I have always said Mother Nature is my biggest competition. She decides if the river will be good enough for my trips to be successful. She can also make the river more dangerous than it already is. After the flood waters came down over a week ago on the Jackson river near Covington, VA, a fellow guide contacted me about a large tree blocking passage on the river. Four of us set out with chainsaws and boats to get a path cut through the tree so we and other river users would have safe passage. Now with a path through the tree, I could run a guide trip on the river without worry. The James and other area rivers have been stained from thunderstorms and the Jackson was the only option early this week. Even the Jackson had some stain to the water from the dam release. Didn’t hurt the fishing though. My young angler put some nice fish in the boat nymphing and even a few on the surface using cicada patterns. With a friend in town for a couple days and wanting to fish for bass, we luckily had the option to fish the Maury River. The Maury river near Glasgow, VA is a smaller river and tributary to the James. It’s usually too low to float with a raft by this time of year, but with the extra rain, it has been at a great level. The topwater bite was good and even found a few big ones looking up. I’m hoping Mother Nature is going to give me a break soon and allow my beloved James river to clear up.