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.
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 Stream Report for May. In the first part of this podcast Harry Murray discusses the wonderful dry fly fishing that you can find in May by covering the aquatic insect hatch throughout May, the best fly patterns to match each one and the effective tactics. In the second part Harry discusses the specific sections of the rivers which gives us good smallmouth action in May. He discusses the flies, leaders, and fly lines that help us in the different feeding stations as well as the most effective tactics in the different sections of the river.
There are days when the smallmouth bass feed heavily on minnows and fishing streamers catches these fish. However, there are days when they feed mostly on natural nymphs and we catch these smallmouth bass on “artificial nymphs”. Realizing this, I decided to develop one fly to be fished as a Streamer to catch the minnow feeders as well as matching the natural nymphs which could be fished as a Nymph. I developed the Strymph drawing on Ron Kommer’s idea of using ostrich herl in the tail and Charlie Brooks concept of tying underwater flies “in the round”.
Thus the Strymph can be fished upstream dead drift and across the current in a swing nymphing method both of which match our natural nymphs.
The Strymph can easily be fished across stream with a deep swimming action which matches all of our minnows. Simply stated, there is no wrong way to fish the Murray’s Strymph, and it is equally effective for both smallmouth bass and trout.
If you are interested in learning how to tie the Murray’s Strymph, here is the tying kit or you can just purchase the tying instructions recipe sheet.
A large trout comes up and looks at your dry fly but refuses it. There is a natural tendency to cast back to him right away to try him again. A ploy which works best for me is to hold my cast for five minutes until I am sure he is back on his feeding station before casting to him again. If he refuses the second drift I got to a smaller fly that creates an entirely different light pattern and this usually takes him.
Always land your trout with a net as quickly as possible to prevent stressing them. Revive your trout completely before releasing him. Choose water from one to two feet deep with a moderate current. I gently face the trout into the current, holding him upright tightly with my right hand around his tail and with my left hand under his head to balance him. I hold the trout in this position until I am sure he can hold this upright posture on his own. This is easy for me to discern as I slowly open the grip with my right hand, if he leans to the side I tighten my grip and hold him another two to three minutes until he can keep his balance. At this point I slowly remove my right hand and then my left hand and I know this trout will survive. Make all of your movement slowly because otherwise you will frighten the trout and he will lunge unto deep water where you can’t get him. Often a lunger will wobble on downstream and will turn bell-up and die.
Learn to Fly Fish with our Fly Fishing Workshop–This November we will be starting our fly fishing workshops on Saturdays in the fly shop from 10a.m. to noon. I will be covering various topics throughout the winter into the spring including fly casting, fly tying, trout fishing in the Shenandoah National Park, smallmouth bass fishing in the Shenandoah River and NEW this year Selecting the Proper Fly Rod Outfits.
For more information or to register for a fly fishing workshop …click here or call 540-984-4212
My angler’s calendar is very large, having about two inch square spaces for each date. This allows plenty of space for me to write in where I fished that day, the water temperature, the hatches, water level, my catch and any other important information. Each January when I get a new calendar I write in the above information from previous years. This brings back wonderful memories as I record these previous trips. It also helps me plan future fishing trips as I correlate the present stream conditions and hatches with what I did on past trips under similar conditions. Great fun!
I have a good friend who injured his right shoulder badly. Since he cast with his right hand he was very disappointed that he would loose a season’s fishing while he recovered from surgery. I encouraged him to just switch over and cast with his left hand which he did and he was able to fish the whole season.
In my fly fishing schools I have always had to cast with both hands to help all of my students. If you have not tried this give it a go. You will be pleased how well you do. After all you already know the proper casting technique.
“I am new to fly fishing and need advice on rods for freshwater fishing”. This question came in as email and I believe many anglers are at this point. In order to answer this in a meaningful way I will discuss the outfits I use in various types of fly fishing and why. I will break this down into four separate blogs and post one each week:
(A) Small Mountain Streams
(B) Large Eastern Trout Streams and Western Spring Creeks
(C) Large Western Trout Streams
(D) Bass Streams and Lakes
(A) Small Mountain Trout Streams
These streams require rods that give good accuracy and delicacy from twenty to thirty feet which are short enough to cast under the overhanging tree limbs. In rod design this calls for a rod with a delicate tip and a butt section that is firm enough to turn the tip over. Three weight rods are excellent for this delicate fishing with flies from size 22 up to size 10. Rods which are 6 foot 10 inches long up to 7 1/2 feet are ideal. My favorite is the Murray/Scott Mountain Trout Rod which is 6 foot 10 inches long, 3 piece and 3 weight. This approach will help you select the correct tackle to use on small trout streams all across the country.
The next section of these blogs will be posted next Thursday!
When I hike into the remote hollows to fish mountain trout streams I wear my felt sole boot foot hippers if I am going two miles or less. If I am going to hike in more than two miles I wear hiking shoes and hang my hippers over my shoulders. Then when I get to the area I plan to fish I put my hippers on and hide my hiking shoes behind a tree. When I finish fishing I retrieve my hiking shoes and wear these back to my jeep. I never wear chest-high or waist-high waders when fishing small mountain trout streams because they limit my ability to crawl along the streams.
Fly Fishing for Brook Trout in the Shenandoah National Park today found plenty of 39 degree water in the streams. There is still plenty of snow to melt off of the North facing slopes. Neither the cool temperatures or extra water deterred the Brook Trout from jumping on a Mr. Rapidan Parachute #14!
We still have a few spots open in our Mountain Trout Fly Fishing Schools if you are interested in learning to catch these guys in their native habitat!
The brookies will be waking up from their long winter nap shortly. Get ready to catch them in one of our two day On-the-Stream Fly Fishing Schools this Spring in the Shenandoah National Park. Sign up and we will give you a $50 gift certificate as our way of saying thank you.
In this Podcast Harry Murray discusses Fly Fishing Tactics for Trout in the streams of the Shenandoah Valley including the Shenandoah National Park and George Washington / Jefferson National Forests in late spring and early summer (May – June).
We are currently filling our Mountain Trout On-The-Stream Schools which take place in the Shenandoah National Park. These schools focus on the tactics and techniques for catching trout in high gradient streams. We are blessed with great numbers of Native Brook Trout throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains and these schools focus on the intricacies involved in catching these beautiful fish. Bring your lunch, license raincoat and waders/ hip boots and we will bring the rods/ reels and fishing guides. We start each day with a slide show then head to the stream for some real world classroom lessons.
The dates for these schools are: April 4-5, April 14-15, April 18-19, May 2-3 Register Online or give it a go the old fashioned way, 540-984-4212 and talk to one of us.
As attention around the fly shop shifts to our 2011 Catalog and new products, we cannot give up on the fishing. The local stocked trout streams have been or will be stocked shortly. The Smallmouth Bass have the idea that things will be slowing down very soon and their subtle strikes are proof that the energy levels of mid-Summer are only a memory. The Brook Trout are spawning and we encourage everyone to leave them alone from now until late winter when the eggs hatch and the fry leave the redds.
The warm weather has kicked the local fly fishing in to gear! The North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River are both in great shape and are fishing well (for April). Kelly landed this 15 1/2 inch Smallmouth Bass on an Olive Marauder #6 on 4/7/2010. A Sink Tip III Fly Line will work well for helping to swim your flies deeply through the ledges and deep pockets. An 8 Wt. Fly Rod will help you cast the heavy flies and lines a bit better than a 6 or 7 that we typically use in the summer.
Fly Fishing for Brook Trout in the Shenandoah National Park has been very good with mayflies and caddis coming off throughout the day. There is still a lot of water so if you are willing to hike into the upper reaches of your favorite stream, you will likely be rewarded with a few more willing fish.
There are still a few mayflies available to the Brook Trout in the mountain streams throughout our area. These Mayflies hatch predominately late in the evening, so plan your trip accordingly. Also expect to find a Little Yellow Stoneflies and Caddis coming off the water. 5x Tippet material will do the trick as long as you stay down low and DON’T spook the fish.