Tag Archives: murrays fly shop

Save That Trout

Save That Trout Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

I had three friends who had great intentions of returning their very large trout to the stream so he would survive. Unfortunately these fellows were just getting into trout fishing. They allowed the trout to get downstream of them. In landing the trout they fought him so long that the stress caused the trout to turn belly up and die.
This could have been easily prevented! If a large trout gets downstream of you in heavy water in a location where you cannot chase him to get downstream of him, rather than fight him to death just break him off. To do this point your rod straight at the trout, take up all of the slack with your line-hand and jerk. This leaves the fly in his jaw and he swims away. I have caught many trout that have hooks in their jaws and they are fine. Eventually the hooks works itself out.

Stop Twisted Smallmouth Bass Leaders While Fly Fishing

Stop Twisted Smallmouth Bass Leaders While Fly Fishing

When the tippet of your smallmouth bass leader gets twisted, it can easily form small knots. These knots will weaken your leader. Then when you set the hook on a large bass, you break him off!

Twisted tippets can occur:
(1) If the fly is too large for the tippet being used.                                       Fly Size ÷ 3= Tippet in X
(2) If the tippet is too long. Two to three feet is long enough.
(3) If the fly you are using is out of symmetry. Long legs and wings on Deer Hair Bass Bugs and Poppers can cause this.
(4) If you have gotten a pull-through on your fly where the tippet gets wrapped around the fly.

It is a good idea to check your tippet periodically to make sure it had not developed any twists.

Out With the Old Tippet Material

Out With The Old Tippet Material Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

Each year I like to replace all of my tippet material. This includes everything from 0X down to 7X.  The tippet is the weakest part of our fly fishing tackle. I do not like to take a chance in breaking of a large fish for the few dollars it will cost to replace it.

Late Season Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing

Late Season Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

The back eddies that form below the riffles on the side of the river with the slowest current often hold large bass as the rivers get cold. The slow current and the abundance of minnow life prompt this mini-migration from the shallows. These back eddies can range from ten to fifty feet in diameter and four to six feet deep. I catch many of these bass on the Murray’s Magnum Bluegill Streamer size 4 and Murray’s Magnum Darter Streamer size 4. I strip them six inches every ten seconds to swim them slowly across the streambottom. A sinking head line is a big help with my Murray’s Fluorocarbon 6 foot 2X Sinking Line Leader.  I want to hook these bass solidly in the deep water. I use a three foot fast line hand strike simultaneously with a powerful rod lifting strike.

Set The Hook With A Slip Strike

Set The Hook With A Slip Strike Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

When I am fishing trout streams such as Nelson’s in Montana where there are some large trout feeding on tiny flies, I set the hook with a “Slip Strike”. For example, I will often fish a size 24 Olive Dry when the trout are feeding on a pseudocloeon hatch. If they are especially hard to fool I will go to 7X.

My idea behind this strike is to hook the fish solidly. Then instantly reduce the pressure on the leader. I hold the line between my thumb & forefinger of my line hand as my fly is drifting to the trout. Then when the trout takes my fly, I set the hook with a gentle pull with my line hand. The instant I feel the resistance of the hook penetrating the trout’s jaw I release the grip on the line between my thumb and forefinger. This hooks the trout solidly and protects the fine tippet.

Barbless Hooks

Barbless Hooks Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

Thirty years ago Virginia Game & Inland Fisheries closed the South Fork of the Shenandoah River to keeping fish for human consumption.  This is after DuPont revealed they dumped mercury into the river. Many anglers believed that the river  was closed to fishing. That was not true! Basically, I had the whole river almost to myself. The fishing was outstanding! This invited me to do a great deal of experimentation. Some of this included comparing the number of bass I landed on barbless hooks with the number I landed on barbed hooks.

After a summer of testing I came away convinced that I landed 30% more bass on the barbless hooks. I believe that many of the bass that got off were not hooked solidly with the barb penetrating their hard lips. Basically I suspected they were just hanging on the point of the hook. A slight flip during the fight set them free. Today I use all barbless hooks from size 24 midges up to size 4/0 saltwater hooks.

Enjoy The Challenge of Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass at Night

I enjoy the challenge of fly fishing for smallmouth bass at night because I often catch some large bass. Choosing sections of the river I know well  allows me to get in and out of the stream safely. This helps me to avoid old barbed wire fence and itch weed.  I use a Folstaf Wading Staff to probe the streambottom. I do this so I do not trip over a ledge or wade into a deep pool.

Wade downstream and cast down and across stream at a forty five degree angle. This enables me to fish flies such as the Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker, Murray’s Magnum Creek Chub and the Shenandoah Chugger. I fish these flies with a firm noisy line hand stripping action and quickly feel the strike and hook the bass.

The Murray’s Bass Bug 9 foot 0X Leader is ideal for night fishing. These leaders cast the big flies well. They are also strong enough to set the hook on the big bass.

The Best Time for Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing on the North or South Fork

The Best Time for Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing on the North or South Fork

Smallmouth bass feed the heaviest in low light levels. For my personal fishing this means the first two hours at dawn and the last two hours at dusk. Since I am in my fly shop until after 5 pm each day, I can easily grab my tackle. I can get to either the North or South Fork of the Shenandoah River for several hours of great fishing.
During these low light levels the bass often move to the areas that contain large populations of natural foods. Some of my most productive areas in the low light levels are the edges of the grassbeds where the water is two to three feet deep.  Also in the tails of the pools. Also the two to three foot deep gravel bars where they taper off into the deep water.

Check out our Smallmouth Bass Fishing on the Shenandoah River 101 Class on February 10, 2018 and March 17, 2018. This two hour class will show you the best access points on the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River by utilizing the master map and books, Virginia Blue-Ribbon Streams and Fly Fishing Techniques for Smallmouth Bass.

How To Fish The Famous Shenandoah Blue Popper

How To Fish The Famous Shenandoah Blue Popper

For the last several weeks I have been catching many smallmouth bass along the shaded banks with the Shenandoah Blue Popper size 4.
If the water is three to five feet deep over cobblestone streambottoms many fish  feed in these shaded areas.
I like to cast my Shenandoah Blue Popper within a foot of the banks. I even use a side-arm cast at times to shoot my Shenandoah Blue Popper back under overhanging tree limbs. Often I use a gentle upstream mend to help hold the Shenandoah Blue Popper close to the bank as the current pulls it downstream.
This tactic is so productive that I often spend several hours using it as long as the stream depth and shade hold up.

Check out our 2 Hour Workshop on Smallmouth Bass Fishing on the Shenandoah River 101.  This workshop will show you the best access points on both the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Mr. Murray will show you the master map and the books, Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams and Fly Fishing Techniques for Smallmouth Bass.

Fly Rod and Reel Resting Against a Tree

If you see a nice fly rod and reel resting against a tree at a popular access point and there is no other car close by, just leave it there. Eventually the owner will realize where he left it and he will come back to get it. If you find a rod and reel underwater in a river, take it to the closest tackle shop and tell them where you found it. Also write down the manufacturer and the serial number on the rod. Then call the manufacturer, they may have the owners name and address on record.

Fishing To Get Away From Crowds of Fly Fishing Anglers

Fishing To Get Away From Crowds of Fly Fishing Anglers Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

There are several tactics I use when fishing to get away from crowds of fly fishing anglers.

(1) When fishing rivers the size of the Beaverkill at Horse Brook Run, I wade across the river and fish up the far side. This same ploy works well on the Madison River at Slide Inn where I wade across the river.

(2) On small mountain trout streams such as the Crazy Mountains in Montana or the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, I hike in well away from the access points before I start fishing.

(3) Get to the streams at daylight or stay until dark.

(4) Avoid streams for several years which are written up in national magazines.

(5) Do not let rain or snow stop you from fishing.

(6) Enter the large rivers at the public access points but fish upstream.

Two or Three Nymph Rig Systems

Two or Three Nymph Rig Systems Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

Charlie Brooks of West Yellowstone got me into fishing two or three nymph rig systems many years ago. These flies can easily become twisted with the regular casts so I cast these with a slow wide loop. Another method is to make your back cast low to the side. Then turn your wrist and make your forward cast in a higher plane. In low and out high.

My Three Favorite Smallmouth Bass Flies

My Three Favorite Smallmouth Bass Flies Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

In order to get good smallmouth bass fishing with underwater flies I like to use patterns which match the natural foods the smallmouth bass feed upon.

My most dependable nymph is the Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite size 4.  The riffles are loaded with the natural hellgrammites. Fish these upstream dead drift by using the Murray’s Bright Butt 9 foot 2X Leader with its built in indicator system.

My most productive minnow imitation is the Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker Streamer size 4. For many years the bait fishermen have relied on the natural hog suckers to catch their largest bass. I fish these along the edge of the gravel bars where they drop into the deep part of the river at dusk. I catch many bass this way!

My most effective surface bug is the Shenandoah Blue Popper size 4. I rely strongly on this fly because it out-fishes other surface bugs by a great margin. I just do not like to change a winning game!

Good Nymph Fisherman

Good Nymph Fly Fisherman Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

I have a friend who is an especially good nymph fisherman. Whether we are fishing the Madison River for browns or the Blue Ridge Mountains for brook trout, he catches many nice trout.  He does this by fishing nymphs upstream dead drift.
When watching him, I detect a common trait which is a landmark of many serious nymph anglers. That is, at some point in the last half of the drift he sets the hook on the majority of the casts. Does this mean he is getting this many strikes from trout? No, but when he is not getting a strike, he is bumping the streambottom with the nymph.
This tells me that we should all consider fishing out nymphs deeply with a natural drift.

Three Ways to Fish Streamers on Large Rivers

Three Ways to Fish Streamers on Large Rivers Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

When Ray Hurley, my Yellowstone River Guide of 17 years, and I fished the Yellowstone, he encouraged fishing streamers in order to catch large trout. Here are our most effective tactics: (1) When we are floating the river with Ray, with the oars of his Hyde Drift Boat, he had me pound the banks with a Sculpin Streamer. When we beached the boat (2) Ray fished the heads of the pools with a Sculpin Streamer and (3) I fished the tails of the pools with a Sculpin Streamer.

The Best Five Flies for Fishing Large Trout Streams in the Summer & Fall

The Best Five Flies for Fishing Large Trout Streams in the Summer & Fall

I like to cover the spectrum of fly needs from drys to nymphs to streamers on the large streams during the Summer and Fall because these served me well last year.

Shenk’s Cricket Dry size 12
Dave’s Hopper size 10
Mr. Rapidan Streamer size 10
Murray’s Olive Strymph size 10
Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle Nymph size 14

I do well with the Dave’s Hopper and Shenk’s Cricket Dry fished along the shaded banks with a very gentle twitching action. The nymphs and streamers are very productive in the deep pools and in the deep pockets below the riffles.

The Murray’s Classic 9 foot 4X Leader is ideal for this fishing.

My Three Effective Hard Head Smallmouth Bass Bugs

My Three Effective Hard Head Smallmouth Bass Bugs:

(1) The Shenandoah Chugger has a fat body with a deeply cut face with which we can make a great racket to lure bass from deep runs.

(2) The Shenandoah Slider has a a slim body with a long painted nose enabling us to tease strikes from large bass in the shallows.

(3) The Shenandoah Popper with its up-sloping face and long tapered body helps us create a broad variety of actions. It enables us to successfully fish many different feeding stations.

Smallmouth Bass River Float Trips

Smallmouth Bass River Float Trips Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

Smallmouth bass river float trips can be very productive and a great amount of fun. I like to hold my trips down to miles or less.  This is because when I come to a nice grassbed and riffle, I like to beach my boat. Then I get out to wade and fish these areas.
Even though our Hyde Drift Boat has excellent leg-locks in both the front and back, I do not like to stand up in a boat when fly fishing for smallmouth bass. I believe that this will scare the smallmouth bass.
It is wise to carry a backup fly rod and reel in the boat in case something gets broken. One day on the Yellowstone River an outfit fell overboard and was gone.  Even in the summer I always carry a raincoat and a change of clothes in a dry bag.
I like to park the vehicle that will carry or tow my boat at the downstream take our spot in case a bad storm comes up and I want to get away from the river quickly.

Smallmouth Bass Primary Feeding Stations

Smallmouth Bass Primary Feeding Stations Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

Many large smallmouth bass select their “primary feeding stations” according to the amount of natural food that is available. They also select it because of the low level of the natural light. This is why almost everyday during the summer, after I close my fly shop, I head to the Shenandoah River to fish the tail of a pool at dusk.

The Murray’s Floating Chub Minnow and Murray’s Floating Dace Minnow which match the natural minnows here produce great action.

Wild Trout

Now that the streams are low and clear, my favorite way to catch wild trout is to spot them on their feeding stations in the stream. I then go one on one with each trout. Subtle “signals” are the easiest physical features to help us spot the trout.

These signals include:
– the trout’s slight movement
– the difference in the trout’s shape and the stones on the streambottom
-the contrast in color of the trout’s body and the streambottom and the trout’s shadow

Murray’s Fly Shop
Harry Murray
121 South Main Street
PO Box 156
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Email Address: info@murraysflyshop.com
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com

Musky Fly Fishing

Musky Fly Fishing Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

Musky fly fishing is becoming very popular in Virginia. We have Musky in both the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River.  If you stop in the fly shop in Edinburg, Virginia I can show you these locations. We keep a broad selection of musky flies, special leaders, lines, rods and reels.
You can purchase the St. Croix Imperial 9 foot 10 weight 4 piece Fly Rod for $270.00. This is an outstanding Musky Fly Fishing Rod that will help you take advantage of these large flies. We also sell this in a combination which includes the St. Croix Imperial 9 foot 10 weight 4 piece Fly Rod, Orvis Battenkill Disc V Reel, Scientific Anglers Sonar 30 Clear 350 Grain Fly Line, Scientific Anglers 20 pound 100 yards Backing and Special Mon-Wire Leader. This combination is at a special price of $498.00.

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.

My Five Favorite Flies for Falling Water in the Mountain Trout Streams

My Five Favorite Flies for Falling Water in the Mountain Trout Streams

The mountain trout streams are dropping but the levels are still full so I use some dry flies and some nymphs. I still prefer coming into the heads of the streams from the trailheads I discussed in my books, Virginia Blue-Ribbon Streams and Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park.
My favorite dry flies are the Murray’s Brown Drake size 14, Mr. Rapidan Black Delta Wing Caddis size 14 and Mr. Rapidan Parachute size 14.
An effective technique which is ideal in this water level is to attach one of these dry flies to a Murray’s Classic 7.5 foot 5X Leader. Then attach a Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph size 14 or a Murray’s Dark Miracle Stonefly Nymph size 14 to a twenty four inch 5X dropper below the dry fly.

My Five Favorite Flies for High Water on Mountain Trout Streams

My Five Favorite Flies for High Water on Mountain Trout Streams

To find good trout fishing in the mountain streams  after a week of rain, I go into the heads of the streams from the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. I hike down a mile, then fish my way back up the mountain. Nymphs are very effective now. I use the Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph size 12, Murray’s Professor Nymph size 14, Murray’s Dark Miracle Stonefly Nymph size 12, Murray’s Magic Tan Caddis Pupa size 12 and Mr. Rapidan Brown Soft Hackle Nymph size 12. I fish these all flies on Murray’s Trout Nymph 9 foot Leader. I rely strongly on these built in indicators to detect my strikes.

Switch Rods For Smallmouth Bass

Jeff and I have been using our Scott Switch Rods for bass fishing in the the rivers for many years. Here are a few of the great angling features  the switch rods help us with.  If I am wading a river where there is a solid line of trees behind me that would prevent a regular back cast with my regular, single hand, smallmouth bass rod, the switch rod easily lets me roll out long casts.
When I am fishing nymphs and streamers across fast currents the extra length of my switch rod easily helps me reach high in order to negate the fast currents before me that would rob me of depth. Also in similar situations I can use long controlled mends in order to swim my flies deeply.
Making long casts is easy with a switch rod so I can fish poppers along the far shaded banks when the river before me is too deep to wade.

Access Sites

Access Sites Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop– Edinburg, Virginia

I am presently working with land owners in order to develop more access sites for anglers on our streams. Most of them are very understanding and are willing to help. Trash left on their land is the land owners main concern. One even told me that someone had dumped an old mattress on his land. This was the exact spot I was asking him for permission for us to park and fish.
In order to have a good relationship with these land owners, I suggest we each carry a few plastic garbage bags in our cars. Then we can clean up the access sites where we park to fish before we start fishing.
It is also good policy to clean up access sites on the National Forest and National Park Lands.

Splashy Presentations

Splashy Presentations Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

In order to solve the problem of splashy presentations when you are fishing dry flies for trout ,just aim higher. Act like you are casting your fly to land on a coffee table a foot over the stream. This is very easy to achieve and it allows the dry fly to settle gently onto the stream.

Murray’s Fly Shop
Harry Murray
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Email Address: info@murraysflyshop.com
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com

Casts

Many beginning anglers make much longer casts on mountain trout streams than is required. This robs them of accuracy and delicacy. Most of all it robs them of their chance of getting a drag-free fly drift.
I recently showed a group of beginning anglers how to preform my “Flip Cast”. In a few minutes they were all making perfect presentation casts.
Holding the fly in my line-hand I have ten feet of slack line hanging between the rod tip and the fly.  I bend over and move in low and slowly to the spot I plan to make my presentation cast. The fly rod is help perpendicular while still holding the fly tightly in my line hand and retaining the ten feet of slack. I snap the fly rod forward and release the fly as the fly line rolls forward and presents the fly accurately to the target. You will be well pleased with the accuracy and delicacy you can achieve with my Flip Cast. Do not confuse this with a bow and arrow cast which lacks this accuracy.

Five Basic Angling Tools

There are five basic anglers tools I always carry in my fly fishing pack and fly fishing vest. These five items include: a clipper on a retracting reel, Murray’s Hook Sharpening File, Pocket Thermometer, Murray’s Dry Fly Floatant and Anglers Forceps.
Inside my fly fishing pack and fly fishing vest I carry an assortment of gadgets I may not use once a year but I do not want to b without them. These include a small waterproof flashlight, a police whistle, a small Swiss Army knife, a butane lighter, ferrule cement, extra rod tip top and two snake guides. It also includes band aids, extra leader clipper and an extra leader.
Murray’s Fly Shop
Harry Murray
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Email Address: info@murraysflyshop.com
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com

Five Best Early Season Smallmouth Bass Flies

Five Best Early Season Smallmouth Bass Flies
Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite, Murray’s Black Madtom Sculpin Streamer, Murray’s Olive Marauder, Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker Streamer and Shenk’s White Streamer.

In reviewing my stream notes from last year, here are the five best early season smallmouth bass flies which were the most productive from March through June. Based on this success I plan to rely strongly on these for my early season smallmouth bass fishing this year.

Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite size 4
Shenk’s White Streamer size 4
Murray’s Olive Marauder size 6
Magnum Hog Sucker Streamer size 4
Murray’s Black Madtom Sculpin Streamer size 4

As long as the smallmouth bass rivers continue to run at a full level, I fish these these on a Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink 30 Warm Tip Fly Line in 200 grains with a Murray’s Fluorocarbon 6 foot 2X Sinking Line Leader. Once the stream level drops I fish these flies on a SA Sharkwave Siege  Weight Forward 7 Floating Fly Line with a Murray’s Bright Butt 9 foot 2X Leader.

Check out our Smallmouth Bass On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools, Bass Fishing On The Shenandoah River Workshop. Also check out Learn To Cast and Rig Tackle Workshop and Half Day On The Stream Fly Fishing Lessons.

Also do not forget about our Mountain Trout On The Stream Fly Fishing Lessons and Guide Trips!

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Email Address: info@murraysflyshop.com
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com

Heavy Angling Pressure

Heavy Angling Pressure Blog- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
The sections of the smallmouth bass rivers upstream of the take-out spots are the best because they receive light angling pressure. By the time the fishermen have floated this far, they are either running late or they are tired.

Heavy Angling Pressure Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

Frequently I find outstanding smallmouth bass fly fishing on rivers that receive heavy angling pressure. Mostly from floating fishermen in boats, canoes and kayaks. My trick is to wade into the river at the popular take-out spots.  Then turn and wade upstream for my fly fishing.
I have found that the stretched of the smallmouth bass river upstream from the popular take-out spots actually receive light angling pressure. It looks to me like that by the time most float-trips anglers reach the take-out spot they are wither worn-out, running late or are drunk! At any rate the serious angling pressure is light.

Check out our Smallmouth Bass On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools and Half Day On The Stream Fly Fishing Lessons. Also check out our Basic Fly Tying Workshop and Smallmouth Fishing on the Shenandoah River Workshop. Also check out our Learn to Fly Cast and Rig Tackle Workshop.

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com
Email Address: info@murraysflyshop.com

Rewarding Outdoor-Experiences

Rewarding Outdoor-Experiences Blog Murray's Fly Shop
Camping in the remote sections of the mountain trout streams provides wonderful fishing and experiences you will never forget.

Rewarding Outdoor-Experiences Blog Murray’s Fly Shop

One of the most rewarding outdoor-experiences is to hike into the remote sections of the mountain trout streams in order to camp and fish for several days. I like to set up my tent where two of the main feeder streams enter the streams.  This enables me to fish the main stream one day and each of the feeders the next two days. By choosing the location carefully and heading into the mountains in the middle of the week, you will often heave the whole stream to yourself and find outstanding trout fishing.

Check out our Mountain Trout On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools.

Streamer Fly Fishing

Streamer Fly Fishing Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

Streamer Fly Fishing Blog- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
Streamer fishing is very effective when you handle the swing of the fly properly for prompt strike detection and solid hook ups on the strike.

Streamers normally imitate minnows and bait fish. A very effective tactic is to cast these across stream and swim them back across stream so the fly is broadside to the current. As the current plays on the fly and fly line it is pulled downstream as it swings across stream. It is very important to keep the rod tip pointed where the fly line enters the stream. Then you can feel the strike the instant the fish take it. In this way you can set the hook quickly with a combination line-hand strike. You can also use a rod lifting motion before the fish detects it as a phony and ejects it. I find that by rotating my body downstream at the same rate the streamer is swinging, I can easily apply this technique.

Fishing Information

Fishing Information Blog- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
An accurate stream log is extremely helpful when planning future trips.

Each evening when I return from a local fishing trip, I record the important fishing information on a large calendar in my kitchen. This helps me plan my later trips this season and during future years. Information which I find helpful includes: the stream fished and which section, stream level, stream temperature, the insect hatches and hot heavy, my most productive flies and the best sizes.
When I return from distant trips out of state that I fish for two to three weeks, I record the information in my stream log that will help me plan future trips. Some of this includes the best streams fished and what sections and weather. Other important information is stream levels, hatches, most productive flies and general information on food and lodging.

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com
Email Address: info@murraysflyshop.com

Stream Thermometer

Stream Thermometer- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
I rely greatly on my Stream Thermometer in order to find good fishing.

Stream Thermometer- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

I use my stream thermometer every day when I am on a trout stream and a smallmouth bass river.  This information gives me a more complete picture of why the fishing is as I find it that day. This helps me greatly on future fishing trips.
For example, if I get a reading of 36 degrees Fahrenheit on a mountain trout stream in the spring I know I will do best by fishing nymphs rather than drys . This is because the trout do not feed well at this low temperature.  Then by August if I get a 68 degrees Fahrenheit reading on a mountain brook trout stream I know I am going to have to fish very carefully because this is approaching the upper range of the brook trout comfort zone.

Check out for Mountain Trout Fly Fishing Schools, Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Schools, Half Day On The Stream Fly Fishing Lessons, and our Saturday Fly Fishing Workshops.

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com
Email Address: info@murraysflyshop.com

Loop Versus a Needle Knot

Loop Versus a Needle Knot Blog- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
I like to use a needle knot coated with thin coats of Pliobond for attaching my leader to the fly line on my delicate trout outfits because this slides through the guides very smoothly.

This week’s blog we will be discussing a Loop Versus a Needle Knot.

Most fly lines now come with a loop built into the forward part of the line. This is very convenient for connecting your leader with a loop to loop connection.  Therefore I use this on my seven weight smallmouth bass outfit. However, on my trout outfits for lines two to three in the East and lines four to six in the Rockies, I attach my leaders to the fly line with a needle knot. I coat these with three very thin coats of Pliobond. I prefer the needle knot on my lighter outfits. It slides through the guides easier than a loop to loop line connection.

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com
Email Address: info@murraysflyshop.com

Fool the Trico Feeder

Fool the Trico Feeder- Trout Fly Fishing- Murray's Fly Shop- Virginia
The Trico hatch brings up many large trout. I like to get to the stream early and stay late to catch the early and late feeders.

Today’s blog I will be discussing how to fool the Trico feeder.

I really enjoy fishing the Trico mayfly hatch all across the country. This hatch can be very heavy on some streams.

For example, one morning as I was fishing upstream, I came to a low-hanging limb of an oak tree. This limb had a fresh spider web that trapped many tricos. Holding my hand up beside the spider web and counting by tens I estimated that under the span of my hand there were two hundred trapped tricos.

At the peak of this hatch the trout are often very selective in requiring a drag-free drift and the pattern they will take. I have found an easy way to fool some of these tough trout. The best way is get to the stream an hour before the hatch starts. I also stay an hour after it is over.

The trout are much easier to catch when the Tricos are sparse at the beginning and end of the hatch.

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
PO Box 156
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com
Email Address: info@murraysflyshop.com

Splash

Splash- Trout Fly Fishing- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
The natural cricket often falls onto the stream with a splash so presenting Shenk’s Cricket with a splash often brings solid strikes.

Today’s blog I will talk about how to present a fly so it lands on the stream with a slight splash.

From the middle of the summer until fall many trout feed heavily on terrestrial insects.  I experiment with various methods of fishing these from natural drifts to a twitching action to dapping. However, there is one type of presentation which often brings solid strikes from large trout when all other methods fail. This is presenting the fly so it lands on the stream with a slight splash. I assume the trout are attracted to an artificial fly which lands on the stream in this way because the trout are accustomed to feeding on natural beetles, wasp, hornets, grasshoppers and crickets which land on the stream with a splash.

This type delivery is easy to achieve by imparting a firm snap at the last moment when using a regular cast or a roll cast.

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com
Email Address: info@murraysflyshop.com

Five Best Winter Trout Flies for Large Streams

Five Best Winter Trout Flies for Large Streams
Many large trout feed heavily during the winter in the large streams.
Five Best Winter Trout Flies for Large Streams
Murray’s Black Marauder, Murray’s Pearl Marauder, Mr. Rapidan Dry, Murray’s Dark Miracle Stonefly Nymph and Mr. Rapidan Brown Soft Hackle Nymph.

Last year from January until March these were our five best winter trout flies for large streams.

Fishing these nymphs and streamers deeply in the pockets below the riffles and in the deep pools produce many large trout. I do well with the Mr. Rapidan Dry Fly by fishing it along the edges of the riffles where the trout enter the pools.

I fish the nymphs and streamers on a Murray’s Trout Nymph 9 foot 4X  Leader with the built in Scientific Anglers Indicators. I fish the dry fly on a Murray’s Classic 9 foot 4X Leader.

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com
Email: info@murraysflyshop.com

Caddisflies

Caddisflies Trout Fly Fishing- Murray's Fly Shop Edinburg, Virginia
One can often catch many trout with a Murray’s Magic Caddis Pupa as a dropper below a Mr. Rapidan Delta Wing Caddis when a caddis hatch is on.

There is a good hatch of caddisflies and you see several trout feeding in each pool. However, even though you try several dry caddisflies in different colors and sizes, you can’t seem to catch many trout.

What is the problem?

Many natural caddis pupa drift several feet just below the surface of the stream before breaking through to fly away as adults. Frequently it is difficult to discern if the trout are taking the emerging pupa or the adult. A good tactic to solve this problem is to fish a Mr. Rapidan Delta Wing Caddis on a Murray’s Classic 7.5 foot 5X Leader with a Murray’s Magic Caddis Pupa on a twenty four 6X mono dropper coming off the bend of the dry fly hook with an improved clinch knot. This way you will catch the pupa feeders and dry fly feeders.

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com
Email: info@murraysflyshop.com

Fly Fishing Tackle Questions

Fly Fishing Taackle Questions
Here on Bis Spring Creek my 6X Classic Leader was perfect for fishing my Mr. Rapidan Ant size 18.

There are two  fly fishing tackle questions that anglers have been asking Murray’s Fly Shop so Mr. Harry Murray has answered those questions below.

  1. Why can’t you present a size 6 Popper smoothly on a 6X Leader?
  2. Why can’t you catch a rising trout on a size 18 dry fly fished on an 0X Leader?

The answer is simple: The leader tippet has to be chosen correctly to match the fly size. The formula below helps.

Fly Size ÷ 3 = Tippet in X

An example is size 18 Fly ÷ 3 = 6X Tippet

So remember this formula next time you are fishing!

Also check out Fly Fishing Questions and Answers Blog.

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com
Email: info@murraysflyshop.com

Slack Line Casts

Ever since Vince Marinaro showed me his puddle cast here on the Letort, I have relied on it daily to achieve drag-free fly drifts.

I have come to rely strongly on Marinaro’s  “Puddle Cast” in order to achieve drag free dry fly drifts to fool the trout.
Even though I have been using this cast successfully for many years, ever since Vince showed me how to present it, just this year I have found many special situations in which it has helped me catch many trout that I would not have caught otherwise.
Basically the forward presentation is stopped about thirty degrees above the stream with extra line in the air than is needed to reach the target. The cast is stopped suddenly and the extra line is allowed to fall on the stream in a puddle.
I have been able to extrapolate the refinements of the puddle casts by altering the elevation and angle of the rod and the speed of the line on the presentation.

Primary Feeding Stations for Trout

Primary Feeding Stations Jeff Murray Murray's Fly Shop Virginia
Learning to identify the primary feeding stations in the streams is one of the most valuable things you can master.

Learning to find the primary feeding stations for trout is the most valuable thing an angler can learn.
The largest trout in the pool selects what I call the Primary Feeding Station. This location enables the trout to capture the maximum amount of food while expending the least amount of energy.
Experience on the stream will teach you to identify these with great accuracy. I saw my fishing partner prove this. He allowed himself only one cast into each pool on ten consecutive pools… He caught ten trout.

Harry Murray
PO Box 156
121 South Main Street
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Email: info@murraysflyshop.com
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com

Fly Fishing Essentials- Must Haves

Fly Fishing Essentials- Must Haves Extra Fly Boxx Trout Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop
I always carry an extra fly box in my vest or chest pack just in case I loose my main fly box.

Fly fishing essentials- must haves include a variety of gear, an extra fly box is an easy one.
For my trout fishing I carry the flies I need for each trip in one small fly box in my chest pack. When doing this on the Armstrong last year I lost my main fly box and had to fish with those flies that were on my dry fly patch. Ever since that day I have carry a second small fly box with a dozen emergency flies in my chest pack.

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
121 South Main Street
PO Box 156
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Email: info@murraysflyshop.com
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com

Safe Wading Techniques

Safe Wading Techniques Fly Fishing Outer Banks Murray's Fly Shop
Fishing the Outer Banks is great from a guide boat but be careful if you are wading alone.

Safe wading techniques are paramount to your enjoyment while on the water.  Several years ago I almost drowned at the Outer Banks when I foolishly waded into water that was too deep while wearing chest high waders. I now do two things differently.  Since I now fish there after May, I always wade wet figuring I can swim better with no waders. I also wear a inflatable life belt.

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
121 South Main Street
PO Box 156
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
Phone Number: 540-984-4212
Email: info@murraysflyshop.com
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com

Chest High Waders or Hippers?

I find hippers ideal for fishing small mountain trout streams and go to chest high waters on large streams.
I find hippers ideal for fishing small mountain trout streams and go to chest high waters on large streams.

I use Chest High Waders when I am fishing large trout streams and smallmouth bass rivers.  I wear hippers when I am fishing mountain trout streams. If I walk into a mountain trout streams for two miles or less I wear my hippers to walk in. If I plan to walk in more than two miles, I hang my hippers over my shoulder and wear hiking shoes to walk in, then stick my shoes up on the bank and put my hippers on to fish.  After I finish fishing, I put my hiking shoes back on and carry my hippers to walk back out of the mountain.

The Angler’s Friend – Folstaf Wading Staff

Harry Murray Folstaf Wading Staff Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Virginia
My Folstaf Wading Staff is neatly folded only inches away from my right hand where I can quickly grab it when I need it.

I never head into any stream without my Folstaf Wading Staff.  Many anglers readily see the safety advantages of using a Wading Staff when fishing deep water.  However, if you do slip and fall into water which is waist deep you get wet. But remember if you fall down in water which is ankle deep, you can easily break bones. I have tested many different styles of wading staffs, but I like my Folstaff Wading Staff best of all because it is very durable and dependable.

Watch out video on our Folstaff Wading Staff, https://vine.co/v/MOQHwvt0gAg

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
121 South Main Street
PO Box 156
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
540-984-4212
Email: info@murraysflyshop.com
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com

Fly Casting Classes

Jeff Murray On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools Murray's Fly Shop Virignia
We teach the students in our schools all types of casts and how to use each cast in different situations.

In my Fly Casting and Rigging Tackle Classes and in my “On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools”, I find that most beginning anglers are more interested in learning to cast far than they are to cast well.
Long casts are great when you need them, but for most trout anglers accuracy and delicacy in fly placement are the main goals which spell success on the stream. When I show my students my “flip cast” and my “pendulum cast”, they are astounded with the accuracy in fly placement they can achieve. The ultimate reward which thrills them is the great number of wary trout they catch in this way.

Harry Murray
Murray’s Fly Shop
121 South Main Street
PO Box 156
Edinburg, Virginia 22824
540-984-4212
Website: www.murraysflyshop.com
Email: info@murraysflyshop.com

Sink Tip Mini Lead Head

Instant Sink Tip Class III (4 feet)
Instant Sink Tip Class III

I used to make these out of lead core trolling line in many lengths from four inches to ten feet long. I whipped a loop on both ends.  Today I have settled for a four foot model. By inserting these into a regular leader with a loop-to-loop connection, you can fish streamers and nymphs to extra depths. These do not work as well nor cast as well as the Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink Tip III Fly Lines but they are an inexpensive substitute.

Murray’s Liquid Dry Fly Floatant

Murray's 4 ounce Liquid Dry Fly Floatant.
Murray’s 4 ounce Liquid Dry Fly Floatant.
Murray's 1 ounce Liquid Dry Fly Floatant
Murray’s 1 ounce Liquid Dry Fly Floatant
Murray's Dry Fly Floatant with Holder.
Murray’s Dry Fly Floatant with Holder.

I make this in my fly shop with special ingredients in order to achieve the three most important functions I believe we need in a dry fly floatant. This cleans, drys and waterproofs a dry fly all in one step.
Some anglers soak the dry flies they plan to use in this solution for ten minutes a day or two before they are going fishing in order to build a semi-waterproof coating on each fly.