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Old 06-05-2008, 06:45 PM
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Default Smallies on the James

I'm thinking of heading out to James River State Park west of Richmond this weekend to try out some smallies. The plan is to take the kayak and scout out some good spots to stop and wade between the Park and the takeout at Wingina. Was wondering if anyone has fished this stretch? Are there some decent spots to beach the boat and really get out and cover the area carefully? As you can probably tell, I much prefer wading to fishing from the kayak but the James is a deep river.

Either way, I'll report back on what I find. Thanks for any info.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Smallies on the James

Well, I floated the section of the James from Bent Creek to the canoe landing at James River State Park yesterday. I parked the truck at canoe landing and the Park provides a shuttle service to Bent Creek for $10. I liked the section a lot and will definitely spend some more time there. I managed about 15 smallies in about 5-6 hours. The biggest was about 12 inches but I'm sure there are plenty of larger fish in this stretch. I was there during the middle of the day so I'm sure the fishing would have been even better early and late. All fish were caught on my version of Murray's Marauder. I love this fly because I can see it under water meaning that many times I can see the take. There were some nice spots to pull the kayak up on a rock and get out and wade around.

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Old 06-09-2008, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Smallies on the James

Hi dshort,

Thanks for the pictures and report. That looks like a good river for smallies. Nice looking Yak. What model is it? What is that fly rod holder?

Frank
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Smallies on the James

Thanks Frank. Yes, the James is a great smallie river. It's probably the best in Va, rivaled by the New River and the Shenandoah although the 'Doah and the upper James have been sick for a few years now. So far only the section of the James River above Lynchburg seems to be experiencing the same fish kills as seen on the Shenandoah for the last 4 years. The reasons for the fish kills are still unknown but the problem is being studied by state agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, VA Tech, Cornell and James Madison Universities. Anyone seeing a fish kill is asked to report it to 540-574-7800. Anyone interested can find plenty of info on this thru google.

The kayak is a Wilderness Systems "The Ride". It's probably 6 or 7 years old now. I like it because it's wide and nice and stable. I'm not sure of the brand of the rod holder but I think it's actually made for a bait casting rod. It works pretty well for a fly rod though. It has another flush mounted holder that you can kinda see in the picture that works for a spinning rod.
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:45 AM
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Default Re: Smallies on the James

have you been out on any additional trips since? I am anxious to explore this with my Wilderness system Tarpon 120 kayak. I also prefer to beach the yak and wade while fishing. How far is that float from bent creek to JRSP?
Would love to hook up and join you on one of these.
Dave
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: Smallies on the James

Hi Dave,

If I remember correctly, the float from Bent Creek to JRSP is 7 or 8 miles. I floated the same section about 2 weeks after this initial float and have also been out a couple times since then on other floats a little closer to home (Richmond). Where are you located? The fishing has been really good on the James so far this year, but the river is definitely getting low. I might try to do something this Sunday, time permitting...I have a wedding on Saturday up in Northern Va. Send me a PM if you're interested.

Have a good one,
Dan
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