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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Virginia Muskie Fishing on the James River (Blog 181)

Guide Britt Stoudenmire, who operates New River Outdoors and Southern Muskie Guide Service
( held his annual fishing event for his guides and friends this weekend on the James.  I fished with guide Richard Furman ( of Twin River Outfitters in Buchanan.
Throughout the day, Richard and I and struggled to catch smallmouths, never really figuring out where the smallies were holding or what they were feeding on with the bluebird sky conditions prevailing.  But the most interesting aspect of the day was the presence of muskies.
Richard landed a 36-incher (shown below), and I managed to catch a 26-inch fish.

The conventional wisdom states that "muskies are a fish of a thousand casts," but more and more on the James that is not true.  I have fished the James since 1969, have written a book on the waterway (The James River Guide) and live on a tributary of the river.  I have never seen the muskies so abundant in all that time.

I am very curious how the muskie fishing will be this summer.  Meanwhile, anglers can't go wrong by hiring Richard or Britt to take them fishing. 


  1. Hi Bruce! We saw your recent story in the Eastern Fly Fishing magazine on the TU's Potomac Headwaters Home River Initiative and wanted to thank you for the shout-out to our U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. If you would ever like to write a guest post on our blog,, our readers would love to hear from you!

  2. Thank you for writing. I enjoy doing conservation stories...Bruce