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Water flow: 1400 CFS Scottsville
Visibility: 60 inches
Water temperature at mid-day: 81 Degrees F
Water condition: Clear
Best time of day to fish: Mid morning into the afternoon
Best stretch: Any of the public ramps or access areas
Best access point: All public access points. Check on the VDGIF web site for access areas.
Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:
Minnows and crayfish are moving around providing meals for the hungry Smallies!
Fish species: Smallmouth Bass -Musky-Carp-Gar-Largemouth Bass-Spotted Bass
Fishing season: Open Year Round (Guiding Season May-October)
Nearest airport: Charlottesville/Albemarle
Recommended fly fishing leader: 9 Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet: 2X Tippet
Best fly fishing rod: 9' 7 Weight Fly Rod
Best floating fly line: Big Bug Warm Water WF Fly Line
Best sinking fly line: Streamer Stripper Sink Tip Fly Line
Ranked as one of the top Smallmouth Rivers on the east coast, the middle/upper James also gives the angler a chance at spotted and largemouth bass. The area above Lynchburg will see the opportunity for Musky.
The James is broken up by its numerous rock gardens, grass beds and riffles. Then where the river drops you will encounter up to class 3 rapids.
The James is a year round fishery with the best ...
fishing being May through October. Baitfish and crayfish are the smallmouth’s main sources of protein. The summer months see the fish feeding on damsels, dragon flies and cicadas. The summer flows also offer the best and safest wading opportunities.
The James is managed as a trophy Smallmouth fishery (all smallmouth 14 to 22 inches must be released), Smallmouth up to five pounds is common, but the average size James River Smallmouth is 14-15 inches.
Rich in American history the James is often referred to as “America’s River”. Along its banks you’ll notice the rail road tracks which are laid on the tow path of the Kanawha Canal. One of if not the last poled ferry’s is at Hatton just up river of Scottsville.
The fish are being found along shade lined banks along with head of pools. Top water action is improving daily. Bait fish and claw dad patterns should be a stable in everyone's box.
Keep a eye on weather and river conditions.