Shad fishing on the James river has been surprisingly productive for the past few days. The water level according to the USGS is about 6.5 feet average. That is a slightly high but fishable water level, and pretty normal for this time of year. The water level prediction looks surprisingly good for the week as well, despite the snow on the ground. The river should give up some shad throughout the week.
According to some reliable sources, gold spoons and combinations of purple and pink shad darts or flies are the ticket. The problem is getting down to the fish. A fish finder rig with a ½ oz weight will get down to them very nicely; for the fly-fishing crowd, a full type 6 sinking line with a weighted fly and maybe even a piece of split shot to get them. Either way, don’t let the weather fool you, the shad are here for the taking, you just need to get down to them.