Monday, April 11, 2011

James River Fly Fishing Report 4/11/11

Today was another successful day of fly fishing the shad run on the James River just below the falls at the 14th Street bridge in downtown Richmond.  It was a summer like day with temps in the upper 80's.  It was also a bit windy but that's not much of a problem when casting a 300gr depth charge fly line. 

These shad are a blast to catch on the fly.  Their wide bodies, vibrancy, and the strong current all result in a nice bend even in an 8wt rod.  I think I've dialed in the trick to catching them.  I probably got a strike on nearly every cast and hooked up frequently.  I used a flat 20lb leader about 5-6ft with a short 12lb fluoro tippet.  I got downtown around 4:30pm and fished just upstream of the bridge the entire time.  I fished hand tied weighted streamer patterns in the size 6-4 range.  I lost several flies from fishing just off the bottom, but that's to be expected.  The river has a fair amount of trash to get hung up on, which is annoying but also expected.

Lot's of gizzards today and a few hickory.  These fish aren't what I would call precise feeders.  They flash quickly at the fly and turn back toward the bottom.  Because of this, I foul hook them pretty frequently.  Lucky for the fish, I use barbless hooks and all the fish I've caught have been released in good health.  The only thing I haven't tried is using small silver or gold spoon flies.  I think they'll really tear up a spoon fly.

Still waiting on the stripers.  They're there, I know, but looking forward to when they show up in big numbers so I can experience the epitome of urban fly fishing.  When they do show, you can bet you'll be seeing pics here.  Having fun.


  1. That looks like so much fun! Do you use a 6wt? I am waiting on the bass too.

  2. I've been using an 8wt but a 5-6wt would be a blast! I'm really itching to catch stripers. I'm really new to this game so I need to gather intel on the stripers seasonal run (when are they going to show up?) and techniques so I can take advantage.