James River Musky
Meet Virginia’s biggest, baddest, most exciting fish to catch on the fly.
The Musky. Even thought they have been swimming in many Virginia rivers and lakes for over five decades, they have gone unnoticed by many until recently. Although musky are more of a cold water species associated with the Midwest and Great Lakes region they have not only thrived in Virginia but, have started to draw anglers from across the county and around the world to target them in our local waters. The New, Shenandoah and James River all have good populations of musky.
Please, don’t be mislead. They are still the fish of 10,000 casts even in Virginia. If you judge the success of your day on the water by fish boated, musky fishing may not be for you. If the sight of a 3-4+’ toothy monster following your fly to the boat gets your heart racing and knees weak, musky are exactly what you want to chase in Virginia. 9-10wt rods, flies 8-14″ and sinking lines up to 500gr are commonly used. All gear is provided, rods and reels with appropriate lines. You are welcome to bring your own if you have it. If you are up for the fishing challenge of your life for a fish of a lifetime, lets go. We do cater to spin and baitcasters with artificial lures as well on musky trips.
We offer float trips during the cooler months to target these amazing fish on the Shenandoah and James River. Most years from September – May. Again, these are a cold water species however, their metabolism does increase as water temperatures rise. Even though musky can be and are caught by anglers during the summer months we do not guide for them when the water temperatures get into the mid to upper 70″s. They have a very difficult time dealing with the lactic acid they build up during the fight and even though you may see them swim away when temperatures are high, there is a very good chance they may not survive. If you hook a musky in warmer water, land it as quickly as possible and try not to handle it to much.
If you are serious about catching a musky we highly recommend floating for two or more days. There are local accommodations within minutes of our most popular floats. We are happy to arrange your lodging for multi day trips.
Update, 1/5/2021. If getting musky checked off your list of things to do in 2021 is something you’d like to do, January, February and March are great months to get it done. River levels are great right now. We are offering trips daily.
If you’d like to catch these amazing fish give us a call.
If you enjoy throwing big flies for big fish, you would love our Jackson River trips as well.
All anglers are required to have a valid Virginia freshwater fishing license for this trip. Please, follow the link and scroll down to fishing license if you need to purchase one.
Here is some helpful information from VDGIF on Virginia musky/muskie.
With over 2,500 miles of public trout waters, it’s no wonder Virginia is a flyfisherman’s paradise and the Albemarle Angler is the guide service of choice.
One of our favorite guided fly fishing trips! If you haven’t done a smallmouth float trip you need to try it! Smallmouth bass are unbelievably strong fighters and aggressive feeders.
Barracks Road Center
1129 Emmet Street #26
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Mon - Fri 10:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm