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Pony Pasture (James River) water levels

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Does anyone know what the impact of all this rain is on the water levels at Pony Pasture? Yesterday the levels were 3.4 feet which is safe for wading. I am hoping to wade there tomorrow if the water levels are still in the safe range.

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Heya ron, we just had a huge down pour last night with tornado warning and all, so chances aren't that great =(

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I checked the reports a few minuites ago and this morning the reports show the water level at 4.36 feet which is still in the safe (green) range, yesterday they were at 3.4 feet.  The safe range is water levels from 3.5 to 4.8 feet.  I just hope the water levels don't rise to much more today.

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It's at 4.37 right now.  What is the dangerous level again?

The temps I wouldn't worry about because they were at 73 before hand.  Won't be worse than the Rap last weekend.  Let's just hope rain today holds off.

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Anything above 4.8 feet is unsafe for wading. Jay keep your fingers crossed that the water levels receed a bit today or tonight. If not we will be fishing for LMBs instaed of bronzebacks.

10:55 AM I just checked and it s at 4.39 Feet

4:30 PM I just checked and it is at 4.39 Feet.

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Hey Ron,

I was planning to take my boat on the upper James on Thursday but my car has an engine problem so I may go out on Friday, DEPENDING ON THE WATER COMING DOWN THE RIVER FROM THE WEST.

Rain in Richmond is not the factor to concern ourselves.  It is the amount of water traveling down the James pass Watkins Landing; going over Bosher's Dam; passing through the Z-Dam and then hitting the Pony Pasture.

I have not driven past the Pony Pasture in a week so I have no idea of the water's height and current.

Please check the water levels up river towards Scottsville and see if they are high. If so, then the water is heading for the Pony Pasture.

Be careful and wear your PFD as you know, the Pony Pasture is an unforgiving place.

Have a fun time and catch those smallies!

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Sam,

Thanks for the heads up.  I checked Scottsville and if it makes any sense it is actually only at 3.6 feet which is lower than Pony Pasture.  It looks as if it is at a slight upward trend but it doesn't seem like it's anything to be alarmed about.  We will bring pfd's to wear just in case things look more serious than we are imagining.

All these strorms look like they were well north of Richmond and while the area has had chances of rain all day it seems the ghost is clear.  These updates on river conditions are as of 815pm.  I will make one final last look at 6am and we will make the call then.  Expect a report in the my outings section unless something drastic occurs tonight.  

Thanks for the warning though so now I know what to look for before heading down to Pony Pasture.  If anyone drives around here tonight or tommorrow morning to take a look or hears anything about it please let us know in this thread.

Later guys.  And thanks again Sam.

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Sam,

We will be bringing the good PFDs (auto-inflate) with us. If the water looks like it could be a problem we will wear them. The water levels are in the safe range at this point unless something changes overnight. The levels up river look fine as well with the exception of one location KANAWHA CANAL but we will not be in the canal up river.

JAMES RIVER AT BENT CREEK, VA 06/04 20:45 3.49 1,940 -- 3,060 --

JAMES RIVER AT SCOTTSVILLE, VA 06/04 20:15 3.55 2,050 -- 3,830 --

JAMES RIVER AT CARTERSVILLE, VA 06/03 22:15 1.93 2,510 -- 4,600 --

JAMES RIVER AND KANAWHA CANAL NEAR RICHMOND, VA 06/04 20:30 6.13 80 -- 805 --

JAMES RIVER NEAR RICHMOND, VA 06/04 20:30 4.37 2,720 -- 4,580

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Hey ron,

Put some pics up of your trip if you took any... since I know you can fish I'd like to see what you caught!

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Nitro, JCrzy4Bass will be writing up a thread on the trip and posting the pictures. We had fun fishing despite the late start, the high heat and the higher than usual water levels.  I think he is going to put a write up on his blog site as well.  You can get to his blog site by clicking on his screen name and then following his link.

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Ok well the deep pools were hard to get access too because the larger rocks were under water as you went further upstream and or downstream from Pony.  It was at 4.39 feet and receeding a bit throughout the late afternoon but not as much as we would have liked before we left.  It was a tough day out there and boy did it get hot.  Despite swimmers and sunbathers all around my dad and I managed to catch five out of one hole where the kids were jumping in the water.  Throughout the afternoon at various other spots we hooked up with four more.  Total fish, nine.

Only two keepers today.  Nothing picture worthy for me.  My dad hooked into one that was about 1 lb 1/2 and another that was about  1 lb if not a little more.  My biggest was maybe appraoching 10".

We had a hard time putting together a pattern until late.  We didn't see a whole lot of big ones except for some schools where there were a fish or two approaching 2lbs swimming together around some huge underwater boulders.  But no matter what we did they would not bite.  Rule of thumb: "If you can see them, they can see you".  Especially in water this clear.  Visibility was close to 4 feet or so in most areas.

It was a tough day.  It was fun and I can't wait to get back, but next time I'm waiting for the water to be lower, under the four foot mark.  The deep pools were just too tough to get to today and we weren't taking chances with the current that strong.

Full report available on my blog site.  Follow the link in my profile.  If you want further info on Pony Pasture from today feel free to pm me.  In the mean time, be safe out there, while it says it is in the "green" zone the water needs to come down a bit more if you want the full wade availability.  At least in my opinion.  Or at least for those who are not well versed and such at this type of fishing.

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I read your blog.  Good report.  Added to my favroites.  

I 'm going to hit PP in the next few weeks (70 mile drive for me).  

One thing I noticed is that I can pick up a few bass right out of the holes - even where people are swimming - just like you said.  But I've gotten my biggest in those currents that you described as water rushing between boulders.  I cast downstream and across the current and as the lure (white jigs work best for me)  sweeps across the current on the retrieve is usually when I get a hit.  

I'm going to try some small craw colored cranks next time I go.  

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Jason, how was the water clarity?

In my experiences, in really clear water and hot weather, smallmouth often end up in any sort of current or water flow that breaks the surface of the water. I believe this is because the broken water surface makes the smallmouth harder to see, so they take shelter and ambush from there, and the flowing water is cooler than the stagnant water in the pools. Also, don't neglect shoreline shade. A lot of people think that smallmouth don't like to live in shallow, shady areas near the bank, but I can tell you, I have caught plenty of smallies from just such areas, especially if the bottom is rocky along the shady bank or if there is any cover like wood, etc.. this is especially true in smaller rivers

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Dan, the water clarity is in my report on my blog site but it was around 3 feet or so.

I tried those shady shoreline areas you talk of and got one good hit but missed the fish.  I tried all sorts of different current, but you're right that's where they seemed to be held up on this trip.  Too late I didn't figure that out til' late in the day.  Just lack of experience smallie fishing I guess.  I was working slower current and deep pools where I thought they';d be later in the day because the heat.  However... I didn't remember water temps play key and not air temps.  Just some things to remember next time as I head out.

Thanks for the kind words Micro.

Later guys.

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