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.
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
Each year I get asked, “What kind of fly fishing can I expect for November and December in Virginia?’
November and December provide outstanding fly fishing for large trout and smallmouth bass. However, the cooling streams and the natural foods change the feeding habits of the fish and we get our best results by adjusting our fly selections and angling tactics accordingly.
In order for you to get good fishing I will break down my three favorite forms of angling at this time of the year. First we’ll look at my favorite Pennsylvania fishing, then we’ll discuss Virginia’s Delayed Harvest Streams and large stocked trout streams and finally I’ll cover the smallmouth fishing.
Don’t forget I will be holding fly fishing workshops on Saturdays in my fly shop from 10a.m. to noon. I cover many topics including fly tying, fly casting, trout fishing, bass fishing and selecting the proper fly rods. To see the schedule and to sign up…visit our website.
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.
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).
As the rivers temperatures drop the bass undergo a mini migration to deeper water which can range from five to eight feet deep. I switch to a SA Sink Tip III Line or a Teeny 200 Sinking Head Line at this time. Good flies are the Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker size 4 and the Murray’s Magnum Creek Chub size 4. In order to get good depth I use a 5 foot leader.
One of my most productive tactics is to wade or float down the shallow side of the river of these deep pools. I start in the head of the pool and cast across stream. After my streamer sinks deeply I swim it slowly across the stream bottom by stripping it six inches every ten seconds. I move slowly downstream stopping every five feet to repeat this same fly-swimming action. This methodical tactic shows your fly to every large bass in that pool so take your time.
Setting the hook on these deep swimming flies requires special attention to assure a high percentage of hooked bass. My favorite tactic is to use a fast line hand stripping action while lifting the rod firmly. I use 10lb. or 12lb. leaders to avoid breaking the bass off on the strike.
Trout and Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report Podcast August 2013 for the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia: Listen in as the first part of this report Harry Murray discusses his “change of pace flies” for the mountain trout streams and the tactics to use with these wary trout. In the second part the fly fishing podcast we continue with the large stocked trout streams on where to fish and what flies to use. The third part consists of the best tactics to use for smallmouth bass during this unusually cooler weather and the Hexagenia hatch.
Flies discussed included: Murray’s Housefly, Shenk’s Cress Bug, Shrimp, Magnum Creek Chub, Poppers, Mr. Rapidan Skater
TheNorth Fork of the Shenandoah Riveris currently in great shape at Strasburg, VA but upstream from Edinburg, VA to Fulks Run, VA there is a lot of water. The USGS Streamflow Gauges show that the river has reached it’s crest on both the Mt. Jackson Streamflow Gauge and the Cootes Store Streamflow Gauge. This is what we call “quick water”. Quick water leaves the area quickly because it fell in a short time frame and was not able to soak in. This doesn’t help the water table, it is mostly just a speed bump in the Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing. Fortunately you can usually get ahead of or behind the extra water as it moves through the Shenandoah Valley.
The North Fork of the Shenandoah River and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River will both have “fishable” areas through the weekend. Give us a call if you need help determining where the extra water is or track it on the USGS Streamflow Gauges.
Smallmouth Bass Fishing Report No smallmouth yet but I did pick up some very large fall fish 2 days ago on a Murray’s Heavy Hellgrammite. Fish these deeply with a Sink Tip III Line. Other flies that can be productive early in the season are Murray’s Black Madtom 4 and Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker 4.
Trout Fishing Report The streams are still cold but many large rainbows have been stocked in some of our best large streams. Two of my favorites are the Bullpasture upstream of Williamsville and Big Stoney Creek below the springs west of Edinburg. Be versitle in your fly selection to match the whims of the trout.
The trout in the mountain streams will start feeding shortly as the Epeorus pleuralis mayfly nymphs become active. You will find these in the lower parts of the riffles and just below the riffles. I designed the Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph to match these so fish this in size 14 upstream dead drift on a 5X Classic Leader with two SA Indicators spaced along it. The lower reaches of the streams will give you the best fishing because there may still be some ice in the upper reaches. Other flies that are effective in these streams early in the season are the Murray’s Dark Stonefly Nymph 12 and the Murray’s Olive Caddis Pupa 12.