father and son fly fishing Upper James River Water Trail
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Discover Excellent Fishing on the Upper James

smallmouth bass Ken Trail of Rock On ChartersThe Upper James River, from its headwaters in Botetourt County through Rockbridge County provide some of the finest freshwater fishing available in Virginia. Anglers visit from all across the country to fish the region.

The James River offers a wide range of angling opportunities and settings. Smallmouth bass are the dominant game species, but spotted and large mouth bass can also be caught. Other species are also plentiful in the James River, including channel catfish, flathead catfish, and various sunfish species (redbreast, bluegill, and rock bass). Fishing regulations on the Upper James.

The Maury River, which flows into the James in Rockbridge County, is a lesser known gem for anglers. The upper portion in Goshen Pass is a great place for trout. It is stocked multiple times each year. Downstream, where the water becomes more gentle, you’re likely to find sunfish, rock bass, smallmouth bass, and maybe, even catfish. The great fishing continues through Glen Maury Park and all the way to Glasgow when it merges into the James River. The Department of Wildlife Resources website offers more information on regulations and stocking schedules.

Adjacent to the James River are several stocked trout streams in some of the Blue Ridge Mountain’s most scenic settings. Three-year classes of trout have been established in the Roaring Run stream and fish up to 16 inches in size are available for anglers. Rainbow trout predominate in North Creek, although brook trout are present as well. Adult trout will range from 7-12 inches. Adjacent to North Creek is Jennings Creek, a Heritage Trout Day stocked stream. At several locations along Jennings Creek, people can drive right up to the side of the stream, find trout water, and hopefully even catch a fish.

Trout fishing guide link.

Purchase a fishing license online here


Expert local guides are available to help you have the perfect day on the river.


Schedule your fishing adventure with these guides:

Appalachian Bronzeback Adventures
(704) 467-5993 | appbronzebackadv@gmail.com

Blane Chocklett Fishing
(540) 354-1774 | bchocklett@comcast.net

Dead Drift Outfitters
(540) 521-9214 | deaddriftva.com

John Roberts Fly Fishing
(540) 463-3235 | (800) 882-1145 | guide@vatrout.com

Maury River Smallmouth, LLC
24 Musket Loop, Natural Bridge, Va 24578
(540) 632-3990 | mauryriversmallmouth.com

Rock-On Charters
Owner: Captain Ken Trail
(540) 588-6628 | rockonchartersllc@gmail.com

Virginia River Guides, LLC
(208) 399-1888 | trips@virginiariverguides.com

Virginia Trophy Guides
(540) 613-0850 | muskyguides@gmail.com

Other Resources:girl fishing

Fish Virginia First – The Mid-Atlantic’s premier fishing trail. Some of the best fishing destinations in the country await you in Virginia.

Department of Wildlife Resources – Virginia DWR is responsible for the management of inland fisheries, wildlife, and recreational boating for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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