From the confluence of the
Jackson and the Cowpasture at Iron Gate through its southern dip in
Lynchburg and beyond, the James River offers some of the
best smallmouth bass fishing on the east coast. We have fished the
James for well over 20 years and know the river, which is our home water, as
Lynchburg is the southern most stretch west of the fall line. We focus most closely on the stretches
within 50 miles of Lynchburg in each direction. If you are looking to
fly fish the James, we can guide you so you can enjoy its beauty as we work to put you on fish.
The Upper James above Lynchburg the James River is unimpeded until the Snowden, where it is
interrupted by the first of a seven dams ending at Scotts Mill Dam in
downtown Lynchburg at the southernmost spot of the section which many call
the "middle James." Here the river begins its meandering
northeast for the next 50 or so miles where one can experience some excellent
smallmouth fishing, usually without tremendous boat traffic, if one times
the trips correctly.
Our fishing experience on the James began in 1990 as clients with retired guide
Chuck Kraft. In the late 1990's with the advent of Angler's Lane we
began guiding the river with clients on a regular basis.
We have put plenty of clients
on citation smallmouth over the years, though one can never guarantee this
on a particular outing. Like any river the James has experienced its
share of swings in fish counts over the past several decades, and 2012 was a
surprisingly strong year for both quantity and quality. We are highly
encouraged about the early outlook for 2013.
While access on the James is respectable we use a variety of private and
public access points from Buchanan to Howardsville. We work diligently
to keep a pulse on which sections of the James are fishing best at any given
time. We guide from a 14' Outcast raft and a 15 1/2 Maravia raft, both
of which can make it down the river without scraping in the low-water summer
months when popping bug action is at its peak. Guide Tom Reisdorf
knows the stretch near the nuclear facilities like the back of his hand, as
he probably skipped out there on lunch break when he worked there prior to
his time at Angler's Lane. Each of us has our favorite stretches on
which we focus, but we pool information and switch over frequently to ensure
customers have the best trip possible.
We do try to avoid this River on the day of the bateau festival, usually the
3rd Saturday in June. Catch us for a trip on the
for that weekend.
In the springtime and fall, often clients will ask us to combine a trip on
the James with our
Rivenridge at Piney Forks lodge where one can stay within 45 minutes of
float fishing the James. This makes a great two or three day package
trip for the angler wishing to fish for trout and bass on the same outing.
To experience smallmouth fishing at its best on Virginia's historical and
productive James, give us a call at 434-385-0200 or
a trip now and we will get back with you to confirm the preferred
date. Best days of the week are Monday - Thursday. We will book
Friday or Saturday but realize the likelihood of crowds is greater that