Tag Archives: poppers

September Fly Fishing Podcast

Trout Fishing September
In September we get excellent trout fishing during the caddis hatch by fishing the Mr. Rapidan Delta Wing Caddis, Tan size 16 with a Murray’s Tan Caddis Pupa size 14 as a dropper below it.

In today’s fly fishing podcast Harry Murray discusses the tactics and fly patterns which are effective for fishing for trout during the Brown Sedge Caddisfly hatch which is on during September. His discussion of fishing the emerging pupa as a dropper below the Mr. Rapidan Delta Wing Dry Fly will help you catch many large trout. Harry also discusses the special feeding stations in the pools where he is catching many trout on the Mr. Rapidan Ants and the special casts which help him.

Over the last three years Harry and his son, Jeff have been developing special Riffle Hitch Techniques and flies which are effective for smallmouth bass. Today Harry describes how to fish this riffle hitch and the new flies which are effective.

Bass Flies:  Bass Skater Shad Streamer #6, Bass Skater Flash Streamer #6, Bass Skater Gold Streamer #6, Shenandoah Blue Popper #4 & #6, Shenandoah Chartreuse Chugger #4 & #6

September Bass Fly Fishing
The clients in our smallmouth bass guide trips quickly master the technique of fishing the riffle cast and catch many large bass with this tactic.

Fly Fishing Workshops on trout fishing, bass fishing, fly casting, fly tying, and more from Murray’s Fly Shop.

Fly Fishing Podcast July 2016 Report

July 2016 Podcast-- Crayfish
To imitate the natural crayfish found in the rivers, use our Murray’s Crayfish pattern

As I am doing this fly fishing podcast I am realizing that many of you are going to be enjoying the outdoors this July 4th weekend by the phone calls, emails, and orders the fly shop has been receiving.  Please be safe and considerate of the land owners and others as you take in natures beauty.   I plan to enjoy it myself!

Trout Fishing
In this podcast I want to discuss the how, when, and where to fish my new “change of pace” dry flies for trout that feed selectively.  I thought that if I could develop a different fly which showed the trout a new silhouette and light pattern  that matched a natural food they feed upon, I might be able to catch these trout. By experimenting I developed the  Murray’s Housefly Dry, Oakworm Dry, Yellow Jacket Dry, Moth Dry,  Wasp Dry, and Horsefly Dry.  I fish all of these with a Classic 9ft 6X Leader.

Bass Fishing
The smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent due to the great food load and the  rains keeping the water levels up.  Hence, in a recent school one of our instructors stuck a smallmouth bass that was over 5 pounds on our Murray’s Crayfish pattern while showing the class the swing nymph technique.  Our topwater action is picking up and we have been doing very well with our famous Shenandoah Blue Popper. I fish these on a Bright Butt 9ft. 2X Leader.

 

Learn to catch Smallmouth Bass on Popping Bugs

Smallmouth Bass on Popping Bugs Fly Fishing Lesson It’s prime time for catching Smallmouth Bass on Poppers!  Learn the three most productive tactics for catching Bass on Popping Bugs in our Half Day On-the-Stream Class – July 1, 2016 from 4-6pm.

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.

Wary Smallmouth Bass

As the smallmouth rivers get low and clear I find that I can prevent scaring the largest bass by wading upstream and fishing upstream ahead of me. An effective technique with streamers such as the Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker Streamer is to fan the casts across the pool ahead of you and strip it back just slightly faster than the current so you can feel the strike.  With nymphs such as the Murray’s Skunk Road Kill Nymph I use a slow rod lifting bounce retrieve to swim it along the streambottom. This gives me a tight line to the nymph so I can feel the strike.  The Shenandoah Chugger is a great hard head surface bug to fish upstream because you can fish it gently back downstream or strip it loudly to bring the up from the deep cuts. One of the students in my smallmouth school caught over thirty nice smallmouths in one large pool using this last tactic.

The Best Action with Surface Bugs

Surface Bug Bass Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop VA
The best smallmouth bass surface bug action comes from fishing the pattern that gives the action needed.

In order to catch large bass consistently on hard surface bugs it is very important to be able to adjust the bug action to the type of water we are fishing. I have designed the Shenandoah Surface Bugs with this goal in mind.  (1) For example, we often find bass feeding in water two feet deep along the shaded banks and a gentle teasing bug-action is very effective. The Shenandoah Slider with its long slim pointed nose is very productive here.  (2) Four feet deep banks with fast currents produce large bass to a bug that can create a loud water-throwing action. The Shenandoah Chugger with its fat body and deeply cut face quickly brings these bass to the surface with a firm stripping action.  (3) Grass beds and gentle current areas hold many bass that will take bug-action between these two extremes. The Shenandoah Popper with its long tapered body and up-sloping face will take many of these bass.

Surface Bass Bugs – Murray’s Fly Shop

Bass Surface Bugs - Murray's Fly Shop - Fishing a Popper close to the shaded banks will give you many bass
Bass Surface Bugs – Murray’s Fly Shop – Fishing a Popper close to the shaded banks will give you many bass

Surface Bass Bugs – Murray’s Fly Shop – Poppers and Smallmouth Bass!!  Here is the most dependable technique I use in my personal fishing with popping bugs and the method the anglers in my smallmouth schools learn quickly and catch many smallmouth bass with. My reason for developing this technique lies on the fact that many large bass choose feeding stations along the shaded banks where the water is from two to four feet deep flowing over a cobblestone stream bottom.  My goal is to fish my Shenandoah Blue Popper size 6 on long drifts as close to these banks as possible with a gentle teasing action. I position myself 40 feet out from the bank and cast my Popper 20 degrees down and across stream so it lands very close to the bank.  Since the fast current between the bank and myself could quickly grab the fly line and pull my Popper off the bank it is imperative that I instantly mend the fly line belly back upstream.  This should be done with just enough force to cause the Popper to move only several inches.  This will assure that the Popper will drift naturally about 5 feet down the river very close to the bank over the bass’ feeding stations.  By this time the current will start pulling on my fly line again and I need to mend the belly back upstream.  However, I’m careful to use only enough force to cause my Popping Bug to move only several inches.  Again I’ll get another 5 foot natural drift along the bank.  Repeating this method the third time assures you that you have effectively fished your Popper naturally 15 feet along the bank. By wading slowly downstream and stopping every 15 feet to repeat this technique you will catch many nice bass.

Fly Promo 10% off

Fly Promo 10% off Stock up on your favorite dry flies, nymphs, streamers, poppers and bass bugs for the upcoming spring and summer.  10% off all fliesOffer good through March 15

Predictions for Smallmouth Bass Fishing in VA in 2011

Since both the number and size of the bass were better in 2010 than they have been in many years I fully expect the smallmouth fishing to be outstanding this year, especially on the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah River.

I plan to start fishing for smallmouth bass in March this year and I’ll tell you on my weekly Bass Stream Fly Fishing Report what is happening. At this time the cold water and full streams prompt the use of a SA Mastery Sink Tip III Fly Line in order to get the flies down to the bass. These are ideal conditions to use our new Murray’s Magnum Streamers. These conditions can continue through April but by the middle of May the bass are awake and are feeding well. Many bass start feeding heavily on Hellgrammites in the riffles now throughout the day and on adult Brown Drake Mayflies and Olive Caddisflies at dusk.

From July until mid October the bass feed heavily throughout the rivers and you may choose the tactics and flies you like. I find that I catch my largest bass along the shaded banks and grass beds throughout the day and in the tail of the pools at dusk. My most dependable surface flies are the Shenandoah Blue Popper 6, Shenandoah Sunfish Slider 6, Murray’s Bass Cricket 8 and Murray’s Floating Chub Minnow 6. When I go underwater these flies seldom let me down: Shenk’s White Streamer 6, Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite 6 and the Murray’s Magnum Streamer 4.

If you like fast dry fly fishing for smallmouth bass try to be on the river the last 3 weeks of September during the last 2 hours of daylight. The hexagenia mayflies, both duns and spinners are on the water and the fishing is fast and furious. One evening last September I counted 17 smallmouth bass rising to these adults in one measured minute. I put on a Mr. Rapidan Skater 8 and by going one on one with rising bass I caught dozens of nice bass. If you don’t hit a heavy hatch in the area you are fishing be willing to try another stretch of the river. The nymphs like a silty stream bottom.

In late October and November I revert back to the deep water tactics I mentioned for using in March. How late in the year do I fish for bass? I keep going until I get skunked twice.


Since I’m fortunate enough to fish often I can provide you information in 3 different ways that will let you know what’s happening so you can take advantage of this in your own fishing.

1. Each Friday I provide a brief stream report on both trout and smallmouth fishing on my website (www.murraysflyshop.com).
2. The first part of each month I provide a free email newsletter stating what I expect will be happening that month.
3. The Murray’s Fly Shop Angler’s Club provides a weekly newsletter to you from March to November on current fishing conditions. (Cost $50 for first time sign up then $15 yearly).

If you would like to attend one of our Smallmouth Bass “On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools” this year we will be offering six 2 day schools. Most of the time in these schools is spent on the stream where you will be fishing and working with our instructors to enhance your learning and experience.   These fly fishing schools cover the fishing tactics for nymphs, streamers, top water, reading the water, equipment/ fly tackle selection and casting the fly rod.

Sneaking a Slider

The Murray’s Shenandoah Hard Head Sliders provide an action which often tempt large bass which are not tempted with the normal actions which are possible with standard poppers. The
long slender front taper of this bugs head enables us to impart a gentle teasing action to it which often cannot be resisted by large bass.

Popping bugs for Smallmouth Bass…. Fantastic!


Fly Fishing with popping bugs for Smallmouth Bass just might be at it’s peak right now on the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah. There is a lot of food for the smallmouth to feed on, from damselflies to frogs, throughout the day. Early and late fishing continues to be most productive but if mid-day is the time you can go, GO! Concentrate on the shaded banks and along the grassbeds in the river. This Smallmouth Bass took a #4 Chartreuse Chuggar on 3x tippet on an 8wt. fly rod.

Damselflies, Smallmouth and Poppers

Early mornings and late evenings have been quite productive in the Smallmouth Bass fly fishing department… Poppers on 3x tippet have worked great!!! There are a lot of Damselflies in the river right now and with the normal summertime flows, the bass are quite spooky.

Abundant Damselflies on the Shenandoah River
Abundant Damselflies on the Shenandoah River