Tag Archives: jeff murray

Stream Terms

Wading and fishing streamers downstream is an excellent smallmouth tactic.
Wading and fishing streamers downstream is an excellent smallmouth tactic.
(A) Upper section of riffle, (B) Lower section of riffle, (C) Back Eddy, (D) Grass Bed, (E) Gravel Bar, (F) Deep part of pool and (G) Downfall
(A) Upper section of riffle, (B) Lower section of riffle, (C) Back Eddy, (D) Grass Bed, (E) Gravel Bar, (F) Deep part of pool and (G) Downfall

Anglers just getting into fly fishing are often confused by some of the terms we use to describe the stream and currents. Here are some of my explanations that will help you.

  • Upstream: Going against the direction the stream is flowing
  • Head of the pool: The extreme upstream section of a pool
  • Tail of the pool: The extreme downstream section of a pool
  • Pool in a stream: The portion of a stream which lies between the head and the tail of the pool
  • Back Eddy: A Lazy Susan, usually on the slow side of a stream, where the current turns to run upstream, usually along the bank
  • Riffle: The rapid flowing section of the stream between the tail of the pool above and the head of the pool below
  • Corner of a small mountain trout stream: Tiny Lazy Susan on the side of some pools just below the riffle
  • Grass Bed: Aquatic vegetation growing within the stream
  • Gravel Bar: Pea to marble size stone bottom, usually occurring adjacent from stream bank
  • Downfall: Trees laying within the stream bed




Murray’s Czech Nymph Leader

Murray's Czech High Sticking Nymph Leader with Ring.
Murray’s Czech High Sticking Nymph Leader with Ring.
Tippet Rings
Tippet Rings

The NEW Murray’s Two Color Czech Nymphing Leaders are very popular for the way they help detect strikes. These come in 7 foot, 9 foot and 10 foot with a tippet ring attached. All you have to do is add your tippet.  You can also purchase just the tippet rings and Amnesia Leader Material and build your own leader if you desire.

Drag Free Drift

Trout Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop VA
The large brown trout in the Yellowstone River will often refuse a dragging dry fly so I always dress my whole leader often with a dry fly cream floatant when I am fishing dry flies.

The speed of the current just inches below the stream surface is usually moving faster than the current on the surface where our dry flies drift. When the leader tippet is pulled by this fast current it can produce a subtle drag on the fly which may be difficult for us to discern, however, the trout quickly detect this and may refuse to take our fly. In order to prevent this drag I always dress my dry fly leaders frequently with dry fly cream floatant. This keeps the leader on the surface where it drifts at the same rate as the fly. This produces a natural drifting dry fly and the trout take it quickly.

An Expert Anglers Insight

Jeff Murray relies on Ed Shenk's Crickets in trout streams all across the country.
Jeff Murray relies on Ed Shenk’s Crickets in trout streams all across the country.

For many years a Cricket Dry Fly has been one of my most dependable flies all across the country in all types of trout streams. I have experimented with many different ties but Ed Shenk’s Cricket has given me many more large trout than all of the other patterns. I believe the reason Ed Shenk’s Cricket is so effective is because when he designed it he was able to use materials and a style of tying which effectively mimicked the light pattern of the natural cricket. Ed Shenk’s Cricket can also be fished with a very realistic kicking action when desired.
Ed Shenk has been a good friend for many years and he still ties his Crickets and Letort Hoppers for me to sell in my fly shop, Murray’s Fly Shop in Edinburg, Virginia.

Short Casts

Fly Fishing Virginia Murray's Fly Shop
Jeff Murray fights a nice trout he caught in a full trout stream by using a short accurate cast.

When the mountain trout streams are carrying a high water level I always catch more fish by using short casts to precise feeding stations. Under these conditions long casts which place extra line and leader on the water can easily produce drag on the fly even when using your best effort to bridge the fast currents with your fly rod. These fast dragging drifts will almost always be refused by the trout.
Another good reason to use short casts in high streams is because the feeding stations are much more compressed than they are in a normal stream level.  Dinner-plate accuracy in fly placement is often a must in high streams. The positive side of this is that the trout has less time to evaluate our flies so an accurate cast to a precise feeding station usually brings a strike.

Cleaning and Dressing your Fly Line

This photo essay will cover the steps to clean and dress your fly line to ensure optimum performance.

Step 1
I simply put mild dish soap on a damp towel to clean my fly line.
I apply a small amount of mild dish soap to a damp clean towel.

Step 2

Strip the fly line off of your reel.  Be careful to strip it into an area that is clean and safe from feet.  I like to make 3-4 foot strips and thoroughly inspect the fly line as I am going. I look for nicks in the coating and check my knots for signs of weakness.  I make it a habit of re-tying all of my knots once a year, especially the line/leader knot.

Step 3

Strip the fly line through your soapy towel.  I strip the line through twice.  Once from tip to butt and then from butt to tip.
After cleaning with soapy towel, remove soap by stripping fly line under running water.  Again strip form tip to butt then butt to tip.

Step 4

Dry the fly line thoroughly.

Step 5

Apply about a penny size amount of fly line dressing on your applicator pad or clean, dry towel.

Step 6

Strip the fly line through the applicator pad/ line dressing.  Again work from tip to butt and then from butt to tip. This will help to ensure all of the microscopic nicks and dings are filled with line dressing.

Step 7

Allow the line dressing to dry on the fly line for 5-10 minutes.

Step 8

Remove the excess fly line dressing with a clean soft cloth by stripping the line from butt to tip and then tip to butt.  We are then ready to wind the line back onto the reel.
As the season progresses and you notice that your fly line begins to feel sticky or that it just doesn’t shoot right.  When this happens, follow the steps above to restore the performance of the line. Depending on how dirty your streams or ponds are (i.e. grass, moss, pollen, mud) will dictate how often you should clean and dress your fly line.  We use Scientific Anglers Fly Line Dressing or Glide Line Dressing on our personal and school outfits and have been pleased with the results.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email us (info@murraysflyshop.com) or give us a call at 540-984-4212.

Happy New Year

New Years Fly - a little hung over
Post New Years Party Fly!

Thank you to our valued customers and friends for allowing us to share the joy of fly fishing with them. Â We have been blessed with the opportunity to meet many new and wonderful people and to strengthen friendships along the way. Fishing, especially fly fishing for us, is not as much about how many or how big the fish are; it is about the journey and those we choose to share it with.
As for the new year, we would like to wish everyone a healthy and prosperous 2010. Â Whatever resolutions you may make, be sure to include some time for friends and fishing.
Tight Lines and God Bless,
The Staff at Murray’s Fly Shop and Jeff and Harry

Scott T2H Two Handed Fly Rods

Murray's Fly Shop R&D Department
Yesterday afternoon we headed to the river with the Hyde Skiff in tow to try out Scott’s “Switch Rod” the T2H 10′ 8 Weight fly rod. Â It was a bit chilly so we only tried it for an hour or two but in that time, I am pleased to report, it performed quite well and was a joy to cast either single handed or with two hands. Â I can’t wait to try it out on the river when the thermometer is a few more degrees above freezing.
Harry and the T2H
As many of you already know about the spey style lines, it is difficult to mend at the longer distances so Popper Fishing to Smallmouth Bass on the river will not be this rod’s strong suite. Â This rod does however show very strongly in the down and across streamer fishing with our heavily weighted streamers like the Magnum Chub or Bluegill as well as those streamers with less weight.
For those of you who have not tried the two handed “Switch Rods” I think one of the biggest advantages of these rods is the ability to pick up and cast longer lines with significantly less effort than you needed with a standard single handed fly rod. Â If you find yourself with trees in the way on your backcast this rod will make casting much easier since you use a “modified” roll cast with two hands. Â The need to cast longer distances in windy conditions is made easier by the simple fact that these rods require fewer casts to reach those distances. Â The benefit of greater drag control is a given with the longer rod lengths. Â So, while two handed casting is not necessary for every situation, these rods will let you cover the water more thoroughly in a wider variety of circumstances.
Harry with a bit of snow on his boots!

Another trip for our new Hyde Skiff

December 4, 2009 North Fork Trip
Preparing to launch the Hyde Skiff
With snow in the forecast and tomorrow’s high of 35 degrees, our smallmouth bass fly fishing might be coming to an end. It seems that the extra water from Wednesday’s rain slowed the fish on the North Fork of the Shenandoah a bit more than last week. We landed two fish in three hours and needed a Hi-D Head to achieve success. The water temperature was 48 degrees. However, we are enjoying our new Hyde Rocky Mountain Skiff more and more!!

Getting Ready For 2010


Our fly tyers are already requesting a bulk supply of ostrich for the thousands of Murray’s Hellgrammites that will be tied and sold in 2010.

New Products for 2010

Harry reviews several new products for 2010.

Strikes 2009…

Filmed throughout the 2009 fly fishing season from Virginia to Alaska and many parts in between. We were fortunate enough to find a few willing participants for this video.

Polarized Sunglasses vs. Non-Polarized Sunglasses

Polarization: (Definition) is a property of waves that describes the orientation of their oscillations. This article primarily covers the polarization of electormagntic (EM) waves such as light, although other types of wave also exhibit polarization. Â What does all that mean for fly fishermen and women? Polarized Sunglasses block much of the glare coming off the water’s surface so we (anglers) can see into the water better. This allows us better opportunities to read the water, locate fish and increases our safety because we can see the bottom much better when wading. The following video shows a brief example of polarized vs. non-polarized sunglasses on the water.

This video has been produced by Murray’s Fly Shop and Harry Murray.

Selecting a Fly Line Video with Harry

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Selecting a Fly Line

Fly fishing fly line selection Selecting a Fly Line. Do you know the difference between the hundreds of different fly lines on the market? Why are there so many choices? Do I really need to have dozens of fly lines at my disposal to take up fly fishing? Does the flyfishing world try to make it difficult to understand fly lines? No, I don’t know, No and yes (it’s confusing to me as well!!!!).
Every day I have folks asking for help in selecting the right fly line for their flyfishing. The decisions are mind boggling! It confuses the majority of us and I have even upon asking the manufacturers, had some long moments of silence and blank stares. The choices don’t have to be confusing. In this article I have tried to simplify the selection process, regardless of the manufacturer, for the beginner or the advanced fly fishing angler. I have compiled a list of the fly lines typically used and summarized them by the tapers (shape and weight) which I use for the various types of fly fishing conditions. Check it out….

Boat Loading Clip

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Spawning Smallmouth

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