The James River

The James River (340 Mile long River)
The Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers converge in northern Botetourt County to form Virginia’s greatest river, the James River. These headwaters–called the Upper James–provide some of the finest canoeing and freshwater fishing available in Virginia.

A 16-mile stretch of the James River between Eagle Rock and Springwood is the only part of the James River that has been designated a Virginia Scenic River. The James is renowned for its smallmouth fishing, and the 45-mile stretch that winds its way through Botetourt is becoming one of the most popular muskie sections of water in the state. The river also offers excellent rock bass, bream and catfish fishing.

This mountain water takes on a different look the further down you go. Hitting its fall line in Richmond this river takes a drastic drop and by the time it reaches the eastern side of Richmond, Va. It reaches sea level and becomes a tidal river. When the river flows past Hopewell, Va. The Appomattox River joins it and it widens considerably. Finally at Hampton Roads the James meets the Chesapeake Bay. If you have only seen the James as it flows through the Alleghany Mountains it would be hard to believe (standing in Hopewell) that this is the same river.

What a great adventure it would be to travel by boat the length of this wonderful river.

Fishing opportunity by section:

Upper/ Middle
Smallmouth bass (dominant game species)
Spotted bass
Largemouth bass
Channel catfish (better downstream of Lynchburg)
Flathead catfish (better upstream from Lynchburg)
Muskies (stocked annually – mostly found upstream of Lynchburg)
Lower/ Tidal

Blue catfish (best near Richmond)
Striped bass/ rockfish (Best near the fall line)
Smallmouth bass
Largemouth bass

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