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.
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 email@example.com
In this fly fishing podcast, Harry Murray discusses a broad variety of questions ranging from fishing small mountain trout streams to large western trout streams to river fishing for smallmouth bass. Some of the topics covered include:
- The value of satellite beacons.
- Tying Streamers that sink properly
- Good rod length for small mountain trout streams
- Choosing the best leader
- Catching a trout that refuses your first draft
- Hiking into remote sections of the streams
- Reading the water
- Delicate fly presentations
Also be sure to check out our Fall Fly Fishing Guide before heading out on your next fishing trip.
This months fly fishing question and answers podcast includes Harry Murray discussing the swing nymphing technique used with Scientific Angler Indicators, hook sharpening files, barbless vs. barbed hooks, landing nets, and what insect repellent can do to your favorite fly rod.
Looking for that perfect gift for your family member, friend, or best fishing buddy….get a Murray’s Fly Shop Gift Certificate!
It’s prime time for catching Smallmouth Bass on Poppers! Learn the three most productive tactics for catching Bass on Popping Bugs in our Half Day On-the-Stream Class – July 1, 2016 from 4-6pm.
Today, and every day, take a moment to remember all of those who made the sacrifice to make our country great. We wish everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day.
Have questions? Give us a call (540-984-4212) or drop us an email info@ murraysflyshop.com. We are here to help.
Contents of my “Rod Repair Kit“: Ferrule Cement, Emory Board or 320+ grit sandpaper, Lighter or Matches, Variety of sizes of Tip Top Guides and a Razor Blade.
Fly Tying Video – Tying the Shenk’s White Streamer
In this Fly Tying Video Jordan demonstrates how to tie the Shenk’s White Streamer.
Materials used to tie the Shenk’s White Streamer:
White Rabbit Fur (dubbed on with dubbing loop)
Mustad 9672 #6 (also great in sizes 2, 4, 8, 10)
Lead Wire or non-Toxic Wire (Medium or Large depending on weight needed)
Having trouble with your dubbing loop? The Dubbing Twister Set used in this video is the easiest way to master dubbing loops for any of your fly tying needs. It works great for natural and synthetic materials. You will find it works well with standard thread from 3/0 – 6/0 or kevlar.
Do you have questions or comments? Need help with tying this fly? Give us a call (540-984-4212) or drop us an email.
MFS Foam Leader Keeper
Make organizing dropper rigs easy!
Make organizing flies and pre-tied tippet easy!
Organize your dropper rigs, tandem nymph rigs or your pre-tied fly/tippet rigs with this lightweight foam leader keeper.
Dimensions: 2.5″ X 5.5″ with pre-cut grooves to securely hold your leader material.
This will easily fit into the pocket of a vest or a pouch to keep your flies organized and readily accessible. All while keeping your tippet and flies from creating one of those all too familiar bird nests that create those wonderful cuss-able moments!
Check out our video on how to make changing flies easier on the stream with the loop to loop system.
Fly Tying – Deluxe Dubbing Twister Set Review
Both beginner and advanced fly tiers in our classes often have difficulty with the “spinning” or “dubbing loop”. There are many tools available to fly tiers to assist with tying a functional and effective dubbing loop. This dubbing twister set is easy to use, functional and with about 15 minutes of practice, easy to master.
The Deluxe Dubbing Twister Set comes with three interchangeable heads to meet your fly tying needs and personal tying style. In addition, it has a built in hair packing tool in the lightweight handle (perfect for tightly packing deer or elk hair for bass bugs).
We use this in our personal fly tying anytime a dubbing loop is preferred. The Shenk’s White Streamer or the Murray’s Madtom Sculpin Streamer are two great examples where a dubbing loop works very well.
In this Virginia Fly Fishing Stream Report, Harry Murray discusses the trout fishing in March including the natural nymphs that are active early in the month and what flies to use to match the hatch. He also discusses the importance of the water temperature and how this prompts the nymphs to emerge into the adult flies.
In the second portion Harry discusses the specific locations in the rivers where you can expect to find bass in March along with the best tactics and flies that are effective.
Fly Fishing Tip – Loop to Loop Tippet/ Fly
An easy method of changing out tippet/ flies is by switching to a loop to loop system at your leader/tippet connection.
1. The tippet is part of the leader. Leaders are manufactured with the tippet attached. Often marked at 2x, 3x, 4x, etc – this is the size of the tippet (not the entire leader).
2. The tippet (end of leader which attaches to the fly): 24 inches long on a new leader. For knotless leader you will need to measure and place a mark at 24 inches to keep track of where the tippet ends and the mid-sections start (or you can use a micrometer for an exact measurement).
3. I place a Double Surgeon Loop in the end of my tippet and the end of the mid-sections of my leader (section of leader which attaches to tippet).
4. I like to go a step further and pre-attach several flies to individual pieces of tippet which I have already tied a loop into the end of while I am at home.
I find this especially helpful when it’s cold out or I plan to fish into the late evening. We also teach this technique in our schools to aid anyone who is having difficulty tying knots.
In this Virginia Fly Fishing Stream Report Podcast, Harry Murray discusses the tactics and flies which are effective in fishing the large stream with nymphs for trout. Flies discussed include: Murray’s Adams Nymph, Murray’s Professor Nymph, and Murray’s Dark Stonefly Nymph
Beat the shopping crowds, GO OUTSIDE!! Take a fourth grader to one of our wonderful National Parks and spend some quality time outside. Entry is FREE! Check out this link for details: https://www.everykidinapark.gov
Are you working on your casting and need a few pointers? Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) your short casting video and we will give you a Free Casting Analysis through 1/1/2016.
New 2015 Winston
Boron III X (BIIIX)
9′ 6 Weight 4 Piece Fly Rod ON SALE
ON SALE – New (2015 Model) Winston Boron III X – 9′ 5 Weight 4 Piece Only one left
In this Fly Fishing Report Podcast we discuss Early Fall Fishing Conditions you will encounter in Virginia and around the mid-Atlantic region. In this podcast Harry Murray discusses the fly fishing tactics to use in order to get your best fishing on the stocked trout streams and delayed harvest trout areas for the months of October and November. Effective flies: Pearl Marauder size 10, Black Marauder size 10, Shenandoah Silver Ghost size 10.
The second section of this podcast covers the smallmouth bass fly fishing on the Shenandoah River with the best tactics, the best sections of the river, and the best flies to catch the large bass as the rivers cool through the fall. Effective flies: Murray’s Crayfish size 6, Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker size 4 and Murray’s Magnum Darter size 4
Fly Fishing Stream Report Podcast for late Summer 2015
In this Fly Fishing Stream Report Podcast for late Summer 2015 Harry Murray discusses the best areas to find the trout in the stocked trout streams and the most productive flies and techniques including Ed Shenk’s Cress Bug. Also with the water levels dropping for the end of the summer he touches on the best flies (Murray’s Moth, Housefly, Oakworm, & Yellow Jacket) to use to catch those brook trout in the mountain trout streams in the Shenandoah National Park using the hands and knees approach.
The last section of this podcast covers the smallmouth bass fishing on the Shenandoah River. He discusses when, where and how to catch the bass feeding on the Hexagenia Mayflies along with a new technique and flies (Mr. Rapidan Skater, Shad Streamer) for catching bass with a riffle hitch.
See our video on the riffle hitch (click here).
Harry Murray discusses how to find the trout in the stocked trout streams and the best tactics and flies to use to catch them.
Flies that are working: Murray’s Dark Stonefly Nymph size 12, Murray’s Yellow Stonefly Nymph size 16, and Mr. Rapidan Soft Hackle Brown size 12
The second part includes the “change of pace” trout flies that are working well for us that match the natural foods in the mountain trout streams. Check out our “change of pace” trout fly assortment!
The last segment includes Harry’s new “Escaping Minnow” Streamer Technique as well as fishing hellgrammites and surface bugs on the Shenandoah River for smallmouth bass. Flies that are working include: Shenk’s White Streamer size 6, Murray’s Olive Marauder size 6, Heavy Black Hellgrammite size 4, Blue or Damsel/Black Popper size 6 and Shenandoah Chartreuse Popper size 6
In this fly fishing report podcast Harry Murray discusses in three parts the stocked trout fishing, mountain trout fishing, and smallmouth fishing along with what flies and techniques are working.
Part 1–Stocked Trout Streams and Delayed Harvest Streams–Harry explains how to fish nymphs effectively for the large trout which are stocked in our trout streams. Effective flies include: Murray’s Dark Stonefly Nymph size 12, Murray’s Yellow Stonefly nymph size 14, and Mr. Rapidan Soft Hackle Nymph, Brown size 10
Part 2–Mountain Trout Streams–Harry explains the wonderful fishing which can be found in the mountain trout streams with the tactics and important feeding stations. Effective flies include: Blue Quill Dry size 16, Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry size 14, Mr. Rapidan Emerger size 12, Murray’s Little Yellow Stonefly Dry size 16
Part 3–Smallmouth Bass–You can catch many large bass now by using the tactics and flies Harry discusses today to fish the protected feeding stations in our rivers. Effective flies include: Shenk’s White Streamer size 4, Murray’s Olive Marauder size 6, Murray’s Pearl Marauder size 6
Virginia Fly Fishing Stream Report
March 2015 – Murray’s Fly Shop
In the first part of this Virginia fly fishing stream report Harry Murray discusses the effective flies and tactics for fishing streamers below the riffles on our stocked trout streams. (Hot Fly–Murray’s Marauder in Black or Pearl size 10)
The second part of this fly fishing report covers the sections of the streams and locations along with the best flies and tactics to use when fishing the Mountain Trout Streams in the Shenandoah National Park and George Washington National Forest. (Hot Fly–Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry size 14, Mr. Rapidan Soft Hackle Olive size 12) For more information on the Shenandoah National Park Streams check out the book Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park.
The last segment of this podcast fly fishing stream report covers the locations in the local rivers where the bass feed under the present conditions along with the best flies and effective tactics. (Hot Fly–Magnum Creek Chub size 4 and Magnum HogSucker size 4)
Check out our flip book “Spring Brook Trout Fly Fishing in the mid-Atlantic“. Brook Trout Fly Fishing from March to May; We cover the anticipated fishing conditions, aquatic insect hatches, flies and gear to use and effective techniques for catching native Brook Trout in the mountain streams. Springtime on the mountain trout streams can be extremely rewarding as we watch the changing seasons while trying our best to out-think these native Brookies.
The mid-Atlantic area is comprised of several states; this flip book focuses particularly on the conditions found in the Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway and George Washington/ Jefferson National Forests of Virginia.
(The areas to the North of Virginia will find the dates in this handbook to be early. Those fishing areas to the South of Virginia will find the dates in this handbook to be late.)
Are you interested in learning to catch native Brook Trout? Check out our On-the-Stream Fly Fishing Schools or book one of our avid fly fishing guides for a day of Guided Fly Fishing in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Ready to go on your own? Give us a call (540-984-4212) or check the Mountain Trout Fly Fishing Report.
Murray’s Fly Shop Fly Fishing Podcasts with Harry Murray and staff are now available on Stitcher.
Thank you to all of the Veterans from all of us here at Murray’s Fly Shop. God Bless you and your families.
Fly Fishing Tip: Are you casting your fly rod/ fly line too much??
Fly Fishing Tip: Are you casting your fly rod/ fly line too much?
“Don’t cast too much, you’re going to spook the fish!” These words often heard from fly fishing guides around the world. The basis for this statement can be readily seen in the picture above. What you see is “Line Flash”. We see it in the picture as a reflection of light, much the way a fish sees it. When a fish sees this through his window to the outside world he doesn’t recognize it as line flash but he does recognize it as something “abnormal”. Those “abnormal” happenings are what spook fish be it a Heron, Eagle, Angler, Snake, Line Flash or your casts smacking the surface of the water repeatedly. These all spook fish, especially the older, often bigger fish.
Unfortunately, we make many casts while practicing our casting on a lawn, pond or slow section of water. We here at Murray’s Fly Shop are guilty of promoting this style of casting because when we teach casting in our classes, we make lots of repetitive casts.
This practicing often involves “false casts” or casts which don’t actually let the fly land on the water (or leader land on the grass) where the fish are. The more you take this practice to the fishing arena, the more opportunity you have to spook fish due to “Line Flash”.
So, the next time you are on the water do your best to:
1. Keep False Casting to a minimum.
2. Get rid of the feeling that you have to make the perfect cast to present your fly to the fish.
3. If you must False Cast, do it off to the side of where you think the fish is to prevent the line flash from occurring immediately over its head.
4. While practicing: Practice making one cast, let the cast land on the water (or grass), then make another cast.
5. Should you feel the need to make multiple false casts to lengthen your cast, try adding a single or double haul. If that doesn’t do it, you may need a different fly line (one with a different distribution of weight throughout the head).
Dry Fly Floatant: Which one is the most effective? A side by side comparison.
Dry Fly Floatant: Which one works the best on the stream?
Below are the results of our “semi-scientific” test. Decide for yourself after you look at our results.
The test consisted of six popular dry fly floatants found on the market today. All six of these dry fly float ants are are designed to be applied stream side.
No desiccant style floatants were used. No products designed to “pre-treat” flies were used.
* The brands we selected: Umpqua Bug Float, Gherke’s Gink, Murray’s Liquid Dry Fly Floatant, Loon Lochsa, Loon Aquel and Scientific Anglers Fly Floatant.
* We chose seven Mr. Rapidan Parachute Flies and seven Royal Coachman Trudes all size #16 and of similar tie to each other as far as the naked eye can discern.
An equal amount (a drop about the size of 1/4 of a #2 pencil eraser) of each respective gel style dry fly floatant was applied to our fingers and worked into an untreated dry fly (with hand washing between brands). The flies which used Murray’s Liquid Dry Fly Floatant was dipped into the liquid floatant per Harry’s recommendation and allowed to dry for 30 seconds to simulate the time to put the floatant away and cast the dry fly onto the water in a real fishing situation.
One Mr. Rapidan Parachute and one Coachman Trude were left untreated.
We filled a dish with tap water.
The treated and untreated dry flies were placed on the water and the timer was started.
On undisturbed water (no surface disturbance – still water):
The Coachman Trude which was untreated began to sink at nine minutes and the untreated Mr. Rapidan Parachute began to sink at 16 minutes. All of the treated flies floated on the undisturbed water for 30 minutes.
*After 30 minutes we used a plastic spoon to push each fly underwater for two seconds.
The untreated flies along with the flies treated with Umpqua Bug Float and the Coachman Trude treated with Gherke’s Gink sank. The remaining nine flies rose back to the surface within three seconds.
*Next, we applied turbulence to the water (wire whisk) for 15 seconds.
The Mr. Rapidan Parachute treated with Gherke’s Gink sank with the turbulence. The Mr. Rapidan Parachute and Coachman Trude treated with Loon Lochsa both sank with the turbulence.
* Another round of 15 seconds of turbulence was applied.
The Mr. Rapidan Parachutes and Coachman Trudes treated with Loon Aquel sank. The Coachman Trude and Mr. Rapidan Parachute treated with Murray’s Liquid Dry Fly Floatant sank.
* Another round of 15 seconds of turbulence was applied.
The Coachman Trude treated with Scientific Angler Fly Floatant sank.
*This concluded our test. The Mr. Rapidan Parachute treated with Scientific Anglers Fly Floatant emerged as the most effective fly floatant in our short and simple test.
A few things come to mind that happen on the stream we did not test are the effects of fish slobber on the various floatants, the effects of water temperature on the various floatants and the application method/ amount used by various anglers.
The obvious result is some type of floatant is much better than no floatant at all. Have you conducted a similar experiment? Send us the results, we would love to see them and maybe we will even put them here on the blog.
Fly Tying Quick Tip: Tying the Half Hitch – Murray’s Fly Shop A simple knot to finish your fly is a Half Hitch. The Half Hitch is a good knot to keep in your toolbox for those times you accidentally crowd the eye of the hook with fly tying material.
Fly Tying Tip: Metal Bobbin vs. Ceramic Bobbin – Murray’s Fly Shop
Fly Tying Tip: Fly Tying with Barbell Eyes – Murray’s Fly Shop – Barbell Eyes provide a simple way to add weight and change the action of your favorite nymph, streamer or crayfish patterns. We use Heavy Eyes in many of our standard patterns such as our Magnum Streamers, Murray’s Marauders, Heavy Eyed Hellgrammites and our Sunfish. Experiment with heavy eyes on your favorite flyfishing patterns.
Fly Tying Tip: Tying the Murray’s Marauder – Bass & Trout Fly Pattern – Murray’s Fly Shop
Fly Tying Tip: Using a Hair Evener for your Fly Tying – Murray’s Fly Shop – Learn to Tie Flies.
Hexagenia Mayfly spinner and the Scott Radian 9’6″ 7wt on a recent evening on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River near Edinburg, Virginia. The Hexagenia Mayflies are coming off the river in good numbers right now between 6:45pm and 8:45pm and the Smallmouth Bass are eagerly feeding on them. Go with a 3x Bass Bug Leader, #8 Mr. Rapidan Skater (dressed frequently with SA Dry Fly Floatant or Gink to keep it floating), wade cautiously and be patient. The tail of the pool has been most productive for me over the years. Flyfish your Mr. Rapidan Skater upstream, downstream, down and across, dead drift as well as with a slow stripping motion all the while paying attention to which of these techniques produces the best results.
Fly Tying Tip: Tying a Bass Fly- Murray’s Hellgrammmite – Murray’s Fly Shop
Smallmouth Bass and Trout Fly Fishing Report Podcast – Stream Report for Smallmouth Bass and Trout Fly Fishing in the Shenandoah Valley – August 2014
Harry Murray discusses the river conditions for the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River along with the best smallmouth flies to use and how to flyfish them in this part of Virginia. We have been fishing well the last two hours of daylight with the Shenandoah Blue Popper size 6. In the second part of this podcast he discusses the trout fishing in the mountain trout streams in the Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway and George Washington National Forest along with the best flies to use in your flyfishing the unusual late summer conditions we are experiencing this year (2014).
If you are interested in learning to fly fish, we are currently conducting our half day fly fishing lessons in August and September. These are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9a.m. to 1p.m. These are great for those just starting, those that want to brush up on their skills, or for those that just want to enjoy a few hours on the river.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at email@example.com or (540) 984-4212.