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Smallies! Pamunkey River (VA - Rt 301 Downstream)
Monday, September 01, 2008

I want to finish out the Pamunkey River, so here is the downstream report. 

After we fished upstream as described in the other report, I took another hour to move about a 1/2 mile downstream to see if the character of the river changed.

Immediately downstream of the bridge, the water is pretty deep.  I had to skirt around the outside and hug the bank to move back into a section where it was shallow enough to wade.  The two guys fishing from the bank under the bridge were going to work this area pretty hard and I did not want to mess up their water.

After getting around the initial deep section, the river returned to the same sandy / muddy bottom that I observed upstream.  The key difference is that this small stretch had plenty of deep holes on the northern bank,  I picked up a smallie and a bunch of bluegills as I worked my popper in the slow current. 

Immediately before getting to the turn shown on the map, there is another deep hole which is split by a shallow section on a ridge.   I waded down the ridge to pop over to the beachy looking area that characterized the run.  The south bank here is very, very deep - maybe 10 feet. 

I was hurried so I did not get a good shot at whatever fish would be in here.  I had one hit on the grasshopper I was floating by a bluegill and was about to switch to a deep pattern when I realized that it had been almost an hour since I left Lon back at the launch.

I quickly jogged down to the turn to take a quick picture and see what was there.  The river was almost hidden by the fallen trees and other structure that interrupted its flow.  There are probably any number of good spots downstream.  I did fleetingly wonder how you would get a canoe through all that mess - maybe it's not that bad when the water is higher in the spring. 

Bottom line: If I were to come back, I would definitely head downstream.  The deeper water here might hold more fish that the shallower stretch we saw upstream.  The fact the the two bridge guys repeatedly return to that spot to bank fish indicates that there has to be a good population of bass.  But, there are better places to go, so I'm marking this Red as well for an overall rating.

Pressure Trout Size N/A
Physical Fitness Bass Size
Access Regulations
Hard to Find Stocking
Scenery Overall

Remember to refer to my rating explanations - these are based on what I look for - so RED for Physical Fitness translates to easy physically - you do not need to be in shape to fish this section.  I prefer terrain that is tough to get into and out of.

Getting There: Take exit 98 from I95 onto Route 30 east.  Follow it until it intersects with Route 301.  Turn right (south) and follow it until you cross the Pamunkey River.  The canoe area is on the south side of the bridge

Google Local Coordinates: 37.788930, -77.369890

Secrets Revealed?  No.  This is a very public location that is documented in the Virginia VDGIF and the Flyfisher's Guide to Virginia 

Downstream from canoe launch

Looking upstream back to the canoe launch

Slackwater at the corner

Downstream from the corner looks the same

Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore

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