Smallmouth Fly Fishing Heating Up on the James

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Does it get any better than September smallmouth fly fishing on the James River?


I scooted down to one of my favorite spots below Scottsville, Va. for an afternoon of popper slinging. Mid to late September is the absolute perfect time to go after smallies in most of Virginia’s big rivers like the James and Shenandoah. The fish become more active as the water temperature drops from bathwater to neighbor’s above ground pool, which is still warm enough for wet wading. The best part is you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to beat the heat, you can fish mid-day through the afternoon and still get on fish.

Around Scottsville the James is wide and shallow, providing easy access to both banks and the deep holes and structure in the middle river. While the fish do not get as large as they do in the upper New River, the action can be fast and furious, with the occasional pig lurking. I didn’t get into anything too huge on this day, but there is never a bad day on the James.

Check out the video and let me know where you’ve been fishing lately.

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