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
We have taught many students 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.

Memorial Day – Never Forget

Thank you to all who served - Memorial Day Arlington

Freedom isn’t free.  Remembering all who gave the supreme sacrifice for our freedom. Thank you from all of us at Murray’s Fly Shop.

My Five Favorite Flies for Falling Water in the Mountain Trout Streams

My Five Favorite Flies for Falling Water in the Mountain Trout Streams

The mountain trout streams are dropping but the levels are still full so I use some dry flies and some nymphs. I still prefer coming into the heads of the streams from the trailheads I discussed in my books, Virginia Blue-Ribbon Streams and Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park.
My favorite dry flies are the Murray’s Brown Drake size 14, Mr. Rapidan Black Delta Wing Caddis size 14 and Mr. Rapidan Parachute size 14.
An effective technique which is ideal in this water level is to attach one of these dry flies to a Murray’s Classic 7.5 foot 5X Leader. Then attach a Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph size 14 or a Murray’s Dark Miracle Stonefly Nymph size 14 to a twenty four inch 5X dropper below the dry fly.

Fly Fishing Questions & Answers Podcast

Fly Fishing Questions & Answers Podcast by Harry Murray
May 2017

Fly Fishing Podcast Carp Fishing
Large carp are present in many smallmouth rivers and provide a great challenge when going one on one with them.

In the first section of this Fly Fishing Questions and Answers Podcast Harry Murray discusses carp fishing with a fly rod.  How to detect where the carp are in the river, the flies to use, and the best techniques to catch them.  Murray’s Olive Marauder size 6, 8    Bitch Creek Nymph size 6, 8

Fly Fishing Podcast--Swing Nymphing Technique
The “Swing Nymphing Technique” we teach in our bass schools is easy to master and very effective.

 

In the second portion, Harry discusses the swing nymphing tactic that he uses for bass fishing.  This method was taught to him by Charlies Brooks many years ago and is still effective today.. which is why we teach it in our Smallmouth Bass Schools.  You can also learn more about this technique in Harry’s book  Fly Fishing Techniques for Smallmouth Bass.

In the third portion, Harry discusses a tip he uses while floating in a boat but not getting any strikes in normal fishing conditions.  He uses a Half Roll Cast Pickup which causes his streamer to swim back and forth across the stream rapidly.   Shenk’s White Streamer    Murray’s Heavy Hellgrammite

In the fourth portion, Harry discusses tips for fishing in the wind and fishing with flies that match the natural foods that the bass see in the rivers.  Natural food-hog sucker=Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker size 4; Natural food-bluegill=Murray’s Magnum Bluegill size 4

Learn to Fly Fish with our Smallmouth Bass Schools or Half Day Fly Fishing Lessons

My Five Favorite Flies for High Water on Mountain Trout Streams

My Five Favorite Flies for High Water on Mountain Trout Streams

To find good trout fishing in the mountain streams  after a week of rain, I go into the heads of the streams from the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. I hike down a mile, then fish my way back up the mountain. Nymphs are very effective now. I use the Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph size 12, Murray’s Professor Nymph size 14, Murray’s Dark Miracle Stonefly Nymph size 12, Murray’s Magic Tan Caddis Pupa size 12 and Mr. Rapidan Brown Soft Hackle Nymph size 12. I fish these all flies on Murray’s Trout Nymph 9 foot Leader. I rely strongly on these built in indicators to detect my strikes.

Music in the Mountains

Music in the Mountains Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

The next time you hike into a mountain trout stream from a ridge high up on the mountain, pause before descending far down the trail.  Listen to see if you can hear the stream far below. Possibly you will discern a subtle low rumble that may remind you of the low notes of a tuba.  Descend further and you may detect more of the flowing of the stream resembling a French Horn picking up the tune. Another thousand feet down the trail, as you approach the stream, the gurgling melody of the stream resembles a clarinet picking up the lead.
This music of the trout stream accompanied by the beautiful melodies of the songbirds is a wonderful reward nature provides in the mountains.

Check out our Mountain Trout On-The-Stream Fly Fishing Schools.

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

Fly Fishing Report for May 2017

Fly Fishing Report for Virginia by Harry Murray

This months fly fishing report podcast includes some tips and techniques for the trout and bass fishing that we have this month.

Fly Fishing Report for Virginia, Trout Fishing
Camping overnight is a great way to take advantage of the great dry fly fishing on the spinner fall in the remote streams.

Trout

In this fly fishing report, Harry Murray, discusses the 4 major aquatic hatches that we get in May, the artificial flies we use to match these hatches, and the effective tactics for fishing them.

Gray Fox Hatch–use Mr. Rapidan Dry size 16, Murray’s Professor Dry size 16
Light Cahill Mayfly Hatch–use Murray’s Yellow Drake size 16, Light Cahill Dry size 14
Sulphur Hatch–use Murray’s Sulphur Dry size 16, Shenk’s Sulphur size 16
Little Yellow Stonefly Hatch–use Standard Little Yellow Stonefly Dry size 16, Murray’s Little Yellow Stonefly Dry size 16

Fly Fishing Report for Bass
Many large bass feed heavily on natural hellgrammites below the river-crossing ledges and take the Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite quickly.

Bass

For the bass fishing this  month, Harry will be discussing how to identify the protected feeding stations below the ledges (Shenandoah River, James, Clinch River) and how to fish them.

Recommended Bass Fly: Murray’s Heavy Hellgrammite

Murray’s Fly Shop is celebrating 55 years.  Be sure to check out our specials and be entered into a drawing to win a prize.  Our grand prize: 2018 Fly Fishing Guide Trip ($425 value)

 

 

Switch Rods For Smallmouth Bass

Jeff and I have been using our Scott Switch Rods for bass fishing in the the rivers for many years. Here are a few of the great angling features  the switch rods help us with.  If I am wading a river where there is a solid line of trees behind me that would prevent a regular back cast with my regular, single hand, smallmouth bass rod, the switch rod easily lets me roll out long casts.
When I am fishing nymphs and streamers across fast currents the extra length of my switch rod easily helps me reach high in order to negate the fast currents before me that would rob me of depth. Also in similar situations I can use long controlled mends in order to swim my flies deeply.
Making long casts is easy with a switch rod so I can fish poppers along the far shaded banks when the river before me is too deep to wade.

Access Sites

Access Sites Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop– Edinburg, Virginia

I am presently working with land owners in order to develop more access sites for anglers on our streams. Most of them are very understanding and are willing to help. Trash left on their land is the land owners main concern. One even told me that someone had dumped an old mattress on his land. This was the exact spot I was asking him for permission for us to park and fish.
In order to have a good relationship with these land owners, I suggest we each carry a few plastic garbage bags in our cars. Then we can clean up the access sites where we park to fish before we start fishing.
It is also good policy to clean up access sites on the National Forest and National Park Lands.

Five Tips for Tying Durable Flies

Five Tips for Tying Durable Flies Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

Here is Five Tips for Tying Durable Flies:

(1) I keep my diluted fly tying cement in a hypo-syringe so I can apply a tiny drop of cement at each tie-in and tie-off step.

(2) I use the strongest tying thread possible for each type fly. I also use Kevlar Tying Thread when tying saltwater flies and deer hair bass bugs.

(3) I rely on very tight wraps of thread to hold all materials snugly to the hook rather than a great number of wraps.

(4) I remove all extraneous fuzz and wild hair fibers from each pinch of deer hair, elk hair, calf tail and buck tail before tying it onto the hook.

(5) When I complete trimming a surface deer hair bass bug I paint the stomach hook shank with spar varnish. I cut this 50-50 with paint thinner.

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

Splashy Presentations

Splashy Presentations Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

In order to solve the problem of splashy presentations when you are fishing dry flies for trout ,just aim higher. Act like you are casting your fly to land on a coffee table a foot over the stream. This is very easy to achieve and it allows the dry fly to settle gently onto the stream.

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

Casts

Many beginning anglers make much longer casts on mountain trout streams than is required. This robs them of accuracy and delicacy. Most of all it robs them of their chance of getting a drag-free fly drift.
I recently showed a group of beginning anglers how to preform my “Flip Cast”. In a few minutes they were all making perfect presentation casts.
Holding the fly in my line-hand I have ten feet of slack line hanging between the rod tip and the fly.  I bend over and move in low and slowly to the spot I plan to make my presentation cast. The fly rod is help perpendicular while still holding the fly tightly in my line hand and retaining the ten feet of slack. I snap the fly rod forward and release the fly as the fly line rolls forward and presents the fly accurately to the target. You will be well pleased with the accuracy and delicacy you can achieve with my Flip Cast. Do not confuse this with a bow and arrow cast which lacks this accuracy.

Fly Fishing in April

Fly Fishing in April Podcast by Harry Murray

Fly Fishing in April is one of my favorite times to get out and explore the trout fishing in the Shenandoah National Park.  These small brook trout streams are beautiful and there are many aquatic insects that hatch on these streams now.  By using flies that match the hatches you can have a wonderful day of fishing. Listen to my podcast to see what’s hatching or check out the hatch charts in my book Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park.
Recommended Trout Flies: Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry #14, Blue Quill Dry #16, Mr. Rapidan Soft Hackle Brown #14, Mr. Rapidan Olive Delta Wing Caddis #14, Murrays Olive Caddis Pupa #14

Fly Fishing for Bass in April
By fishing the “bank bay” feeding stations with a Murray’s Crayfish at this time of the year you can catch many large bass.

Fly Fishing for Bass in April

In the second part of this months fly fishing podcast I discuss some special tactics and flies that will help you catch many large bass from some special feeding areas that we now have.  By using heavy weighted flies you can reach these areas and possibly catch your biggest bass of the season.
Recommended Bass  Flies  Murray’s Crayfish #6, Murray’s Tungsten Cone Head Marauder Olive #4, Murray’s Tungsten Cone Head Marauder Black #4

Fly Casting Workshop–NEW DATES

Since our fly casting workshops have been so popular I have formed two new dates.   May 6 & May 20.  These are two hour workshops that will help you get the basics of fly casting.  More information…click here.

Murray’s Fly Shop
121 S. Main St.
P.O. Box 156
Edinburg VA 22824
www.murraysflyshop.com
info@murraysflyshop.com

My Three Favorite Trout Leaders

My Three Favorite Trout Leaders- Murray’s Fly Shop

Here are my three favorite  trout leaders:

(1) Murray’s Classic Knotted Compound Tapered Hand Tied 7.5 foot long Leader. This leader is perfect for small trout streams.

(2) Murray’s Compound Tapered Knotted Hand Tied Nymph 9 foot Leader with a built in Scientific Anglers Indicator. This leader is ideal for nymph fishing.

(3) Murray’s Classic Hand Tied Compound Tapered 9 foot Leader. This is leader is excellent for all dry fly fishing and also streamer fly fishing on large streams.

The tippet size of these leaders is determined by the fly size using this formula:
Fly Size ÷ 3 = Tippet in X

An example is: size 12 fly ÷ 3 = 4X tippet

We also have the Murray’s Classic Leader 9 foot Leader in a 3 pack. These are regular price $15.75 but they are on sale for $10.99.

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

Musky Fly Fishing

Many of the rivers in Virginia hold very large musky that offer exciting musky 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 and floating. Just stop in and I’ll be glad to show you these areas.
A great deal of the success one can experience in musky fishing relies on selecting the proper rods, reels, lines, leaders and flies before heading to the rivers.
I like a powerful 10-weight 9ft rod, a reel with a strong drag and enough capacity to hold 100 yards of 20lb backing.  I like a 45 inch leader with a 30 inch 50lb test butt section which has a 15 inch 55lb test wire tippet with a quick change fly snap on the end. There are two fly lines I like for musky fishing.  The Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink 30 Clear 350 grain line has a 30 foot head that sinks at 1.25 ips with an intermediate sinking running line. This line is ideal for fishing where there are medium currents in water up to 4 feet deep. However, where there are fast currents or the water is over 4 feet deep I like the Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink 30 Warm 350 grain line which has a 30 foot head which sinks at 4 to 8 ips with an intermediate sinking running line.  This line sinks quickly enabling us to swim our flies deeply.
We carry many excellent musky flies, some of which are 8 inches long. However, our fisheries biologist tell us that suckers are a very important bait-fish in the diet of the musky. The Wee Broonie Musky Fly at 5 inches long is an excellent match for the yellow sucker and the Joe’s Flathead Shad Musky Fly at 8 inches long is a good match for the hog suckers.
Here are a few angling tactics which I believe are important when fishing for musky. When you get a strike set the hook solidly by using a powerful line-hand strike simultaneously with strong rod-lifting motion. For good insurance, hit him a second time in the same way.—Once you have him hooked recover all of the slack line below the stripping guide and crank all of this onto the reel quickly. Otherwise he may make a powerful run and break you off as the line becomes wrapped around something in the boat or the rod butt extension.—When landing your musky use strong, long forceps such as Dr. Slick Bullet Head Pliers to remove the fly from his jaw. I well remember shredding by fingers and thumb on my first trip to Canada when I tried this bare-handed.

Check out our Musky Fly Selection!

Visit our fly shop at:

121 S. Main St, Edinburg VA 22824
Email info@murraysflyshop.com
www.murraysflyshop.com
Ph 540-984-4212

Five Basic Angling Tools

There are five basic anglers tools I always carry in my fly fishing pack and fly fishing vest. These five items include: a clipper on a retracting reel, Murray’s Hook Sharpening File, Pocket Thermometer, Murray’s Dry Fly Floatant and Anglers Forceps.
Inside my fly fishing pack and fly fishing vest I carry an assortment of gadgets I may not use once a year but I do not want to b without them. These include a small waterproof flashlight, a police whistle, a small Swiss Army knife, a butane lighter, ferrule cement, extra rod tip top and two snake guides. It also includes band aids, extra leader clipper and an extra leader.
Murray’s Fly Shop
Harry Murray
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Email Address: info@murraysflyshop.com
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com

Fly Fishing Questions Podcast

Fly Fishing Questions & Answers Podcast–March 2017

In this fly fishing podcast, Harry Murray discusses the questions you have either emailed or phoned about within the last month.    He goes into details on how to spot the trout in the stream.  He discusses the importance of the hatch charts in predicting which aquatic insects will hatch at what times. He reveals his personal uses of the loop to loop line leader connection verses a needle knot connection.

Fly Fishing Questions Podcast
When fishing a sinking tip fly line for bass a roll cast pick up easily enables you to shoot your fly to the next target.

Next fly fishing workshop at Murray’s Fly Shop
Smallmouth Bass Fishing on the Shenandoah River–March 18
Fly Casting & Rigging–March 25 & April 8

 

 

Fishing Nymphs and Streamers Deeply

Fishing Nymphs and Streamers Deeply- Murray’s Fly Shop

We have many excellent sinking head and sinking tip fly lines that are a great help in fishing our nymphs and streamers deeply along the streambottom. However, I find that in order to take full advantage of these fly lines it helps to use a Murray’s Fluorocarbon 6 foot Sinking Line Leaders. Longer leaders negate the forward sinking portions of these fly lines. They also prevent the flies from swimming as deeply as desired.

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

Five Best Early Season Mountain Trout Flies

Five Best Early Season Mountain Trout Flies
Mr. Rapidan Parachute, Murray’s Sulphur Dry, Murray’s Little Yellow Stonefly Dry, Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph and Spirit of Pittsford Mills.

Here are last years five best early season mountain trout flies from March until June. I plan to strongly rely on these five flies this year also.

Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry size 14 and size 16
Spirit of Pittsford Mills Dry size 14 and size 16
Murray’s Sulphur Dry size 16
Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph size 14
Murray’s Little Yellow Stonefly Dry size 16

During March and April I fish these flies on a Murray’s Classic 9 foot 5X Leader. During May and June I use Murray’s Classic 9 foot 6X Leader. These flies listed above match our early season aquatic hatches so I use them to fish one-on-one to the rising trout. If the hatches are spare I use the same flies to cover the water by carefully fishing the feeding stations.

Five Best Early Season Smallmouth Bass Flies

Five Best Early Season Smallmouth Bass Flies
Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite, Murray’s Black Madtom Sculpin Streamer, Murray’s Olive Marauder, Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker Streamer and Shenk’s White Streamer.

In reviewing my stream notes from last year, here are the five best early season smallmouth bass flies which were the most productive from March through June. Based on this success I plan to rely strongly on these for my early season smallmouth bass fishing this year.

Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite size 4
Shenk’s White Streamer size 4
Murray’s Olive Marauder size 6
Magnum Hog Sucker Streamer size 4
Murray’s Black Madtom Sculpin Streamer size 4

As long as the smallmouth bass rivers continue to run at a full level, I fish these these on a Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink 30 Warm Tip Fly Line in 200 grains with a Murray’s Fluorocarbon 6 foot 2X Sinking Line Leader. Once the stream level drops I fish these flies on a SA Sharkwave Siege  Weight Forward 7 Floating Fly Line with a Murray’s Bright Butt 9 foot 2X Leader.

Check out our Smallmouth Bass On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools, Bass Fishing On The Shenandoah River Workshop. Also check out Learn To Cast and Rig Tackle Workshop and Half Day On The Stream Fly Fishing Lessons.

Also do not forget about our Mountain Trout On The Stream Fly Fishing Lessons and Guide Trips!

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

Virginia Fly Fishing Podcast–March 2017

Fly Fishing Podcast Trout Fishing
The Epeorus pleuralis mayfly nymphs are very active in the mountain trout streams in March and fishing a Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph size 14 on a Murray’s 9ft 5X Trout Nymph Leader with its special indicator system is very effective.

Virginia Fly Fishing Podcast by Harry Murray for March Trout and Smallmouth Bass Fishing

In this fly fishing podcast, Harry Murray discusses the Epeorus pleuralis mayfly hatch which occurs in March on the trout streams around the mid-Atlantic.  He will also discuss the best feeding stations in the pools, the most effective flies and the best tactics and leaders to use.
Flies: Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry size 14, Blue Quill Dry size 16, and Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph size 14

Fly Fishing Podcast for Smallmouth Bass
March is a great time to catch large bass that feed heavily on minnows in the back eddies.

Are you eager to get out on the river and fish for smallmouth bass?  The second portion of this fly fishing podcast, Harry discusses the specific locations in the rivers where you can catch bass at this time of the year.  He also discusses the most effective fly lines, leaders, and the most productive tactics to help you start off your bass fishing season.
Smallmouth Bass Flies: Murray’s Magnum Creek Chub size 4, Murray’s Magnum Darter size 4, Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker size 4

Interested in learning about the smallmouth bass fishing?  Be sure to attend Harry Murray’s Fly Fishing Workshop on the Shenandoah River.  March 18 from 10a.m. to noon at Murray’s Fly Shop in Edinburg.

Heavy Angling Pressure

Heavy Angling Pressure Blog- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
The sections of the smallmouth bass rivers upstream of the take-out spots are the best because they receive light angling pressure. By the time the fishermen have floated this far, they are either running late or they are tired.

Heavy Angling Pressure Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

Frequently I find outstanding smallmouth bass fly fishing on rivers that receive heavy angling pressure. Mostly from floating fishermen in boats, canoes and kayaks. My trick is to wade into the river at the popular take-out spots.  Then turn and wade upstream for my fly fishing.
I have found that the stretched of the smallmouth bass river upstream from the popular take-out spots actually receive light angling pressure. It looks to me like that by the time most float-trips anglers reach the take-out spot they are wither worn-out, running late or are drunk! At any rate the serious angling pressure is light.

Check out our Smallmouth Bass On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools and Half Day On The Stream Fly Fishing Lessons. Also check out our Basic Fly Tying Workshop and Smallmouth Fishing on the Shenandoah River Workshop. Also check out our Learn to Fly Cast and Rig Tackle Workshop.

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

Rewarding Outdoor-Experiences

Rewarding Outdoor-Experiences Blog Murray's Fly Shop
Camping in the remote sections of the mountain trout streams provides wonderful fishing and experiences you will never forget.

Rewarding Outdoor-Experiences Blog Murray’s Fly Shop

One of the most rewarding outdoor-experiences is to hike into the remote sections of the mountain trout streams in order to camp and fish for several days. I like to set up my tent where two of the main feeder streams enter the streams.  This enables me to fish the main stream one day and each of the feeders the next two days. By choosing the location carefully and heading into the mountains in the middle of the week, you will often heave the whole stream to yourself and find outstanding trout fishing.

Check out our Mountain Trout On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools.

Fly Fishing Questions & Answers Podcast

Fly Fishing Questions & Answers Podcast
February 2017

Scott Radian Rod Fishing
Jeff Murray’s favorite fly rod for the large streams in the Rockies is the Scott Radian 9ft 6wt because he can fish streamers up to size 6 and go down to drys as small as size 22 with it.

Today’s Fly Fishing Questions & Answers Podcast includes some of the fly fishing questions Harry Murray has been asked throughout the last month through emails and phone calls.  How to read the water in order to catch more bass and trout?  What is covered in Harry Murray’s Fly Fishing DVD’s for trout and bass? Which fly rod should I use for the type of fly fishing I plan to do?

Streamer Fly Fishing

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

Streamer Fly Fishing Blog- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
Streamer fishing is very effective when you handle the swing of the fly properly for prompt strike detection and solid hook ups on the strike.

Streamers normally imitate minnows and bait fish. A very effective tactic is to cast these across stream and swim them back across stream so the fly is broadside to the current. As the current plays on the fly and fly line it is pulled downstream as it swings across stream. It is very important to keep the rod tip pointed where the fly line enters the stream. Then you can feel the strike the instant the fish take it. In this way you can set the hook quickly with a combination line-hand strike. You can also use a rod lifting motion before the fish detects it as a phony and ejects it. I find that by rotating my body downstream at the same rate the streamer is swinging, I can easily apply this technique.

Shad Fishing

Fly fishing for shad is a great amount of fun.  In fact, it can be fast and furious because they hit hard and put up a strong fight.  Although they are not known to be selective in the flies they will take, experience has shown us that they frequently do show a preference. Based on our angling we have selected a dozen flies that we find very effective.

Shad Flies

Murray’s Marauder Pearl, Black, Chartreuse, Brown all in size 6
Murray’s Dying Minnow all colors in size 6
Shenk’s White Streamer size 6
James Wood Bucktail size 2
Cone Head Woolly Bugger Black or Olive size 6
Bass Hot Shad

An across stream presentation with a 6-inch stripping action is excellent.  Normally a floating line with a 9ft 2X Murray’s Bright Butt Leader is effective.  However, if the river is a little high a Scientific Angler Sonar Sink 30 Clear Line in 200 grain with its fast sinking head with a Murray’s Sinking Fluorocarbon 6ft 2X Leader will catch more shad.

This run is usually outstanding from late March through April but this may vary depending on the season.

Fishing Information

Fishing Information Blog- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
An accurate stream log is extremely helpful when planning future trips.

Each evening when I return from a local fishing trip, I record the important fishing information on a large calendar in my kitchen. This helps me plan my later trips this season and during future years. Information which I find helpful includes: the stream fished and which section, stream level, stream temperature, the insect hatches and hot heavy, my most productive flies and the best sizes.
When I return from distant trips out of state that I fish for two to three weeks, I record the information in my stream log that will help me plan future trips. Some of this includes the best streams fished and what sections and weather. Other important information is stream levels, hatches, most productive flies and general information on food and lodging.

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

Selecting A Fly Line Podcast by Harry Murray

Selecting the Proper Fly Line

Podcast on Selecting a Fly Line
Harry Murray relies on the Scientific Anglers VPT Floating Line for his trout fishing with rods from 2 to 5 weight for the accuracy and delicacy they give.

I receive many phone calls and emails asking about selecting a fly line for the different types of fly fishing.  So in today’s Podcast, I will be discussing the different fly lines and leaders I use all across the country for trout, bass and in saltwater.  I will elaborate on why I use each line selected to meet the various angling conditions such as the depth of the water I am fishing and the speed of the current.

Bass Fly Line Selections
In this type smallmouth water Harry carries a weight forward floating line, a sink tip III line and a fast sinking head line. As he moves from one type water to the next these lines enable him to effectively fish his flies at the depths he desires.

Mastery VPT Fly Lines
Mastery Expert Distance Fly Lines
Sonar Sink Tip III Fly Lines
Sonar Sink 30 Clear Fly Lines
Sonar Sink 30 Warm Fly Lines
Sharkwave Siege Floating Fly Lines
Mastery Bonefish Floating Fly Lines

Visit our fly shop at
121 S. Main St
Edinburg VA 22824
Ph 540-984-4212
www.murraysflyshop.com

Stream Thermometer

Stream Thermometer- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
I rely greatly on my Stream Thermometer in order to find good fishing.

Stream Thermometer- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

I use my stream thermometer every day when I am on a trout stream and a smallmouth bass river.  This information gives me a more complete picture of why the fishing is as I find it that day. This helps me greatly on future fishing trips.
For example, if I get a reading of 36 degrees Fahrenheit on a mountain trout stream in the spring I know I will do best by fishing nymphs rather than drys . This is because the trout do not feed well at this low temperature.  Then by August if I get a 68 degrees Fahrenheit reading on a mountain brook trout stream I know I am going to have to fish very carefully because this is approaching the upper range of the brook trout comfort zone.

Check out for Mountain Trout Fly Fishing Schools, Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Schools, Half Day On The Stream Fly Fishing Lessons, and our Saturday Fly Fishing Workshops.

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

Loop Versus a Needle Knot

Loop Versus a Needle Knot Blog- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
I like to use a needle knot coated with thin coats of Pliobond for attaching my leader to the fly line on my delicate trout outfits because this slides through the guides very smoothly.

This week’s blog we will be discussing a Loop Versus a Needle Knot.

Most fly lines now come with a loop built into the forward part of the line. This is very convenient for connecting your leader with a loop to loop connection.  Therefore I use this on my seven weight smallmouth bass outfit. However, on my trout outfits for lines two to three in the East and lines four to six in the Rockies, I attach my leaders to the fly line with a needle knot. I coat these with three very thin coats of Pliobond. I prefer the needle knot on my lighter outfits. It slides through the guides easier than a loop to loop line connection.

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

Fool the Trico Feeder

Fool the Trico Feeder- Trout Fly Fishing- Murray's Fly Shop- Virginia
The Trico hatch brings up many large trout. I like to get to the stream early and stay late to catch the early and late feeders.

Today’s blog I will be discussing how to fool the Trico feeder.

I really enjoy fishing the Trico mayfly hatch all across the country. This hatch can be very heavy on some streams.

For example, one morning as I was fishing upstream, I came to a low-hanging limb of an oak tree. This limb had a fresh spider web that trapped many tricos. Holding my hand up beside the spider web and counting by tens I estimated that under the span of my hand there were two hundred trapped tricos.

At the peak of this hatch the trout are often very selective in requiring a drag-free drift and the pattern they will take. I have found an easy way to fool some of these tough trout. The best way is get to the stream an hour before the hatch starts. I also stay an hour after it is over.

The trout are much easier to catch when the Tricos are sparse at the beginning and end of the hatch.

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

Splash

Splash- Trout Fly Fishing- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
The natural cricket often falls onto the stream with a splash so presenting Shenk’s Cricket with a splash often brings solid strikes.

Today’s blog I will talk about how to present a fly so it lands on the stream with a slight splash.

From the middle of the summer until fall many trout feed heavily on terrestrial insects.  I experiment with various methods of fishing these from natural drifts to a twitching action to dapping. However, there is one type of presentation which often brings solid strikes from large trout when all other methods fail. This is presenting the fly so it lands on the stream with a slight splash. I assume the trout are attracted to an artificial fly which lands on the stream in this way because the trout are accustomed to feeding on natural beetles, wasp, hornets, grasshoppers and crickets which land on the stream with a splash.

This type delivery is easy to achieve by imparting a firm snap at the last moment when using a regular cast or a roll cast.

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

Five Best Winter Trout Flies for Large Streams

Five Best Winter Trout Flies for Large Streams
Many large trout feed heavily during the winter in the large streams.
Five Best Winter Trout Flies for Large Streams
Murray’s Black Marauder, Murray’s Pearl Marauder, Mr. Rapidan Dry, Murray’s Dark Miracle Stonefly Nymph and Mr. Rapidan Brown Soft Hackle Nymph.

Last year from January until March these were our five best winter trout flies for large streams.

Fishing these nymphs and streamers deeply in the pockets below the riffles and in the deep pools produce many large trout. I do well with the Mr. Rapidan Dry Fly by fishing it along the edges of the riffles where the trout enter the pools.

I fish the nymphs and streamers on a Murray’s Trout Nymph 9 foot 4X  Leader with the built in Scientific Anglers Indicators. I fish the dry fly on a Murray’s Classic 9 foot 4X Leader.

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

Fly Fishing in January Podcast

Midge Fly Fishing in January 2017

Jeff on the Firehole Fly Fishing
There is outstanding midge fishing on the Firehole.

Midge Fly Fishing–Many trout feed heavily on chironomid midges in our large trout streams throughout the winter. This month Harry Murray discusses the tactics and flies that are effective in fly fishing for trout with Chironomid midge flies both on the surface and underwater.  These tactics and midge fly patterns will work well for you whether you are fishing on the Firehole in the Yellowstone National Park or on Big Stoney Creek in Edinburg, Virginia.

Fishing a Midge Hatch
Jeff Murray enjoys fishing the midge hatches all across the country because of the great challenge these trout provide.

My favorite adult midge patterns include the Mr. Rapidan Midge size 18, 20; Murray’s Dark Stonefly Dry size 18; Murray’s Bronze Stonefly Dry size 18.   For trout feeding on natural emerging midges I like to use a Copper Brassie size 18 or 20 or a Copper John Zebra Nymph size 18.

In the last part of my January Podcast I will cover how to clean your gear including your rods, reels, flies, fly lines, vests/raincoats, and waders.  I have made several videos on caring for you gear–check them out.    Rods Video     Fly Lines 

How to Clean a Reel
A clean reel will run smoothly and last longer.

Fly Fishing Workshops
January 14, 2017  Fly Tying Class from 10 a.m. to noon
January 21, 2017  Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park Workshop from 10a.m. to noon
January 28, 2017 Mastering Trout Fishing Workshop from 10a.m. to noon

All winter workshops are held at my fly shop at

Murray’s Fly Shop
P.O. Box 156 (121 S. Main St.)
Edinburg VA 22824
PH 540-984-4212
www.murraysflyshop.com

Caddisflies

Caddisflies Trout Fly Fishing- Murray's Fly Shop Edinburg, Virginia
One can often catch many trout with a Murray’s Magic Caddis Pupa as a dropper below a Mr. Rapidan Delta Wing Caddis when a caddis hatch is on.

There is a good hatch of caddisflies and you see several trout feeding in each pool. However, even though you try several dry caddisflies in different colors and sizes, you can’t seem to catch many trout.

What is the problem?

Many natural caddis pupa drift several feet just below the surface of the stream before breaking through to fly away as adults. Frequently it is difficult to discern if the trout are taking the emerging pupa or the adult. A good tactic to solve this problem is to fish a Mr. Rapidan Delta Wing Caddis on a Murray’s Classic 7.5 foot 5X Leader with a Murray’s Magic Caddis Pupa on a twenty four 6X mono dropper coming off the bend of the dry fly hook with an improved clinch knot. This way you will catch the pupa feeders and dry fly feeders.

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

Fly Fishing Tackle Questions

Fly Fishing Taackle Questions
Here on Bis Spring Creek my 6X Classic Leader was perfect for fishing my Mr. Rapidan Ant size 18.

There are two  fly fishing tackle questions that anglers have been asking Murray’s Fly Shop so Mr. Harry Murray has answered those questions below.

  1. Why can’t you present a size 6 Popper smoothly on a 6X Leader?
  2. Why can’t you catch a rising trout on a size 18 dry fly fished on an 0X Leader?

The answer is simple: The leader tippet has to be chosen correctly to match the fly size. The formula below helps.

Fly Size ÷ 3 = Tippet in X

An example is size 18 Fly ÷ 3 = 6X Tippet

So remember this formula next time you are fishing!

Also check out Fly Fishing Questions and Answers Blog.

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

Slack Line Casts

Ever since Vince Marinaro showed me his puddle cast here on the Letort, I have relied on it daily to achieve drag-free fly drifts.

I have come to rely strongly on Marinaro’s  “Puddle Cast” in order to achieve drag free dry fly drifts to fool the trout.
Even though I have been using this cast successfully for many years, ever since Vince showed me how to present it, just this year I have found many special situations in which it has helped me catch many trout that I would not have caught otherwise.
Basically the forward presentation is stopped about thirty degrees above the stream with extra line in the air than is needed to reach the target. The cast is stopped suddenly and the extra line is allowed to fall on the stream in a puddle.
I have been able to extrapolate the refinements of the puddle casts by altering the elevation and angle of the rod and the speed of the line on the presentation.

Fly Fishing Questions Podcast

Fly Fishing Questions and Answers Podcast
Skating dry flies for smallmouth bass that are jumping to feed on adult damselflies is one of the most exciting forms of smallmouth fishing. It is so easy to master that many beginning anglers in our smallmouth bass schools catch many bass this way with the Mr. Rapidan Skater Dry Fly (pictured).

My fly fishing questions and answers podcast for December will cover several topics that I have been asked over the last several months.   I will cover the benefits of designing and tying your own flies, especially since the weather will be so cold in the next few days and the streams will be to cold for good fishing.

Also covered in this fly fishing podcast is a technique I use  for small streamers with the bounce retrieve.  I will be covering my three favorite types of popper (hard head bugs) and the best types of fishing each style covers.  Lastly, I will be discussing the smallmouth skaters.

Primary Feeding Stations for Trout

Primary Feeding Stations Jeff Murray Murray's Fly Shop Virginia
Learning to identify the primary feeding stations in the streams is one of the most valuable things you can master.

Learning to find the primary feeding stations for trout is the most valuable thing an angler can learn.
The largest trout in the pool selects what I call the Primary Feeding Station. This location enables the trout to capture the maximum amount of food while expending the least amount of energy.
Experience on the stream will teach you to identify these with great accuracy. I saw my fishing partner prove this. He allowed himself only one cast into each pool on ten consecutive pools… He caught ten trout.

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

Fly Fishing Podcast for December 2016

Charlie Brooks with Harry Murray
Charlie Brooks taught Harry Murray a great deal about trout fishing on the big western rivers.

In m December Fly Fishing Podcast I am going to discuss the trout fishing and the bass fishing that we can expect to see over the next month and the best tactics to use.

December can provide some excellent fly fishing for large browns and rainbows in large trout streams all across the country.  In order to take advantage of this great action my friend Charlie encouraged using a two or three nymph rig fished along the stream bottom in the areas where the stream bottom was covered with many basketball size stones.  I still use this method today along with my Swing Nymphing Method when fishing in smaller trout streams.  The most effective flies that I discuss in the fly fishing podcast for trout include: Murray’s Roadkill Nymph, Black size 6 & 8, Casual Dress Nymph size 6 & 8, Murray’s Strymph, Olive size 4 & 8, Bitch Creek Nymph size 6 & 8, Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph size 14, Murray’s Dark Stonefly Nymph size 12, Murray’s Caddis Larva size 14, and Murray’s Yellow Stonefly Nymph size 14

Since the bass fishing has slowed down I want to discuss an effective approach for developing and tying your own bass flies that will help you catch more bass in your own waters. A logical starting point is to consider the areas you fish and look at the specific flies you fish in each situation and are these flies productive or not.  I will be discussing my Murray’s Hellgrammite, Strymph, Magnum Streamer Series, and Floating Minnows.

Workshop on Fly Tying
If you are interested in tying your own flies, then consider taking one of my fly fishing workshops.

My next fly tying class will be on Saturday, January 14 from 10a.m. to noon at Murray’s Fly Shop.
For more information visit our website or stop by my fly shop at
121 S. Main St, Edinburg VA 22824    Ph 540-984-4212