Tag Archives: smallmouth bass flies

Mr. H.G. Tapply of Tap’s Tips

Mr. H.G. Tapply of Tap’s Tips Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

Mr. H.G. Tapply of Tap’s Tips fame in Field and Stream Magazine was a fine write, a great angler and a superb fly designer. I considered him a special friend.
We wrote often and exchanged flies and tips for his column. I even guided his son, Bill on Armstrong spring creek in Montana.  I have a great selection of flies he designed. These flies show how he could easily get to the bottom of the problems of facing the fly tyer in order to produce the flies which would catch fish.
Today I want to discuss the Tapply Deer Hair Surface Bass Bug.
This bug is so easy to tie that I teach my beginning students in my fly tying classes to tie it. As they go through the various tying steps I explain why each one helps to produce a bug which is both effective and durable. When they have all completed their Tapply Bug I explain that the bug in their vise will easily hold up to catch one hundred smallmouth bass for them.

Tying Recipe
Hook: Mustad 9672 size 4 and 6 (or similar)
Thread: Kevlar (colors to suit)
Body: Deer Body Hair (colors to suit)
Tail: Bucktail (colors to suit)

Angling Tactics: I dress both the Tapply Bug and the leader with Bug Float. I fish these with a slow strip-pause-strip action along the shaded river banks. The water is three to four feet deep over cobblestone river bottoms. Another hot spot is the pool tails at dusk. A slow upstream presentation with a very slow swimming action brings up the big bass.


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!

The Best Five Smallmouth Bass Flies for Summer Fly Fishing

I am very confident that these five smallmouth bass flies will give me excellent fly fishing in 2017 from July until October. This is because last year they gave me the best bass fishing I have had in many years.

Murray’s Crayfish size 6
Shenandoah Chartreuse Chugger size 4 and size 6
Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker Streamer size 4
Shenandoah Blue Popper size 4 and size 6
Murray’s Magnum Darter Streamer size 4

During summer, as the sun intensifies I catch most of my bass in the middle of the day along the heavily shaded banks. This is where the water is three to five feet deep over cobblestone streambottoms. However, my very best fishing is at dawn and dusk in the tails of the pools. My standard  leader for smallmouth bass fishing is the Murray’s Bright Butt 9 foot 2X Leader.

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

Hackle Cape and Saddle

Metz Grade 1 Brown Rooster Saddle and Metz Grade 1 Light Ginger Rooster Neck Cape.
Metz Grade 1 Brown Rooster Saddle and Metz Grade 1 Light Ginger Rooster Neck Cape.

This photo shows the difference between a Metz Grade 1 Light Ginger Rooster Neck Cape and a Metz Grade 1 Brown Rooster Saddle.
I like to use the Grade 1 Rooster Neck Capes for my trout dry flies because they help the flies float well, are easy to use and the Grade 1 has a great number of excellent quality small hackle for the smallest flies.
I use the saddles for streamers, large nymphs, a broad variety of smallmouth bass bugs and even the head hackle on my Mr. Rapidan Bass Skater Dry size 6. The best Saddles will have a fair number of hackle feathers along their sides for trout dry flies in sizes 12, 14 and a few as small as size 16. If you need to hackle flies smaller than size 16 a good Rooster Neck Cape will help you.

Late Day Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing

Late in the day when the sun gets below the horizon many large smallmouth bass move down onto the tails of the pools to feed on the abundance of natural minnows that live here. Apparently, they are simply more comfortable in the low light level.
You can approach these pool tails from the riffles below them or from the side of the river… Just be sure to wade carefully and slowly so you don’t send out telltale waves that will spook the fish. I can assure you that large bass feeding in water which is two feet deep are very wary. Also be willing to punch out long casts to help from scaring them.
Productive flies in the pool tails at dusk are Shenk’s White Streamer 6, Murray’s Floating Chub 6, Murray’s Floating Dace 6 and Murray’s Dying Chub 6.
If you are fly fishing a section of a river which you fish often, mentally mark the specific areas where you are successful because on future trips these same spots will probably hold big bass.

New Flies for 2011

NEW for 2011
Murray’s Floating Dace Minnow (sizes 4 & 6) $3.95

For 8 years my son Jeff and I have been testing various methods of tying and fishing our new Floating Dace Minnow. This is a real bass-catcher and it is very durable. Fish these in the back eddies, below the riffles and along the shaded banks. A slow strip-slide-strip action where you move the Floating Dace 6 inches every 10 seconds is very effective.

New Flies for 2011

NEW for 2011
Murray’s Floating Chub Minnow (sizes 4 & 6) $3.95

I’ve been using numerous versions of this fly for the last 8 years and I am now very pleased with this pattern. It is very durable and it is one of the most productive smallmouth flies I have ever used. Last August I caught over a dozen large bass one evening in the tail of one pool at dusk on this Floating Chub Minnow. I like to fish this upstream and retrieve it just slightly faster than the current.

Late Spring Early Summer Bass Flies

Listen to Harry Murray’s suggestions for late spring-early summer bass flies, which are included in our new Smallmouth Bass Guide Assortment.