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.

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.


Plan your river adventure with these outfitters:

Twin River Outfitters
653 Lowe Street, Buchanan, VA 24066
(540) 254-8012 |

Wilderness Canoe Company
631 James River Road, Natural Bridge Station, VA 24579
(540) 291-2295 |


Schedule your fishing adventure with these guides:

Appalachian Bronzeback Adventures
(704) 467-5993 |

Blane Chocklett Fishing
(540) 354-1774 |

Captain Josh Laferty
(540) 613-0850 |

Dead Drift Outfitters
(540) 521-9214 |

John Roberts Fly Fishing
(540) 463-3235 | (800) 882-1145 |

Rock-On Charters
Owner: Captain Ken Trail
(540) 588-6628 |


Find quality outdoor gear at these local retailers:

H&H Outdoors
17573 Main Street, Buchanan, VA 24066
(540) 254-2420 |

Journey Outdoors
150 Walker Street, Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 461-8816 |

Outdoor Trails
Botetourt Commons, 28 Kingston Drive, Daleville, VA 24083
(540) 992-5850 |

Walkabout Outfitter
21 South Main Street, Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 464-4453 |

Other Resources:

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 Game and Inland Fisheries – VDGIF is responsible for the management of inland fisheries, wildlife, and recreational boating for the Commonwealth of Virginia.