Tranquil Kenai River

Tranquility on the Kenai River - Sterling, AlaskaTranquil view of the Kenai Mountains and the Kenai River near Sterling, Alaska

Tranquil Spring in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Springtime Brook Trout Stream in the Blue Ridge MountainsTranquility – Take a break from the hustle of the holidays and enjoy.

What the Trout Sees

What the Trout Sees Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

Vince Marinaro developed flies which looks as much as possible like the real insects to the trout.
While fishing Falling Spring in Chambersburg, PA he explained that mayfly duns rode on their feet. With their bodies high off the water. He said that in this position the dun’s wings were the most visible part of the insect to the trout.
In order to tie a fly that would show the trout this image he suggested tying a dry dun with a broad natural looking wing. The trout would be able to see this wing. So we tied one hackle so it would slope greatly 45 degrees forward on top of the hook . It would also slope 45 degrees greatly to the rear below the hook. The second hackle would slope greatly 45 degrees to the rear on top of the hook shank. It would also slope greatly 45 degrees forward below the hook shank.
This presented a natural clear window so the trout could see the wing and the fly rode delicately on the toes of the hackle.
Vince called this a “thorax” style of hackling a dry fly. Do not confuse this with the thorax term applied to popular dry flies used now. This refers only of the positioning of the hackle.
In order to prove his point about the duns riding on their feet, Vince suggested that I get my head down close to the stream surface during a heavy hatch and look upstream. He wanted me to see how the flies rode on the surface. He was correct!
This method of tying duns is a little difficult to master but I do believe it produces flies which fool very demanding trout.

September Sunset – Bristol Bay Alaska

September Sunset - AlaskaTranquil September Sunset – Bristol Bay Alaska

Fly Fishing Podcast-December 2017

Fly Fishing Podcast for December 2017 by Harry Murray

Trout Fishing

This months fly fishing podcast includes a detailed discussion on the trout fishing in December.  Since the brook trout are still spawning in December I like to fish the stocked trout streams instead.

Many of the stocked trout streams such as the Jackson (near Covington), Bullpasture (near Williamsville) and Big Stoney Creek in Edinburg have natural springs that the trout love.  You can find these springs on the steams by looking for the rich aquatic growth they provide. The trout will hold near these springs and feed on cress bug and shrimp patterns.

I do well with these flies while using a Trout Nymph Leader.

Bass Fly Fishing Podcast for December
Fly Fishing Podcast for December–Bundle up and fish a Murray’s Black Madtom Sculpin size 4 on a fast sinking head fly line in the deepest water you can find and you just might catch your largest bass of the year.

Bass Fishing

Many of my customers will come into the fly shop and ask, “can I go bass fishing in December?”  Yes, you can.  Are you going to catch a lot of bass? No–but you might catch a big one.  I have some friends that are die hard bass fishermen that will go out in any kind of weather and they have been catching some big bass.  They will float the river to find the deepest pools they can find and fish with big bugs such as a Madtom/Sculpin size 4, Magnum Darter size 4 and Creek Chub size 4.

At this time of the year you will do well using a Scientific Angler Sonar Sink 30 Warm 200 grain fly line with a Murray’s Fluorocarbon 6ft 2X Sinking Leader.

 

Winston Kairos Fly Rod

Winston Kairos Fly Rod- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

The NEW Winston Kairos Fly Rods are in and I have tested them extensively. These are great rods at a very attractive price. Here is my evaluations of the three rods which have very broad usage.

Winston Kairos 8 foot 3 weight 4 piece
This is an excellent fly rod for small to medium size streams all across the country. The tip is very delicate that blends in smoothly to a full flexing action all the way to the butt section. This fishes flies from size 24 midges up to size 8 nymphs with great accuracy. This will cover trout fishing needs  quite effectively from ten to fifty feet.

Winston Kairos 9 foot 6 weight 4 piece
This fly rod meets a broad variety of needs. It is excellent for fishing medium to large size trout streams all across the country. It has a medium to fast action. The tip is fine enough to fish flies as small as size 18. The whole rod loads smoothly all the way to the butt section. The butt section is firm enough to cast nymphs and streamers up to size 6. It has excellent power for fishing sinking tip fly lines and sinking head fly lines for both trout and smallmouth bass with heavy size 6 streamers. The smooth loading action is ideal for fishing smallmouth poppers and deer hair bass bugs up to size 6 with great accuracy along the river banks and grassbeds.

Winston Kairos 9 foot 7 weight 4 piece
This is an excellent smallmouth bass fly rod. It has a fast action which enables you to fish poppers and streamers up to size 4. This power makes it very easy to make long casts even in the wind with great accuracy. This also facilitates smooth mending when fishing streamers on fast sinking head fly lines across fast currents.  It is very easy to detect the strikes on deep swimming nymphs and streamers and then set the hook quickly with this rod.

The Winston Kairos is a very attractive fly rod with a clear graphite polished finish with Winston green thread wraps. The fly rod comes with a hard case and lifetime warranty. It is built in Montana.  The Fly Rod price is $475.00. We also sell combination packages with the Fly Rod, Reel, Fly Line and Backing at a great savings!

Tranquil Summer Morning on the Shenandoah River

South Fork Shenandoah River Morning

The holidays are upon us.  Enjoy our series of “Tranquil” scenes over the next few weeks.  Here, a beautiful Summer morning on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.

Fly Fishing Tips Podcast

Fly Fishing Podcast – Fly Fishing Tips by Harry Murray

November 2017 Questions and Answers Podcast

In November’s Fly Fishing Tips Podcast discusses various tips that customers have asked for help with over the last several months.

  • The importance of drinking plenty of water even in the winter time while hiking so that you do not get dehydrated while you are out in the backwoods.
  • Benefits of using a pop strike to help you drift the fly right over the trout naturally and catching the trout without stressing it.
  • Designing new flies that you can use in the next season. Winter time is the best time to tie your flies for the upcoming season. Our next basic fly tying class is January 6.
  • The misconceptions on leaders and tippet.  When you purchase a leader, do you need to add tippet to the leader?  Absolutely not!  Find out when you will need to add tippet to the leader in this podcast.
  • Standard Hook Sizes–How can you tell what size hook you have in your fly tying box.
  • Winterizing your fly rod to keep the ice off the guides while fishing your favorite trout stream using either Glide Line Dressing or Scientific Anglers Line Dressing
  • Discussion on flip casts and false casting
  • Advantages of having a hide-a-key hidden when out on a remote stream fishing
Fly Fishing Tips by Harry Murray
In order to help prevent my fly rod from collecting ice in the guides during the winter, I clean it good and often by dressing it with a line dressing then rubbing it down.

 

For more information on fly fishing schools, tips, techniques follow Murray’s Fly Shop on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or visit our website.

Saturday, December 9, 2017 from 10a.m. to noon, I will be conducting a class on fishing the Shenandoah National Park–best techniques and streams. Space is limited so sign up today!

 

Save That Trout

Save That Trout Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

I had three friends who had great intentions of returning their very large trout to the stream so he would survive. Unfortunately these fellows were just getting into trout fishing. They allowed the trout to get downstream of them. In landing the trout they fought him so long that the stress caused the trout to turn belly up and die.
This could have been easily prevented! If a large trout gets downstream of you in heavy water in a location where you cannot chase him to get downstream of him, rather than fight him to death just break him off. To do this point your rod straight at the trout, take up all of the slack with your line-hand and jerk. This leaves the fly in his jaw and he swims away. I have caught many trout that have hooks in their jaws and they are fine. Eventually the hooks works itself out.

Stop Twisted Smallmouth Bass Leaders While Fly Fishing

Stop Twisted Smallmouth Bass Leaders While Fly Fishing

When the tippet of your smallmouth bass leader gets twisted, it can easily form small knots. These knots will weaken your leader. Then when you set the hook on a large bass, you break him off!

Twisted tippets can occur:
(1) If the fly is too large for the tippet being used.                                       Fly Size ÷ 3= Tippet in X
(2) If the tippet is too long. Two to three feet is long enough.
(3) If the fly you are using is out of symmetry. Long legs and wings on Deer Hair Bass Bugs and Poppers can cause this.
(4) If you have gotten a pull-through on your fly where the tippet gets wrapped around the fly.

It is a good idea to check your tippet periodically to make sure it had not developed any twists.

Fly Fishing Podcast–November 2017

Fly Fishing Podcast for November 2017 by Harry Murray

In my fly fishing podcast for November I discuss the trout fishing you can expect for this month in our large trout streams with sculpin imitations.  The natural sculpin minnows are bottom hugging minnows living under cobblestones in and immediately downstream of heavy riffles. This is where I like to fish my Spuddler.  Many of the tails of the pools give me some large trout by fanning the Murray’s Black Marauder size 8 over the last 100 feet. The gentle riffles along the far banks often attract large trout that feed on the slim silver minnows that live here. By casting a Murray’s Silver Ghost Streamer size 6 in tight against these undercut banks you can catch many large trout.  For more details on the areas and techniques to use listen to my entire Fly Fishing Podcast for November.

Fly Fishing Podcast November
Fly Fishing Podcast for November. Jeff Murray catches many large bass at this time of the year by fishing streamers deeply with a fast sinking head fly line.

The smallmouth bass rivers are cold but we can still catch some large bass by choosing the correct flies and fishing the correct feeding stations which the bass choose at this time of the year. They want to choose foods that give them the greatest food value for the least effort to capture it. Large minnows are a prime target. Therefore I like to fish the Murray’s Tungsten Cone Head Marauders in black, pearl or olive.  In my personal fishing at this time of the year the back eddies that form below the riffles on the side of the river with the slow current are some of their favorite feeding stations. These provide an abundance of minnow life and protection from the powerful currents of the river.

 

Out With the Old Tippet Material

Out With The Old Tippet Material Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

Each year I like to replace all of my tippet material. This includes everything from 0X down to 7X.  The tippet is the weakest part of our fly fishing tackle. I do not like to take a chance in breaking of a large fish for the few dollars it will cost to replace it.

Late Season Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing

Late Season Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

The back eddies that form below the riffles on the side of the river with the slowest current often hold large bass as the rivers get cold. The slow current and the abundance of minnow life prompt this mini-migration from the shallows. These back eddies can range from ten to fifty feet in diameter and four to six feet deep. I catch many of these bass on the Murray’s Magnum Bluegill Streamer size 4 and Murray’s Magnum Darter Streamer size 4. I strip them six inches every ten seconds to swim them slowly across the streambottom. A sinking head line is a big help with my Murray’s Fluorocarbon 6 foot 2X Sinking Line Leader.  I want to hook these bass solidly in the deep water. I use a three foot fast line hand strike simultaneously with a powerful rod lifting strike.

Set The Hook With A Slip Strike

Set The Hook With A Slip Strike Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

When I am fishing trout streams such as Nelson’s in Montana where there are some large trout feeding on tiny flies, I set the hook with a “Slip Strike”. For example, I will often fish a size 24 Olive Dry when the trout are feeding on a pseudocloeon hatch. If they are especially hard to fool I will go to 7X.

My idea behind this strike is to hook the fish solidly. Then instantly reduce the pressure on the leader. I hold the line between my thumb & forefinger of my line hand as my fly is drifting to the trout. Then when the trout takes my fly, I set the hook with a gentle pull with my line hand. The instant I feel the resistance of the hook penetrating the trout’s jaw I release the grip on the line between my thumb and forefinger. This hooks the trout solidly and protects the fine tippet.

Barbless Hooks

Barbless Hooks Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

Thirty years ago Virginia Game & Inland Fisheries closed the South Fork of the Shenandoah River to keeping fish for human consumption.  This is after DuPont revealed they dumped mercury into the river. Many anglers believed that the river  was closed to fishing. That was not true! Basically, I had the whole river almost to myself. The fishing was outstanding! This invited me to do a great deal of experimentation. Some of this included comparing the number of bass I landed on barbless hooks with the number I landed on barbed hooks.

After a summer of testing I came away convinced that I landed 30% more bass on the barbless hooks. I believe that many of the bass that got off were not hooked solidly with the barb penetrating their hard lips. Basically I suspected they were just hanging on the point of the hook. A slight flip during the fight set them free. Today I use all barbless hooks from size 24 midges up to size 4/0 saltwater hooks.

The Best Five Flies for Late Season Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing

The Best Five Flies for Late Season Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia. Fly Fishing Virginia.

Each year we find that we can often catch many large bass in October and November. We can do this by selecting our flies carefully and fishing them deeply in protected feeding stations.

Here are my five best flies for late season smallmouth bass fly fishing:

(1) Murray’s Crayfish size 6
(2) Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite size 4
(3) Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker Streamer size 4
(4) Murray’s Black Madtom Sculpin Streamer size 4
(5) Murray’s Skunk Road Kill Nymph size 6

My most productive feeding stations are the deep pools and deep back eddies. In order to fish my flies slowly along the streambottom in these areas I use a fast Sinking Head Line Fly Line. This sinks at 4 to 8 IPS.  The Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink 30 Warm Tip Fly Line in 200 grains is excellent for getting my flies deeply. My standard leader with these fly lines are the Murray’s Fluorocarbon 6 foot 2X Sinking Line Leader.

Fly Fishing in October Podcast

Fly Fishing in October Podcast by Harry Murray

Fly Fishing in October for trout

Since the brook trout are spawning in October, November, and December we feel it is not good to stress them by fishing for them even though we return them to the stream.

So let’s look at the nymph fishing tactics we use in large streams both in the Rockies and in the East.

I learned to fish nymphs from Charlie Brooks in the 1970’s and 1980’s in the streams around West Yellowstone,  Montana.  So in this months fly fishing podcast I want to discuss in detail the two tactics of Charlie’s that I use often.

  1. Upstream Dead Drift Fishing-  This technique relies on you seeing the strike therefore I rely heavily on my Bright Butt Leader and Scientific Anglers Indicators.
  2. Swing Nymphing– This technique is used on deeper runs where upstream dead drift nymphing is not possible.  Many beginners quickly  master this method because the strikes are detected by feeling the strike rather than seeing it.
Fly Fishing in October for Bass
Since October is considered a great time to catch large bass Harry discusses the flies and tactics which he finds productive.

Fly Fishing for Bass in October

Many of the old timers around Edinburg where I grew up in the 1950’s caught many of their largest bass of the year in October by using live bait such as Hog Suckers, Bluegills, and Darter Minnows.  Several years ago I designed my Magnum Streamer Series which both look and fish like a real minnow.  Today I will be discussing the Murray’s  Magnum Hog Sucker, Magnum Darter, and Magnum Bluegill and the best way to fish each.

If you need help finding the access places on the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River, then stop by the fly shop and we can show you the best areas on our stores master map.

Enjoy The Challenge of Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass at Night

I enjoy the challenge of fly fishing for smallmouth bass at night because I often catch some large bass. Choosing sections of the river I know well  allows me to get in and out of the stream safely. This helps me to avoid old barbed wire fence and itch weed.  I use a Folstaf Wading Staff to probe the streambottom. I do this so I do not trip over a ledge or wade into a deep pool.

Wade downstream and cast down and across stream at a forty five degree angle. This enables me to fish flies such as the Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker, Murray’s Magnum Creek Chub and the Shenandoah Chugger. I fish these flies with a firm noisy line hand stripping action and quickly feel the strike and hook the bass.

The Murray’s Bass Bug 9 foot 0X Leader is ideal for night fishing. These leaders cast the big flies well. They are also strong enough to set the hook on the big bass.

Fly Fishing Tips

Fly Fishing Tips (Questions & Answers) Podcast by Harry Murray
September 2017

This months fly fishing tips podcast includes

  • tips on keeping your hands clean while out on the river all day
  • the benefits of using a Folstaff Wading Staff and when to use it
  • fly tying classes for beginners and also custom tying class for Harry Murray’s trout and bass patterns
  • fishing the Hexagenia hatch–when to fish it and what flies to use
    Mr. Rapidan SkaterMr. Rapidan Soft Hackle Olive
  • casting tips  (Fly Casting Class 101 this Saturday September 23 from 10a.m. to noon–outfits are provided)
  • designing flies for both bass and trout fishing
  •  importance of leaving the streams as you found it and not disturbing the rocks and natural habitat for the fish
Hexagenia Mayfly Hatch
The Hexagenia Mayfly hatch is the heaviest I’ve ever seen on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River this year and the fishing is great.

 

The Best Time for Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing on the North or South Fork

The Best Time for Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing on the North or South Fork

Smallmouth bass feed the heaviest in low light levels. For my personal fishing this means the first two hours at dawn and the last two hours at dusk. Since I am in my fly shop until after 5 pm each day, I can easily grab my tackle. I can get to either the North or South Fork of the Shenandoah River for several hours of great fishing.
During these low light levels the bass often move to the areas that contain large populations of natural foods. Some of my most productive areas in the low light levels are the edges of the grassbeds where the water is two to three feet deep.  Also in the tails of the pools. Also the two to three foot deep gravel bars where they taper off into the deep water.

Check out our Smallmouth Bass Fishing on the Shenandoah River 101 Class on February 10, 2018 and March 17, 2018. This two hour class will show you the best access points on the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River by utilizing the master map and books, Virginia Blue-Ribbon Streams and Fly Fishing Techniques for Smallmouth Bass.

How To Fish The Famous Shenandoah Blue Popper

How To Fish The Famous Shenandoah Blue Popper

For the last several weeks I have been catching many smallmouth bass along the shaded banks with the Shenandoah Blue Popper size 4.
If the water is three to five feet deep over cobblestone streambottoms many fish  feed in these shaded areas.
I like to cast my Shenandoah Blue Popper within a foot of the banks. I even use a side-arm cast at times to shoot my Shenandoah Blue Popper back under overhanging tree limbs. Often I use a gentle upstream mend to help hold the Shenandoah Blue Popper close to the bank as the current pulls it downstream.
This tactic is so productive that I often spend several hours using it as long as the stream depth and shade hold up.

Check out our 2 Hour Workshop on Smallmouth Bass Fishing on the Shenandoah River 101.  This workshop will show you the best access points on both the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Mr. Murray will show you the master map and the books, Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams and Fly Fishing Techniques for Smallmouth Bass.

Fly Rod and Reel Resting Against a Tree

If you see a nice fly rod and reel resting against a tree at a popular access point and there is no other car close by, just leave it there. Eventually the owner will realize where he left it and he will come back to get it. If you find a rod and reel underwater in a river, take it to the closest tackle shop and tell them where you found it. Also write down the manufacturer and the serial number on the rod. Then call the manufacturer, they may have the owners name and address on record.

Fly Fishing in September

Harry Murray’s Fly Fishing in September Podcast

Trout Fly Fishing

Fly fishing in September can be tricky due to the low and clear water conditions. This months podcast I discuss how to improve your success when fishing dry flies for trout all across the country by using slack line casts so you don’t have drag.  Which casts am I using?

  • Puddle Cast
  • Lazy S Cast

If you are interested in learning more about fly casting, then check out our Fly Casting 101 Classes .
Upcoming Dates
Saturday, September 9 from 10a.m. to noon
Saturday, September 23 from 10a.m. to noon

September Fly Fishing for Bass
Some of my favorite fishing in September is on the Hexagenia Mayfly Hatch.

Bass Fly Fishing

I always get great smallmouth dry fly fishing in September during the Hexagenia Mayfly Hatch.  This month I discuss the tactics and fly patterns I use to take advantage of this hatch.

Hexagenia Mayfly Hatch
The natural Hexagenia Mayflies can be very plentiful on some smallmouth rivers in September and October at dusk and produce great dry fly fishing.

Fishing To Get Away From Crowds of Fly Fishing Anglers

Fishing To Get Away From Crowds of Fly Fishing Anglers Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

There are several tactics I use when fishing to get away from crowds of fly fishing anglers.

(1) When fishing rivers the size of the Beaverkill at Horse Brook Run, I wade across the river and fish up the far side. This same ploy works well on the Madison River at Slide Inn where I wade across the river.

(2) On small mountain trout streams such as the Crazy Mountains in Montana or the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, I hike in well away from the access points before I start fishing.

(3) Get to the streams at daylight or stay until dark.

(4) Avoid streams for several years which are written up in national magazines.

(5) Do not let rain or snow stop you from fishing.

(6) Enter the large rivers at the public access points but fish upstream.

Two or Three Nymph Rig Systems

Two or Three Nymph Rig Systems Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

Charlie Brooks of West Yellowstone got me into fishing two or three nymph rig systems many years ago. These flies can easily become twisted with the regular casts so I cast these with a slow wide loop. Another method is to make your back cast low to the side. Then turn your wrist and make your forward cast in a higher plane. In low and out high.

Fly Fishing Tips August 2017

Fly Fishing Tips from Harry Murray

Listen to Harry Murray’s Fly Fishing Tips where he will be discussing various trout and bass tips.

  • His favorite fly rods for fishing the large trout streams in the Rockies as well as the western spring creeks. He explains just what he uses these rods for and the size flies he uses on each one.
  • Using a line hand strike for bass fishing
  • Quantity of flies in a fly box vs. effective flies
  • Fishing the trico hatch and his ploy for fishing some easier trout than one often encounters on this hatch
Fly Fishing Tips-Leaders
I rely strongly on my Murray’s Hand Tie Compound Knotted Classic Leader for all of my dry fly trout fishing because of the fine accuracy and delicacy they give me.
  • The value of using hand tied compound knotted leaders for both trout and bass (read our article on knotted leaders vs. knotless leaders)
  • Tactics he uses when floating the rivers for smallmouth bass that help him catch  many bass from each section of the river.
  • Two tactics he uses to catch carp in the river (olive marauder)
  • Night fishing for smallmouth bass
  • Fishing the tails of the pools at dusk when he finds bass chasing minnows in the shallow water–tactics and flies to use  (Floating Minnows)
  • Tips for fishing for bass against the banks under overhanging tree limbs and fishing the ledges with madtom sculpins
Fly Fishing Tips for Bass
Smallmouth fishing at night just might give you the largest bass of the year. Fish water where you know the banks so you can get in and out of the river safely and when you get a strike set the hook solidly.

 

Fly  Casting Classes

In September Harry  will be conducting two Fly Casting & Rigging 101 Classes that will help you learn or improve your casting techniques.  On our casting lawn, he will teach you how to perform all of the standard casts as well as roll casts, curve casts, and shooting line.  After the casting class you will then proceed back to the fly shop where he will show you how to rig your tackle including the knots to use when putting your line and backing on a fly reel.  We provide the rod and reel outfits for you to use for the class or if you prefer you can bring your own.

September 9  from 10a.m. to noon
September 23 from 10a.m. to noon

 

My Three Favorite Smallmouth Bass Flies

My Three Favorite Smallmouth Bass Flies Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

In order to get good smallmouth bass fishing with underwater flies I like to use patterns which match the natural foods the smallmouth bass feed upon.

My most dependable nymph is the Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite size 4.  The riffles are loaded with the natural hellgrammites. Fish these upstream dead drift by using the Murray’s Bright Butt 9 foot 2X Leader with its built in indicator system.

My most productive minnow imitation is the Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker Streamer size 4. For many years the bait fishermen have relied on the natural hog suckers to catch their largest bass. I fish these along the edge of the gravel bars where they drop into the deep part of the river at dusk. I catch many bass this way!

My most effective surface bug is the Shenandoah Blue Popper size 4. I rely strongly on this fly because it out-fishes other surface bugs by a great margin. I just do not like to change a winning game!

Good Nymph Fisherman

Good Nymph Fly Fisherman Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

I have a friend who is an especially good nymph fisherman. Whether we are fishing the Madison River for browns or the Blue Ridge Mountains for brook trout, he catches many nice trout.  He does this by fishing nymphs upstream dead drift.
When watching him, I detect a common trait which is a landmark of many serious nymph anglers. That is, at some point in the last half of the drift he sets the hook on the majority of the casts. Does this mean he is getting this many strikes from trout? No, but when he is not getting a strike, he is bumping the streambottom with the nymph.
This tells me that we should all consider fishing out nymphs deeply with a natural drift.

Fly Fishing in August

Fly Fishing in August Podcast by Harry Murray

This podcast, Harry discusses the fly fishing in August for both bass and trout, techniques, and flies to use.

Fly Fishing in August with Flying Beetle
Even when I don’t see rising trout I can usually catch many nice trout on a dry Murray’s Housefly size 16 by fishing it upstream dead drift through the runs on the sides of the riffles entering the heads of the pools.

Trout Fishing in August

In August I like to fish with flies that match the natural foods the trout are seeing….terrestrials.  In addition to the normal beetle, ant, and hopper patterns I like to use what I call my “change of pace” flies.

  • Oakworms–You can see many natural oakworms around the stream banks.
  • Yellow Jackets–These are normally found around the sod banks near the stream.
  • Wasp–There are many wasps around standing bush and brush piles.
  • Moths–You will find moths in the evenings around back eddys.
  • Horseflies–These are always around pasture fields with horses and cows.
  • Houseflies–These little things can be found everywhere and I consider this fly very effective to fish with.
Fly Fishing in August with my change of pace flies
I have caught many fish on these “change of pace” flies. Fly Fishing in August

Bass Fishing in August

The other evening while I was bass fishing on the Shenandoah River I noticed a great amount of little baby bass swimming around.  That tells me the bass fishing will continue to be good next year.

Bass fly fishing in August can provide low and clear water so we need to be careful with our approach.  There are two things that can help us hide our approach:  aquatic grassbeds and rock ledges.  In this podcast I go into detail on how I like to fish these areas using my favorite flies for this time of the year.  Olive Marauder size 6, Skunk Roadkill Nymph size 6, Shenk’s White Streamer size 4, Shenandoah Blue Popper size 4, and Chartreuse Bass Popper size 6

If you are fishing in areas that you cannot hide your approach with grassbeds or rock ledges and you want to cast 20% further then use a Tapply Green/White Hair Bug size 6, Murray’s Blue Dragon Hair Bug size 4 or Shenandoah Yellow Hair Bug size 6 on a Bright Butt 9ft 2X Leader.

August is the last month that we will be offering full day fly fishing schools and half day lessons for this year.  So don’t miss out!
Upcoming dates:

Friday August 18  (full day)
Saturday August 26 (full day)
Wednesday August 16, 30 (half day)
Saturday August 19 (half day)
Saturday September 2 (half day)

Three Ways to Fish Streamers on Large Rivers

Three Ways to Fish Streamers on Large Rivers Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

When Ray Hurley, my Yellowstone River Guide of 17 years, and I fished the Yellowstone, he encouraged fishing streamers in order to catch large trout. Here are our most effective tactics: (1) When we are floating the river with Ray, with the oars of his Hyde Drift Boat, he had me pound the banks with a Sculpin Streamer. When we beached the boat (2) Ray fished the heads of the pools with a Sculpin Streamer and (3) I fished the tails of the pools with a Sculpin Streamer.

The Best Five Flies for Fishing Large Trout Streams in the Summer & Fall

The Best Five Flies for Fishing Large Trout Streams in the Summer & Fall

I like to cover the spectrum of fly needs from drys to nymphs to streamers on the large streams during the Summer and Fall because these served me well last year.

Shenk’s Cricket Dry size 12
Dave’s Hopper size 10
Mr. Rapidan Streamer size 10
Murray’s Olive Strymph size 10
Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle Nymph size 14

I do well with the Dave’s Hopper and Shenk’s Cricket Dry fished along the shaded banks with a very gentle twitching action. The nymphs and streamers are very productive in the deep pools and in the deep pockets below the riffles.

The Murray’s Classic 9 foot 4X Leader is ideal for this fishing.

The Best Five Smallmouth Bass Flies for Summer Fly Fishing

I am very confident that these five smallmouth bass flies will give me excellent fly fishing in 2017 from July until October. This is because last year they gave me the best bass fishing I have had in many years.

Murray’s Crayfish size 6
Shenandoah Chartreuse Chugger size 4 and size 6
Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker Streamer size 4
Shenandoah Blue Popper size 4 and size 6
Murray’s Magnum Darter Streamer size 4

During summer, as the sun intensifies I catch most of my bass in the middle of the day along the heavily shaded banks. This is where the water is three to five feet deep over cobblestone streambottoms. However, my very best fishing is at dawn and dusk in the tails of the pools. My standard  leader for smallmouth bass fishing is the Murray’s Bright Butt 9 foot 2X Leader.

The Five Best Flies for Mountain Trout Streams for Summer and Fall

The Five Best Flies for Mountain Trout Streams for Summer and Fall

This list has been carefully refined and gave us great mountain trout fishing from July until Fall in 2016. I believe they will be great in 2017.

Murray’s Flying Beetle size 14 and size 16
Mr. Rapidan Ant size 16 and size 18
Murray’s Professor Dry size 14 and size 16
Murray’s Housefly size 14 and size 16
Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle Nymph size 16

These are the flies I rely on from July until Fall for our wild trout in our mountain streams. In July I usually use the largest sizes listed. I then go down to the smallest sizes in August and September. I fish all of these flies on Murray’s Classic 9 foot 6X Leader unless the streams are very low. Then I go to a Murray’s Classic 9 foot 7X Leader.

Fly Fishing Tips July 2017

Fly Fishing Tips Podcast by Harry Murray

Fly Fishing Tips--Charlie Waterman fishing a beaver dam
I’ve seen Charlie Waterman catch one large trout after another by using a slack line cast at this beaver dam.

Today I would like to discuss some fly fishing tips that I have learned over the years through trial and error.   In this podcast I will cover tips on

  • how to prevent your deer hair bass bugs from twisting your leader
  • the value of taking details stream notes for a successful fishing trip
  • how to properly cast a 2 to 3 fly rig without twisting your leader
  • how to fish a popper with a dropper such as a Shenandoah Blue Popper with a Pearl Marauder dropper
  • night fishing for smallmouth bass
  • using a slip strike to prevent breaking off large trout on fine leaders
  • how to use a slack line cast for trout, especially the puddle cast and lazy S cast
Fly Fishing Tip for Night Fishing
Jeff Murray catches many large bass at night. Note how he keeps a tight line so he can quickly feel the strike and hook the bass.

For more tips, sale specials and the chance to sign up for my monthly email newsletter visit our website at www.murraysflyshop.com

My Three Effective Hard Head Smallmouth Bass Bugs

My Three Effective Hard Head Smallmouth Bass Bugs:

(1) The Shenandoah Chugger has a fat body with a deeply cut face with which we can make a great racket to lure bass from deep runs.

(2) The Shenandoah Slider has a a slim body with a long painted nose enabling us to tease strikes from large bass in the shallows.

(3) The Shenandoah Popper with its up-sloping face and long tapered body helps us create a broad variety of actions. It enables us to successfully fish many different feeding stations.

Smallmouth Bass River Float Trips

Smallmouth Bass River Float Trips Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

Smallmouth bass river float trips can be very productive and a great amount of fun. I like to hold my trips down to miles or less.  This is because when I come to a nice grassbed and riffle, I like to beach my boat. Then I get out to wade and fish these areas.
Even though our Hyde Drift Boat has excellent leg-locks in both the front and back, I do not like to stand up in a boat when fly fishing for smallmouth bass. I believe that this will scare the smallmouth bass.
It is wise to carry a backup fly rod and reel in the boat in case something gets broken. One day on the Yellowstone River an outfit fell overboard and was gone.  Even in the summer I always carry a raincoat and a change of clothes in a dry bag.
I like to park the vehicle that will carry or tow my boat at the downstream take our spot in case a bad storm comes up and I want to get away from the river quickly.

Smallmouth Bass Primary Feeding Stations

Smallmouth Bass Primary Feeding Stations Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

Many large smallmouth bass select their “primary feeding stations” according to the amount of natural food that is available. They also select it because of the low level of the natural light. This is why almost everyday during the summer, after I close my fly shop, I head to the Shenandoah River to fish the tail of a pool at dusk.

The Murray’s Floating Chub Minnow and Murray’s Floating Dace Minnow which match the natural minnows here produce great action.

Fly Fishing Podcast July 2017

Fly Fishing Podcast July 2017

For this months fly fishing podcast I want to discuss some of the hatches that we are seeing on our trout streams and the best tactics and flies to fish them. There are some good Green Sedge Caddis hatches on the streams now.  When you spot these feeders go one on one with each trout with a Mr. Rapidan Olive Delta Wing Dry Caddis size 16.  At times it can be difficult to tell if a feeding trout is taking the adult or the pupa so I use a two fly rig (which I explain in detail in this podcast) using the above fly and a Murray’s Olive Caddis Pupa size 14.

Natural Caddis Fly Fishing
There are a broad variety of natural caddisflies on many trout streams and the fish feed heavily upon them all.

The bass rivers are at a level where many large smallmouth bass move onto the shallow tails of the pools at dusk to feed on the chub minnows and dace minnows which live here.   The most productive way I’ve found to fish the tails of the pools is to wade into the upper part of the riffle below them and wade upstream to just below the lip of the pool above that I plan to fish.  From here I fan my casts up and across stream at a slight angle to cover all of the water I can reach.  I use a line hand strip-pause-strip retrieve that swims my Floating Minnow just slightly faster than the current is pushing it.  (For more techniques listen to the second part of the podcast.)

Bass Fly Fishing Podcast
Jeff Murray knows that if he fishes the tails of the smallmouth river pools with his Floating Minnow late in the evenings he can catch many large bass.

Learn to Fly Fish in our Smallmouth Bass Schools

Shenandoah Blue Popper

Shenandoah Blue Popper Blog- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
Shenandoah Blue Popper

Every year I catch more large smallmouth bass on the Shenandoah Blue Popper than all of my other surface bugs combined. Its gradual up-sloping face and long tapered body enables us to impart a broad variety of actions. This makes the Shenandoah Blue Popper very productive in many parts of the rivers. This year the shallow water in the tails of the pools at dusk are producing many nice bass. The bass are very wary in this shallow water so wade very slowly.

Wild Trout

Now that the streams are low and clear, my favorite way to catch wild trout is to spot them on their feeding stations in the stream. I then go one on one with each trout. Subtle “signals” are the easiest physical features to help us spot the trout.

These signals include:
– the trout’s slight movement
– the difference in the trout’s shape and the stones on the streambottom
-the contrast in color of the trout’s body and the streambottom and the trout’s shadow

Murray’s Fly Shop
Harry Murray
121 South Main Street
PO Box 156
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Email Address: info@murraysflyshop.com
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com

Fly Fishing Articles – Learn to Fly Fish or Brush up on your Skills

Want to learn more about fly fishing? Check out our “Fly Fishing Articles” where we have compiled many articles over the years on a variety of topics from fly line weight to choosing the appropriate fly rod for the fish you’re trying to catch.

Fly Fishing Questions & Answers Podcast

In this fly fishing questions and answers podcast, Harry Murray discusses some of the topics that you have asked through email and phone calls.

Topics discussed include:

Fishing Tricos
Ed Shenk is a master at  fishing trico dry flies on all trout streams.

Fly Fishing Smallmouth Bass Schools throughout the summer at Murray’s Fly Shop.

Musky Fly Fishing

Musky Fly Fishing Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

Musky fly fishing is becoming very popular in Virginia. We have Musky in both the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River.  If you stop in the fly shop in Edinburg, Virginia I can show you these locations. We keep a broad selection of musky flies, special leaders, lines, rods and reels.
You can purchase the St. Croix Imperial 9 foot 10 weight 4 piece Fly Rod for $270.00. This is an outstanding Musky Fly Fishing Rod that will help you take advantage of these large flies. We also sell this in a combination which includes the St. Croix Imperial 9 foot 10 weight 4 piece Fly Rod, Orvis Battenkill Disc V Reel, Scientific Anglers Sonar 30 Clear 350 Grain Fly Line, Scientific Anglers 20 pound 100 yards Backing and Special Mon-Wire Leader. This combination is at a special price of $498.00.

Choosing a Fly Rod – What, When, Where, How and Why

Choosing a Fly Rod

Making sense of all things fly fishing can be complicated.  In this article we show you how we select a fly rod for everything from Brook Trout to Tarpon. This easy to understand article will hopefully shed some light on one of the most commonly asked questions we receive here at the fly shop.
If you still have questions, give us a call or drop us an email.
540-984-4212 or info@murraysflyshop.com

Musky Fly Fishing

A Guide to Musky Fly Fishing

Many of the rivers in Virginia hold very large musky that offer exciting fishing with fly rods. For example, both the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River hold good numbers of musky that can be reached by either wading or floating.

A great deal of success one can experience in musky fishing relies on selecting the proper rods, reels, lines, leaders and flies.

In this podcast, Harry Murray, discusses the new selection of musky flies that are available in his fly shop and how to effectively fish them.  He covers the proper leader and what fly rod and reel outfit he recommends for this type of fishing.

If you need help finding the areas of the Shenandoah River that offer musky fishing, stop by the fly shop in Edinburg, Virginia and he will show you the best areas on the map.

Show me the Musky Fly Collection
Show me the Musky Leader
Show me the Musky Fly Rod and Reel Outfit

My Favorite Smallmouth Bass Fly, Murray’s Heavy Hellgrammite


My Favorite Smallmouth Bass Fly, Murray’s Heavy Hellgrammite

It took me many years to develop my Murray’s Heavy Lead-Eye Hellgrammite. However, with the help of good friend like Charlie Brooks and Ron Kommer, this exceptionally effective pattern evolved.
This effectively duplicates the natural swimming action of the real hellgrammite. This fly can be successfully fished either upstream, downstream or across stream.
The students in my “On The Stream” Smallmouth Bass Schools catch most of their large bass on the Murray’s Heavy Lead-Eye Hellgrammite.

Fly Fishing in June Podcast

Fly Fishing in June can be very rewarding whether you are going to the trout streams or to the bass rivers.

In the first portion of this fly fishing podcast, Harry Murray discusses how to spot the trout on their feeding stations in the stream and how to use this skill to catch the trout.  He gives an in depth discussion on the different signals he looks for.  1)movement of the trout,  2) color/contract of the trout to the stream bottom, 3) shape of the trout, 4) shadow of the trout.

This month provides a great sulphur hatch so we recommend the Murray’s Sulphur Dry size 16 and 18 and Shenk’s Sulphur size 16 and 18.

Bass Fly Fishing Podcast
The Shenandoah Blue Popper is my favorite smallmouth popper because it takes bass under a broad variety of stream conditions.

The second portion of this fly fishing podcast Harry discusses fishing hard head surface bugs on the bass rivers.  Mastering the action of surface bugs is very important so you want to select the proper hard head bug for the type water you will be fishing. Each popping bug creates a different action based on 1) size of the bug, 2) taper of the body, 3) cut of the face.

Hard Head Bugs discussed includes: Shenandoah Chugger,  Shenandoah Slider, and Shenandoah Blue Popper

Learn How to Fly Fish for Smallmouth Bass in our On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools.  These schools are offered on various days from June to August and are held on either the North Fork or the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.  Each school starts at 9a.m. with a slide show/classroom presentation and then you are off to the river to fish for the rest of the day.  We supply the rod and reel outfits for the day at no extra charge.  We keep the class size small so each student has ample instruction time.  Sign up Today!

 

 

On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools

Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Schools
Have fun learning how to fly fish for smallmouth bass in our on the stream schools.

This month we are starting our on the stream smallmouth bass schools on various dates throughout the summer.  For 55 years we have been teaching these schools and feel they are the most informative schools around.  Each day begins at 9a.m. with a classroom presentation at our fly shop in Edinburg, VA  then you will proceed to the Shenandoah River for the “on the stream” instruction.

We customize these fly fishing schools to meet your specific needs.  These schools provide you with the most comprehensive experience by preparing you to fish smallmouth bass rivers and large trout streams. You will learn or brush up on casting, fly fishing equipment selection, knot tying, reading the water, entomology and all aspects of fishing for smallmouth bass.

We keep our class sizes small so each student has plenty of time with the instructor.  1 instructor per 5 to 6 students.  Don’t have a fly rod?  No worries–we supply the fly rod and reel outfits for the day.  Are you a total beginner?  No problem,  that is what we are here for.  Have you been fly fishing before but just need a little extra help?   We can help no matter your level of experience.

So, come by yourself, bring a friend, relative or that special someone and enjoy a day learning to fly fish.

2017 Dates

June 2, 8, 10, 12, 17, 26, 30
June 23 (Advanced Class)
July 8, 22, 28
August 5, 18, 26

$196 per student for the day

So check your schedule and register today!
You can register online or phone 540-984-4212

My Three Favorite Trout Flies for Spring Feeders Blog

My Three Favorite Trout Flies for Spring Feeders are:

I like fishing these flies in the sections of the streams below the natural spring. I catch many large trout in these areas. Big Stoney Creek West of Edinburg has many of these rich springs. I start about one hundred feet downstream of the springs. I then fish my flies upstream dead drift all the way to the springs.
The Murray’s Trout Nymph Leader is very helpful in detecting the trouts’ strikes because the built in indicators are easy to see.
The springs are easy for us to see by the rich bright green weed growth around them, both in the stream and on the bank.