Tag Archives: dry fly

Rise Form

Rise Form Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

Vince Marinaro taught me a great deal about the trout’s rise form. Suppose you are looking upstream and spot a rise form as a trout takes a natural dry fly. Over the next several minutes he takes three more naturals at the same spot. The glare on the stream prevents you from seeing the trout but you can easily see his rise form.
You know your artificial matches the hatch so you cast it two feet above the rise form. But you get no strike! However, the trout continues to feed. Several more casts bring no strike. Finally you sneak up the bank to where you can see the trout.
His holding station is actually five feet further upstream from where he rose to take the naturals. You slip back downstream to your original casting position and cast your fly to where you know the trout is holding.  As your fly drifts into the feeding station where the trout had take the naturals he rises and takes it solidly.
Since I first encountered this long ago I have taken advantage of it to catch many trout.
Vince referred to these rise forms as Simple, Compound and Complex. A Simple rise form is when the trout takes the natural rights above where he holds in the stream. A Compound rise form is when he drifts straight back downstream from his holding position to take the natural. A Complex rise form is when he tips up, almost vertically, and drifts a long distance below the natural fly before taking it.

Hen Hackle

Grizzly Hen Hackle Tips
Grizzly Hen Hackle Tips

The Grizzly Hen Hackle tips you see here is one of my favorite dry fly winging material when I want to show distinct wing outline.  Using this in a spent wing position is what I believe makes the Murray’s Housefly such an effective fly, prompting strikes from trout which pass up regular flies.  Adams Dry flies tied with these wings are preferred by many anglers. The webby texture of these feathers enable us to tie very attractive and effective nymph with them.

Wood Duck Flank

Lemon Woodduck Plumage Fly Tying Murray's Fly Shop Virginia
Lemon Woodduck Plumage

This is part one of three parts on dry fly winging material.  The woodduck flank feathers you see here are one of my favorite materials for tying delicate dry fly wing. They are easy to use and many of the students in my fly tying classes use these to tie great drys on their first attempt. I have friends who use these on the Quill Gordon Dry Fly, March Brown Dry Fly, Light Cahill Dry Fly and many other patterns.

New Flies for 2015 from Murray’s Fly Shop

This year I’ve developed 15 new flies that will help you catch more trout and bass throughout the country. Here are the photos of these flies and information when, where and how to fish them.

1. Murray’s Mini Trout Skater- size 14, 16 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction to the Mini Trout Skater

I developed this trout skater because of my great respect for Ed Hewitt’s Neversink Skater. I fish this in all type trout streams from April to November, both to rising fish and to cover the water where I often fish it on a greased leader with a slow skating action.
Murray's Mini Trout Skater Dry Fly for Trout - Murray's Fly Shop

2. Murray’s Purple Dun Dry- size 14, 16 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction to the Purple Dun Dry Fly

For reasons I can’t explain, this fly often catches more trout than the standard hatch-matching flies. This is especially true when the trout seem reluctant to take other searching patterns. I use this throughout the day from March to November from tiny headwater streams to the Yellowstone River.
Murray's Purple Dun Dry Fly for Trout Fishing - Murray's Fly Shop

3. Murray’s Drake Fly, Yellow- size 14, 16 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction to the Murray’s Yellow Drake Dry Fly

From May until late fall there are many yellowish mayflies on many streams which the trout feed upon that will take this high-floating drake well. These include the Cream Cahill, Sulphur, Pale Evening Dun, Light Cahill, Yellow Drake and Little Yellow Quill. Most of these are heaviest on the streams from mid-afternoon until dark.
Murray's Yellow Drake Dry Fly Fishing

4. Murray’s Drake Fly, Brown- size 14, 16 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction of the Murray’s  Brown Drake Dry Fly

From the March Brown Hatch for trout to the Brown Drake Hatch for smallmouths this dry fly will give you many hours of great fishing. It is superb when the Isonychia hatch is on throughout the east and when the Brown Drake (Ephemeridae) is on in the west. Generally good from April to October.
Murrays Brown Drake Dry Fly Fishing - Murray's Fly Shop

5. Murray’s Drake Fly, Olive- size 14, 16 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction of the Murray’s Olive Drake Dry Fly

This is outstanding throughout the country in all types of water from March to November. The large trout from the AuSable in New York to the headwater streams in the Smokies take this readily in size 14 when the green drake hatch is on. Likewise the beatis feeders throughout the country in our tailwater streams rise confidently to this in size 16.
Murrays-Olive-Drake-Dry-Fly_compact

6. Murray’s Near Nuff Mayfly- size 14, 16 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction to the Murray’s Near Nuff Mayfly

The great H.G. Tapply used to send me some of his wonderful flies and this mayfly is my version of one of his. Although I would call this a searching pattern, I take many trout from March to November with this even when there are heavy hatches. This floats like a cork.
Murrays-Near-Nuff-Mayfly_compact

7. Murray’s Horsefly Dry- size 14, 16 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction to the Murray’s Horsefly Dry

From May until November there are many horseflies along all of our trout streams. Fish these along the shaded banks and under overhead cover. These present a silhouette to the trout they seldom see in other dry flies and are thus very effective on heavily fished streams.
Murray_s-Horsefly-Dry_compact

8. Murray’s Oakworm Dry- size 14, 16 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction of the  Murray’s Oakworm Dry Fly
I discovered the extent to which trout gorge on natural oakworms by accident when a rotten log on a stream bank produced a chum line of them. For a long distance downstream dozens of trout fed heavily upon them. All streams with timber along the banks will have trout feeding on natural oakworms from May until fall. Cast your fly upstream tight to these banks and fish it back downstream dead drift.

Murrays-Oakworm-Dry-Fly_compact

9. Murray’s Yellow Jacket Dry- size 14, 16 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction of the Murray’s Yellow Jacket Dry Fly

I developed this dry fly because of the increasing numbers of natural yellow jackets we are seeing along trout and bass streams. From April to November fish these in against the banks with a delicate two inch long line hand stripping action. On small trout streams an upstream presentation is best.
Murrays-Yellow-Jacket-Dry-Fly_compact

10. Murray’s Wasp Dry- size 14, 16 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction of the  Murray’s Wasp Dry Fly

Fish these Wasps along the banks close to the thick shrubs and below overhanging tree limbs on mountain trout streams and spring creeks from May to October. A splashy presentation followed by a slow twitching action often brings solid strikes.
Murrays-Wasp-Dry-Fly_compact (1)

11. Murray’s Moth Dry Fly- size 14, 16 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction of the  Murray’s Moth Dry Fly

This dry moth will take both trout and smallmouth bass in all types of water from May until October. Trout take this quickly when fished in back eddies close to the banks at dusk when fished with a slow twitching action.
Murrays-Moth-Dry-Fly_compact

12. Tapply Dry Cooper Bug Dry Fly, Black- size 14, 16 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction of the Black Tapply Dry Cooper Bug

The original Cooper Bugs that Mr. Tapply gave me are still on my desk today. These durable high floating dry flies will take trout and bass from all types of water from April to November. Often a firm splashing presentation and a kicking action is outstanding.
Tapply-Cooper-Bug_compact

13. Bass Skater Streamer, Shad- size 6 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction of the  Shad colored Bass Skater Streamer

Available mid January 2015. I developed these skater streamers to mimic a minnow struggling on the surface when fished with a riffle hitch. From may until November fish these in the back eddies, pool tails and along the shaded banks in all bass streams.
Murray's Bass Skater Streamer - Shad color imitates fleeing minnows - most effectively fished when tied with a riffle hitch and fly fish down and across current

14. Bass Skater Streamer, Flash- size 6 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction of the Flash Bass Skater Streamer

Available mid January 2015. I developed these skater streamers to mimic a minnow struggling on the surface when fished with a riffle hitch. From may until November fish these in the back eddies, pool tails and along the shaded banks in all bass streams.
Murray's Bass Skating Streamer - Flash Color - Imitates young sunfish fleeing an aggressive smallmouth bass

15. Bass Skater Streamer, Gold- size 6 – Buy Now
Check out our Video introduction of the Gold Bass Skater Streamer

Available mid January 2015. I developed these skater streamers to mimic a minnow struggling on the surface when fished with a riffle hitch. From may until November fish these in the back eddies, pool tails and along the shaded banks in all bass streams.
Bass-Skater-Streamer-gold Murray's Fly Shop - Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Streamer pattern - tie with a riffle hitch for the most effective skating action

Dry Fly Floatant: Which one works the best? A side by side comparison.

Dry Fly Floatant: Which one is the most effective? A side by side comparison.

Fly Fishing Dry Fly Floatant: Which one is the most effective?

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.

Dry Fly Floatant: Which one works the best? A side by side comparison.
Preparing to apply the dry fly floatant to the flies.

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.

Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry Fly Fishing Floatant Test
Mr. Rapidan Parachute #16 treated with Scientific Anglers Fly Floatant – floating in our test dish.

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.

Fly Fishing Dry Fly Floatant side by side comparison for the fly fisherman.
Mr. Rapidan Parachute treated with Scientific Anglers Fly Floatant after the test.

*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.

Which Dry Fly to Use??

Mr Rapidan Parachute Dry Fly Fishing

Which dry fly to use?  It’s a question often asked by many even experienced anglers.  Many mountain trout streams have good hatches of stenonema vicarium mayflies at this time and the trout feed heavily on both the duns and the spinners. Fish a Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry 14 both to the rising trout and as a searching pattern and you’ll get great action.

Trick Him

There is some aquatic grass drifting on the stream and even though there is a good hatch on, the large trout before you seems to feed mainly on the duns that are drifting amid the drifting grass. Every time you cast to him your fly lands in the grass. Then for a few seconds he moves over to the edge of the grass and takes three duns. Now is your chance. Quickly cast your fly two feet upstream in that open current and you will probably take him.

Can You See Your Fly?

There is a good hatch of aquatic insects on the stream and the trout are feeding well upon them. You catch several of these insects and by carefully selecting a dry fly from your box you are confident you have a good match for it. However, fishing this fly to rising trout for half and hour does not bring a single strike. On each of your presentation casts you can clearly distinguish your fly from the naturals around it. Then it dawns on you…if it does not look exactly like the naturals to you, it probably does not look like a natural to the trout. Most likely your fly is too large or the wrong color…Try again.

Double Hex

When you are fishing the Hexagenia hatch if you see splashy rises when the duns start coming off the fish may be taking the emerging insect rather than the dry dun. When I see this I put a Mr. Rapidan Emerger size 10 on a 36 inch mono dropper off the bend of a Mr. Rapidan Skater size 8 and fish this down and across stream to the rising fish. Some of the fish take the dry while some take the emerger.