Tag Archives: grassbeds

New Murray’s Bass Blue Damselfly Dry Fly

New Murray’s Bass Blue Damselfly Dry Fly Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

Last summer many of you asked me to develop a very durable and more effective adult dry bass damselfly than the patterns that are available now for smallmouth bass.
By evaluating the various bass feeding stations and the feeding habits of the smallmouth bass in many sections of the rivers, I started experimenting.
Part of my challenge was the realization that smallmouth bass in different parts of the rivers feed differently on natural adult blue damsel dry flies. For example, those bass I found close to the aquatic grassbeds along the banks took the natural damselflies with solid sipping rise forms much like a trout feeding on a mayfly hatch. Those smallmouth bass feeding on adult damselflies buzzing above the
rivers in the large pools exhibit splashing or jumping rise forms.
Thus I needed to tie a new fly which could mimic both of these actions.
After testing a great number of materials and tying styles I finally came up with the Murray’s Bass Blue Damsefly Dry Fly. This fly catches many smallmouth bass in all type of cover.
I catch many bass which are feeding along the aquatic grassbeds on the sides of the river. I do this by wading or floating down the river forty feet out from the grassbeds. I then cast my fly tight against the grass. A slow line hand stripping action which swims the damselfly two inches every five seconds usually does the job.
I catch those bass which are rising and jumping in the large pools by skating my damselfly with two foot bursts every ten seconds across the surface of the river. When I fish this new damselfly dry fly I dress both the leader and fly often with Murray’s Dry Fly Floatant every half hour.

Match the Minnows

Silver Outcast Streamer
Silver Outcast Streamer

About two hours before dark on a beautiful August evening I waded across the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, intending to fish one of my favorite riffles fifty yards downstream.  The water along the bank right in front of me was only two feet deep and the aquatic grassbed reached twenty feet out into the river. A large smallmouth bass crashed into the grass to catch a shiner minnow just upstream of me.  A few seconds later he captured another shiner minnow as he swam upstream along the edge of the grassbed. I felt this was too good for me to pass up! I cast a Silver Outcast Streamer upstream ahead of his path and he took it solidly. As I landed the large bass I noticed more bass chasing shiner minnows upstream through the grassbeds. By wading slowly upstream I caught many more large bass by going one on one with them as I spotted them chasing shiner minnows.
When you are on the water at dusk keep an eye out for this type action because it is very exciting.

Hide Your Approach

Many large bass feed heavily around the grassbeds and you can catch them by using a cautious approach.
Many large bass feed heavily around the grassbeds and you can catch them by using a cautious approach.

Many of the large bass are very wary in the low clear rivers at this time of the year. Fortunately, the thick aquatic grassbeds that form now give us many options for hiding our approaches.
Recently I was wading and fishing upstream in a large slow pool where the grass grew to the surface over 3/4 of the pool. I had waded in almost to my chest and since the water ahead of me was even deeper I could not go any further. I had only an hour of daylight left so it was too late to go to another part of the stream. I decided to fish the water thoroughly upstream of me. By fanning casts of a Shenandoah Blue Popper into all of the open pockets in the grassbeds and along the edges of the grassbeds, I had one of the finest evenings of smallmouth fishing I have ever experienced!
I believe there were three reasons for my success that will help us in the future. (1) The deep water had me locked into a small area so my wading was not scaring the bass. (2) The dense grassbeds provided good shade and feedings stations for the bass. (3) I was there at the prime feeding time for the bass.