Never been to fond of fishing for smallmouth bass  in heavy rains, but when you need or have to get out you do what you gotta do.  Was out fishing the James river down towards Howardsville yesterday with a tropical storm making its way up the coast. It started out as drizzle with periods of no rain, so I started out throwing cicada patterns along the banks and got a few willing bass to eat.  As the rain started to increase my good friend switched over to a baitfish pattern which was a good call because the rain killed any hopes of good topwater fishing.  We did well catching bass from 10 to 14 inches on average with one hefty 17 inch bass during some of the hardest rain. By the time we got to the boat ramp the river was rising and becoming off color, so it may be a few days or more before the river is back in shape.  I’m heading to Ocean Isle Beach, NC in the morning for vacation so I picked a good week to get away with the high water.Dave Smallie