Tag Archives: hellgrammite

My Favorite Smallmouth Bass Fly, Murray’s Heavy Hellgrammite


My Favorite Smallmouth Bass Fly, Murray’s Heavy Hellgrammite

It took me many years to develop my Murray’s Heavy Lead-Eye Hellgrammite. However, with the help of good friend like Charlie Brooks and Ron Kommer, this exceptionally effective pattern evolved.
This effectively duplicates the natural swimming action of the real hellgrammite. This fly can be successfully fished either upstream, downstream or across stream.
The students in my “On The Stream” Smallmouth Bass Schools catch most of their large bass on the Murray’s Heavy Lead-Eye Hellgrammite.

Murray’s Hellgrammite

Murray's Heavy Black Hellgrammite
Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite

It is hard to fix it if you do not know what is broken. That is where I was when I started fly fishing for smallmouth bass in the sixties. As a youngster growing up in Edinburg, Virginia on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River in the fifties we all caught many smallmouth bass on real hellgrammites as live bait. However, for my fly fishing after college none of the existing Hellgrammite patterns worked for me. The beautifully tired patterns I got from Abercrombie and Fitch in New York which they called Hellgrammites just did not work. When I started fishing the Yellowstone River in Montana I had Dan Bailey’s girls tie a dozen two inch long versions of his beautiful woven body Mossback Nymphs because these looked to me like my hellgrammites back in Virginia. These we also failures for the smallmouth bass.
Finally Ron Kommer came up with the idea of using Ostrich Herl (or plume) for very large flies.  Simultaneously, I was experimenting with real hellgrammites by tossing them into the river to see how they acted. When I dropped the real hellgrammites into the river one by one, I saw that they swam downstream with an exaggerated undulating action as they headed for the streambottom. Finally I saw what was broken: All of these beautiful earlier hellgrammite patterns lacked the capacity to move in an undulating manner like the natural hellgrammites.
By incorporating the ostrich herl as an extended body in this new fly and tying it “in the round” as Charlies Brookes recommended to me, the final Murray’s Heavy Hellgrammite was developed. This is so effective that today it is my favorite smallmouth bass fly.

Also check out: Murray’s Heavy Hellgrammite Assortment, Murray’s Black Hellgrammite  and Murray’s Heavy Hellgrammite Tying Kit.

Fly Fishing Podcast–June 2016

There are presently very heavy hatches of sulphur mayflies and the trout are taking the Murray's Sulphur Dry quite well.
There are presently very heavy hatches of sulphur mayflies and the trout are taking the Murray’s Sulphur Dry quite well.

In this fly fishing podcast Harry Murray discusses the outstanding trout fishing that is available now and what we can expect throughout the month of June.  He covers the insect hatches, the best flies to match them and the effective tactics.
Effective flies include: Murray’s Little Yellow Dry Stonefly size 16, Murray’s Yellow Drake Dry Fly size 16, Murray’s Sulphur Dry Fly size 16, Shenk’s Sulphur Dry Fly size 16 and 18, Murray’s Inchworm size 14, Mr. Rapidan Olive Delta Wing Caddis size 14 and 16, Murray’s Olive Caddis Pupa size 14.

The natural hellgrammites are reaching their full size now and the smallmouth bass are feeding heavily upon them. The Murray's Heavy Black Hellgrammite will catch many of these large bass.
The natural hellgrammites are reaching their full size now and the smallmouth bass are feeding heavily upon them. The Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite will catch many of these large bass.

The second portion of the podcast is dedicated to the smallmouth fishing we are getting now and what we can expect throughout June. He covers the natural hellgrammite’s actions and the best flies and tactics to catch the bass which are feeding upon them.  He also discusses the great fishing we are getting the Shenandoah Blue Popper by fishing these along the shaded banks.
Effective flies include: Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite size 4 and 6, Shenandoah Blue Popper size 4 and 6

Interested in Learning to Fly Fish?  Check out our On The Stream 1-Day Smallmouth Bass Schools and our Half Day Fly Fishing Lessons

Ostrich Plume

Ostrich Plumes Fly Tying Flies Murray's Fly Shop VA
Harry Murray holding one pound of White Ostrich Plumes.
Ostrich Plumes Fly Tying Flies Murray's Fly Shop VA
Harry Murray holding one pound of White Ostrich Plumes.

This pound of Ostrich will tie enough flies to catch many thousand fish. Ostrich Plume is used to tie streamers, Murray’s Pearl Marauder is one example. It is highly effective because it has natural minnow action in the stream.

Also, different color Ostrich Plumes are used to tie Murray’s Hellgrammites, Murray’s Strymph and Murray’s Marauder’s.

Fly Parts.. 1000 Dumbbell Eyes!

1000 Non-Toxic Dumbbell Eyes
1000 Non-Toxic Dumbbell Eyes

These eyes will soon find a home on one of the thousands of Murray’s Hellgrammites or Marauders that our USA based fly tiers will tie for Murray’s Fly Shop to use during the upcoming 2010 fly fishing season.

Bass Podcast V–Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Streamer Tactics from early April until mid May

Harry’s discussion on Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Streamer Tactics from early April until mid May.
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