. 52 lbs, decent weight, a world of difference in this and most boats you'll get at retail for the price. Don't sweat the Magellan label, this was a ~ $ 500+ boat when it was the Perception brand, and Perception has a new line out recently.
I love my NuCanoe Frontier 12, but it might be too big for small creeks, and very expensive. The 10' model might be OK. The biggest issue I've found on small rivers like the Etowah is the number of fallen trees blocking the waterway and making it tricky.
I love my Vibe seaghost 110 in creeks, but it can be hard to get in and out where I put in due to weight, so I tend to lean to my cheap lifetime bought at walmart since it is so light when creek fishing. Matter of preference really and how much or little you take when fishing. I normally can count on one hand how much tackle is needed on a normal fishing trip.
I have a Wilderness Systems Pamlico 100 and an Old Town Predator (both 10ft). They are both sit in, which are lighter. I think my Pamlico is 37 lbs. Easy to throw it up on my shoulder and hike in to remote spots. Sit on tops are easy to get in and out of - especially if you want to wade, but they are twice the weight. That means more to paddle , lift, and carry to the car. They are great and wide for stability, but slow. That's cool if you are just drifting down stream, but if you are going to do any upstream paddling or running any rapids, I'd recommend a sit in.
The most important aspect is the HULL. For current, pick a smooth round bottom. Don't choose one with a keel for tracking or pronounced chimes. You want to be able to ferry across the current without the bottom catching in the current. If the hull has a keel center line for tracking - it can make you tippy when crossing fast current and when you go over shallow shoals and ledges, you want a smooth bottom.
Try a few out on paddle demo days. Try before you buy.