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Tips for the James


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I am new to fishing the James and am looking for some advice. I would really like to get into some fish with the fly rod, but any info would be greatly appreciated. I have found a few places I would like to give a go (via maps) and would really appreciate some tips on lures or flies. I am an extreme novice at this point so just about any information is more than I have at the moment. Thanks a ton!


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You could always start at the shoals and riffles with tried and true Wooly Bugger in dark colors.

Today's release is tomorrows gift to another fisherman.

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One of my favorite floats is Kerr to Mcords Bend

I have not yet got to float this year except when the white bass were up

when I Small mouth Fish I use a lot of craw fish pats and bait fish pat. when it gets on up into the hot months of the summer I will use a lot of poppers.

Jim the guy that works for me in the shop has a couple of pat one is a spider jig and the other is a gizzet looking fly. Both work great. the Names of those pat are the Jim's Ozark Spider and the Jim's Ozark Bush Whacker.

Another way that I will fish for the smallies on the James is with Nymphs in the shoals. Put a strike indicator on and put nymph at a depth that will drag the bottom and bounce along the rocks. Big Princes and Squirrel nymphs work the best like a size 8 and 10.

Wooly uggers size would range from a size 6-10.


To Know People Is To Know Thier Ways!

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I can't wait until the water goes back down, I was going to fish the James today. I use cast and spinning tackle a lot, but love to use the fly rod for smallies.

My won't leave home without fly is a bigger clouser minnow.

Topwaters work anytime the water is clear.

Nymphing the riffles is a great tip, too. Most folks floating blow by the fast water at the head of pools, and the most active fish tend to be on the edge of faster water.

I like to use bigger flies than most, and for the lower James I use either a 7 or 8 weight.

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