This weekend, I came to the realization that while I am a fairly competent trout angler--feeling confident that I will catch some fish no matter the conditions--the same is not true for bass. For some reason, the smallmouth here in Virginia seem to resist my best efforts to catch them. Sure, I do well on farm ponds with largemouths and the annoying bluegills, but I just have not yet figured out the smallmouth rivers.
On Sunday, I spent about three hours fishing the James near the public boat put-in in Scottsville. The water was unusually high, restricting wading to a small stretch of water up to the route 20 bridge. I was fishing my Winston 6 wt with a sinking line and Galloup streamers. Casting to the banks and stripping back secured one exciting follow by a 13-inch smallmouth and a sore rotator cuff, but that was about it. Next time, I will try to rent a canoe to fish the James. The water is just too deep to cover by wading.