Judging by the names of the Original Poster and the poster who reported she can't swim or self rescue (both have SHOAF as last name), I'm going to go out on a limb and figure one reason this question was asked is to settle a difference of opinion.
Neither of you is going to get a definitive answer here, but you will get some factors to consider, so here is my two cents worth.
I am female and paddle by myself, but I paddle within my limits -- and judget those limits conservatively when I'm alone.
I almost never paddle a river alone unless it is one I know well and conditions are benign. Too many things can go wrong in places where you can't get to help easily and others can't get to you or even find you.
Most of my solo paddling is on a lake where I know the best landing places and where there are usually fishermen around who could help me if necessary -- but I recognize that help may not come quickly, so i seldom paddle solo when the water is cold (that's changed somewhat now that i have a dry suit).
When I started paddling solo, I stuck close to shore.
I did not paddle solo until after I had taken lessons, including self-rescue lessons.
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YakCatcher Rod Holder
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