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Frequently Asked Questions

(If you don't find the answer in this section, please feel free to contact us.)

Kayak 

PFD and paddle

All Fishing Equipment

Bait and Tackle

What is provided ?

You are welcome to bring your own if you prefer.

james river smallmouth

Cancellation Policy

A $150 deposit is required to reserve a trip.  If I have not received a deposit within 2 weeks of booking the trip, I reserve the right  to rebook that date without notice.

If the trip is canceled due to weather or other circumstances beyond my control, the client can reschedule or receive a full refund.  Client must notify ODX 14 days prior to the scheduled trip to receive a refund on the deposit.  If the client cancels the trip less than 14 days prior to the trip, I will do my best to reschedule, but if no arrangement can be made, deposit may be forfeited.

Do I need to buy a fishing license?

Will I catch fish?

 No one more than me wants you hauling in trophies all day long and having a blast doing it, but reality is, it just doesn't always work like that.  What I will  guarantee is to give 100% to putting you on fish, and insuring that you have a great time whether the fish are cooperating or not. Your repeat business is how I measure my success. 

Yes!

You are responsible for getting a Virginia fishing license.  Buy it online --   https://dwr.virginia.gov/licenses

I've never fished from a kayak.  Is it difficult?

Fishing from a kayak is not hard. Certain sections on the Staunton and the James are challenging for novice kayakers.  With so many different places to fish, and so many species to fish for, we cater each trip to the angler's skill level and group size. 

Are fishing trips the only thing we offer?

No!  We've got something for everyone. We will customize any trip just for you. Just contact me and tell me what adventure you have in mind and we will try or best to make it happen. We want to give you an outdoor experience that keeps you coming back!

 How many people can I take?

If you want a private tour/adventure,  I will do a solo trip.  However,  it is the most expensive.  Most expeditions consist of two or three people.  Any group over 4, with 6 being the max,  will need to call in advance and we'll discuss everyone's experience level and expectations.  

 Gratuity?

It is optional, but not expected.  

What type of fish can I catch?

We target a multitude of species including  smallmouth, largemouth, walleye, catfish, and seasonal striped bass but if you have something different in mind please contact us.

Will there be rapids on the river?

There are lots of floats on the Staunton and James that have no rapids at all. Then there are all kinds of floats that mix it up between flat water,class I, II ,and a few III's. You'll have to decide which float you would prefer. The VA DWR website has some decent descriptions on both the Staunton and James.  You can contact us if you want more info on what to expect on a certain float.
 

From the Safety Code of the American Whitewater Affiliation
INTERNATIONAL SCALE OF RIVER DIFFICULTY

• Class I: Easy, fast moving water with riffles and small waves, few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.

• Class II: Novice, straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful is seldom needed.

• Class III: Intermediate, rapids with moderate, irregular waves, which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges are often required; large waves or strainers may be present but are easily avoided. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can be found, particularly on large-volume rivers. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Injuries while swimming are rare; self-rescue is usually easy, but group assistance may be required to avoid long swims.

Will there be snakes on the river?

Yes, and all snakes can swim. There will be spiders too. Avoiding snakes while canoeing and fishing is similar to avoiding snakes on land.  You want to stay away from areas that the snakes use for sunning. This means avoid drifting underneath overhanging tree branches. Many of the water snakes like to sun on tree branches then drop into the water when they detect movement.

VA is home to 32 species of snakes, only 3 of which are venomous.  The northern water snake is most commonly seen along the Staunton and James rivers and it is not poisonous.  Occasionally, rattlesnakes are seen along the James.

VA Poisonous Snakes: Copperhead, Timber Rattlesnake, and the Cottonmouth (located southeast of us)

Snakes use the water’s surface tension to glide and can lift 1/4 to 1/3 of their body length off of the water surface. The northern water snake is most likely to be the snake encountered on or near the water.  A snake on land can only lunge forward (strike) a distance of half of its body length. A snake on water does not have a solid surface to thrust against, so its strike range while swimming is extremely limited. Snakes prefer to flee rather than fight. But if they feel cornered or threatened, or if they are accidentally stepped on or provoked, a water snake (venomous or non-venomous) seldom backs down.

Spiders, especially “Tree Spiders,” are in abundance on the river. These spiders will drop into your boat if you get up under tree branches or adventure too close to river bank foliage. To avoid spiders, keep out of the foliage along the banks and out from under tree branches.

Is there lodging nearby?

Of course. There are some hotels within an hour of us.  I suggest you go to  airbnb.com to find places within 30 minutes of us. Nearby towns are Brookneal, Appomattox,  Charlotte Court House, and Hat Creek. 

Do you offer a shuttle?

Yes, normally we will meet at the take out point, where your car will be left for the day or days.  Then we will transport you to the put in area, (usually a 8 to 15 mile drive).   


Can I keep my fish to eat?

On the rivers I urge catch, photo, and release trips, but you did buy a license and are allowed legal limits.

The lakes and reservoirs we fish can handle selective harvest, but I still urge my clients to practice catch and release. If you want to keep a few fish on an over night trip to eat at camp we can discuss that before we go.

But keep in mind that every fish removed from the water is one less to catch another day and will not be there to breed and sustain the population.   

Do you use live bait?

Sometimes we use live bait.  

Can we bring alcohol?

  My main concern would be your safety, the safety of others, and your intention.   It will be fine to bring a few beers , but having a cooler so full you endanger swamping your kayak and taking a swim is a different story.  I ask that you discuss this with me beforehand.

Do you take kids fishing?

Absolutely! Anytime you have the opportunity to get a kid on the water, you should take it! My best memories in the outdoors have been with my son.  Of course, you are responsible for your child.  All minors under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Minors 14 -18 must have the waiver signed by a parent/guardian before going. You should take into account your abilities as well as theirs and discuss this with me so we can design the perfect trip for both of you.

Every angler must sign a waiver before your trip starts.

 An adult must sign for a minor that is under 18. Here is the waiver and release form that you will be required to sign before we leave.

Do you fish in the rain?

Normally, unless it is lightning, the rain does not stop us from fishing. We may have to choose a different body of water to fish depending on water levels and flow. If they are forecasting rain prior to our trip, I will call you and we can make a decision together. We can reschedule or refund your deposit.

I have a page dedicated just for this.

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