Tag Archives: trout fishing

Fly Fishing Podcast–November 2017

Fly Fishing Podcast for November 2017 by Harry Murray

In my fly fishing podcast for November I discuss the trout fishing you can expect for this month in our large trout streams with sculpin imitations.  The natural sculpin minnows are bottom hugging minnows living under cobblestones in and immediately downstream of heavy riffles. This is where I like to fish my Spuddler.  Many of the tails of the pools give me some large trout by fanning the Murray’s Black Marauder size 8 over the last 100 feet. The gentle riffles along the far banks often attract large trout that feed on the slim silver minnows that live here. By casting a Murray’s Silver Ghost Streamer size 6 in tight against these undercut banks you can catch many large trout.  For more details on the areas and techniques to use listen to my entire Fly Fishing Podcast for November.

Fly Fishing Podcast November
Fly Fishing Podcast for November. Jeff Murray catches many large bass at this time of the year by fishing streamers deeply with a fast sinking head fly line.

The smallmouth bass rivers are cold but we can still catch some large bass by choosing the correct flies and fishing the correct feeding stations which the bass choose at this time of the year. They want to choose foods that give them the greatest food value for the least effort to capture it. Large minnows are a prime target. Therefore I like to fish the Murray’s Tungsten Cone Head Marauders in black, pearl or olive.  In my personal fishing at this time of the year the back eddies that form below the riffles on the side of the river with the slow current are some of their favorite feeding stations. These provide an abundance of minnow life and protection from the powerful currents of the river.

 

Fly Fishing Tips August 2017

Fly Fishing Tips from Harry Murray

Listen to Harry Murray’s Fly Fishing Tips where he will be discussing various trout and bass tips.

  • His favorite fly rods for fishing the large trout streams in the Rockies as well as the western spring creeks. He explains just what he uses these rods for and the size flies he uses on each one.
  • Using a line hand strike for bass fishing
  • Quantity of flies in a fly box vs. effective flies
  • Fishing the trico hatch and his ploy for fishing some easier trout than one often encounters on this hatch
Fly Fishing Tips-Leaders
I rely strongly on my Murray’s Hand Tie Compound Knotted Classic Leader for all of my dry fly trout fishing because of the fine accuracy and delicacy they give me.
  • The value of using hand tied compound knotted leaders for both trout and bass (read our article on knotted leaders vs. knotless leaders)
  • Tactics he uses when floating the rivers for smallmouth bass that help him catch  many bass from each section of the river.
  • Two tactics he uses to catch carp in the river (olive marauder)
  • Night fishing for smallmouth bass
  • Fishing the tails of the pools at dusk when he finds bass chasing minnows in the shallow water–tactics and flies to use  (Floating Minnows)
  • Tips for fishing for bass against the banks under overhanging tree limbs and fishing the ledges with madtom sculpins
Fly Fishing Tips for Bass
Smallmouth fishing at night just might give you the largest bass of the year. Fish water where you know the banks so you can get in and out of the river safely and when you get a strike set the hook solidly.

 

Fly  Casting Classes

In September Harry  will be conducting two Fly Casting & Rigging 101 Classes that will help you learn or improve your casting techniques.  On our casting lawn, he will teach you how to perform all of the standard casts as well as roll casts, curve casts, and shooting line.  After the casting class you will then proceed back to the fly shop where he will show you how to rig your tackle including the knots to use when putting your line and backing on a fly reel.  We provide the rod and reel outfits for you to use for the class or if you prefer you can bring your own.

September 9  from 10a.m. to noon
September 23 from 10a.m. to noon

 

Fly Fishing in August

Fly Fishing in August Podcast by Harry Murray

This podcast, Harry discusses the fly fishing in August for both bass and trout, techniques, and flies to use.

Fly Fishing in August with Flying Beetle
Even when I don’t see rising trout I can usually catch many nice trout on a dry Murray’s Housefly size 16 by fishing it upstream dead drift through the runs on the sides of the riffles entering the heads of the pools.

Trout Fishing in August

In August I like to fish with flies that match the natural foods the trout are seeing….terrestrials.  In addition to the normal beetle, ant, and hopper patterns I like to use what I call my “change of pace” flies.

  • Oakworms–You can see many natural oakworms around the stream banks.
  • Yellow Jackets–These are normally found around the sod banks near the stream.
  • Wasp–There are many wasps around standing bush and brush piles.
  • Moths–You will find moths in the evenings around back eddys.
  • Horseflies–These are always around pasture fields with horses and cows.
  • Houseflies–These little things can be found everywhere and I consider this fly very effective to fish with.
Fly Fishing in August with my change of pace flies
I have caught many fish on these “change of pace” flies. Fly Fishing in August

Bass Fishing in August

The other evening while I was bass fishing on the Shenandoah River I noticed a great amount of little baby bass swimming around.  That tells me the bass fishing will continue to be good next year.

Bass fly fishing in August can provide low and clear water so we need to be careful with our approach.  There are two things that can help us hide our approach:  aquatic grassbeds and rock ledges.  In this podcast I go into detail on how I like to fish these areas using my favorite flies for this time of the year.  Olive Marauder size 6, Skunk Roadkill Nymph size 6, Shenk’s White Streamer size 4, Shenandoah Blue Popper size 4, and Chartreuse Bass Popper size 6

If you are fishing in areas that you cannot hide your approach with grassbeds or rock ledges and you want to cast 20% further then use a Tapply Green/White Hair Bug size 6, Murray’s Blue Dragon Hair Bug size 4 or Shenandoah Yellow Hair Bug size 6 on a Bright Butt 9ft 2X Leader.

August is the last month that we will be offering full day fly fishing schools and half day lessons for this year.  So don’t miss out!
Upcoming dates:

Friday August 18  (full day)
Saturday August 26 (full day)
Wednesday August 16, 30 (half day)
Saturday August 19 (half day)
Saturday September 2 (half day)

Fly Fishing Podcast July 2017

Fly Fishing Podcast July 2017

For this months fly fishing podcast I want to discuss some of the hatches that we are seeing on our trout streams and the best tactics and flies to fish them. There are some good Green Sedge Caddis hatches on the streams now.  When you spot these feeders go one on one with each trout with a Mr. Rapidan Olive Delta Wing Dry Caddis size 16.  At times it can be difficult to tell if a feeding trout is taking the adult or the pupa so I use a two fly rig (which I explain in detail in this podcast) using the above fly and a Murray’s Olive Caddis Pupa size 14.

Natural Caddis Fly Fishing
There are a broad variety of natural caddisflies on many trout streams and the fish feed heavily upon them all.

The bass rivers are at a level where many large smallmouth bass move onto the shallow tails of the pools at dusk to feed on the chub minnows and dace minnows which live here.   The most productive way I’ve found to fish the tails of the pools is to wade into the upper part of the riffle below them and wade upstream to just below the lip of the pool above that I plan to fish.  From here I fan my casts up and across stream at a slight angle to cover all of the water I can reach.  I use a line hand strip-pause-strip retrieve that swims my Floating Minnow just slightly faster than the current is pushing it.  (For more techniques listen to the second part of the podcast.)

Bass Fly Fishing Podcast
Jeff Murray knows that if he fishes the tails of the smallmouth river pools with his Floating Minnow late in the evenings he can catch many large bass.

Learn to Fly Fish in our Smallmouth Bass Schools

Fly Fishing in January Podcast

Midge Fly Fishing in January 2017

Jeff on the Firehole Fly Fishing
There is outstanding midge fishing on the Firehole.

Midge Fly Fishing–Many trout feed heavily on chironomid midges in our large trout streams throughout the winter. This month Harry Murray discusses the tactics and flies that are effective in fly fishing for trout with Chironomid midge flies both on the surface and underwater.  These tactics and midge fly patterns will work well for you whether you are fishing on the Firehole in the Yellowstone National Park or on Big Stoney Creek in Edinburg, Virginia.

Fishing a Midge Hatch
Jeff Murray enjoys fishing the midge hatches all across the country because of the great challenge these trout provide.

My favorite adult midge patterns include the Mr. Rapidan Midge size 18, 20; Murray’s Dark Stonefly Dry size 18; Murray’s Bronze Stonefly Dry size 18.   For trout feeding on natural emerging midges I like to use a Copper Brassie size 18 or 20 or a Copper John Zebra Nymph size 18.

In the last part of my January Podcast I will cover how to clean your gear including your rods, reels, flies, fly lines, vests/raincoats, and waders.  I have made several videos on caring for you gear–check them out.    Rods Video     Fly Lines 

How to Clean a Reel
A clean reel will run smoothly and last longer.

Fly Fishing Workshops
January 14, 2017  Fly Tying Class from 10 a.m. to noon
January 21, 2017  Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park Workshop from 10a.m. to noon
January 28, 2017 Mastering Trout Fishing Workshop from 10a.m. to noon

All winter workshops are held at my fly shop at

Murray’s Fly Shop
P.O. Box 156 (121 S. Main St.)
Edinburg VA 22824
PH 540-984-4212
www.murraysflyshop.com

Fly Fishing Report for October 2016

Trout Fishing in October
The Blackfoot River downstream from Lincoln, Montana is one of the most beautiful rivers in the country. I get great streamer fishing here in October for browns, rainbows and cutthroats.

For my  Fly Fishing Report for October I want to discuss the techniques which are effective in fishing streamers for large trout all across the country.  I use these techniques in some of my favorite trout streams including the South Branch of the Smoke Hole in West Virginia, Hidden Valley of the Jackson in Virginia, the Beaver Kill in the Catskills and the Blackfoot River in Montana.  What flies do I use?  My top 6 flies:  Spuddler size 6, Murray’s Black Madtom/Sculpin size 8, Mr. Rapidan Streamer size 8, Murray’s Olive Marauder size 6, Murray’s Black Marauder size 6 and Shenandoah Silver Ghost Streamer size 10

Bass Fishing in October
Jeff Murray catches some of his largest bass by fishing the Murray’s Floating Chub Minnows in the tails of the river pools in October.

For the bass fishing in October I like to use my Floating Minnows. These are effective in catching large bass in the tails of the river pools during early October.  Toward the end of October the bass will move to deeper water then I switch to using the Murray’s Magnum Creek Chub size 4, Murray’s Magnum Darter size 4, and Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker size 4.

Fly Fishing Workshops on Fly Casting, Fly Tying, Trout Fishing, Bass Fishing, Selecting Fly Rod Outfits, and More… starting in November on Saturdays at Murray’s Fly Shop from 10 a.m. to noon

Fly Fishing Questions Podcast

Fly Fishing Questions and Answers Podcast
“Swing Nymphing” will enable you to fish your nymph deeper than any method you can use with a floating line. Even beginning angles in our schools quickly master this technique.

This months fly fishing question and answers podcast includes Harry Murray discussing the swing nymphing technique used with Scientific Angler Indicators, hook sharpening files, barbless vs. barbed hooks, landing nets, and what insect repellent can do to your favorite fly rod.

Looking for that perfect gift for your family member, friend, or best fishing buddy….get a Murray’s Fly Shop Gift Certificate!

Gift Certificate from MFS

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.

Gear Bag

Dogs Jeff Murray Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop
I forgot to tell you, always count your dogs after each trip in order to make sure they are all with you!

When I float a river to get out a downstream spot, I carry a dry bag with what I may need along the way.  This contains a rain coat, change of clothes, basic tools, extra reel with line and leader, a few flies and a five piece Scott Fly Rod. If I am using an inflatable boat I carry a pump and patch kit. On two occasions I have had a friend who needed my Scott five piece rod because they broke their fly rod. This really saved the day and they were able to get good fishing when otherwise it would have been a lost day.

Keep Your Car Ready

Jeff Murray Harry Murray Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop VA
Keeping your Jeep loaded with a variety of emergency equipment can enable fishing to be a wonderful experience in place of a disaster.

I keep a variety of tools in the back of my Jeep to help when unexpected events occur. It is amazing how often I need some of this for myself or angling friends. Here are some of the items I carry with me: a thirty foot long heavy tow cable, a ten foot wire cable with a winch, an ax, a timber saw, jumper cables, folding shovel, a variety of sizes of screwdrivers and wrenches, rope, large and small flashlights, change of clothes, extra fly rod and reel, extra flies, first aid kit, emergency food, a tire pump that runs off the cigarette lighter, fire extinguisher and a heavy duty battery to jump car battery.

Clothing

Before the regular anglers around West Yellowstone got to know Charlie Brooks they called him Mr. Monotone. Brook’s, who was a very special friend told me one day when we were fishing the Madison that he finally figured out the name came from the camouflaged clothing he wore most of the time. Since Brook’s fished every day when he first moved to West Yellowstone, he was either on his way to the stream or on his way back when people saw him. Since Brooks was one of the most capable anglers I have ever known, I fully respect his desire to wear subdued colored clothing when fishing. To this day I always wear subdued colored clothing.
I really do believe this helps catch wary fish. For example, I was shocked the day a supposed well-traveled angler showed up for a bass float trip wearing a white t-shirt and white hat and insisted on standing up in the front of our Hyde Drift Boat to fish all day…nope, he caught no large fish.

Fly Fishing Questions & Answers

Tippet Formula
What size tippet should I be using? Harry’s formula makes it easy!

Harry Murray’s discussion includes  fly fishing questions he has been asked recently.  He will be presenting these discussions periodically to help you find good fishing.   This podcast includes the topic “How to Choose the Proper Tippet Size” for the specific fly you will be fishing along with other fly fishing terms that we have all heard but didn’t know what they meant.

Reference books:  Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams book and Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park book

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.

Simple Flies

Murray's Olive, Cream and Black Strymph.
The Murray’s Strymph is an outstanding fly for both smallmouth bass and trout.

Several years ago I stopped in a fly shop in Montana which was owned by a good friend. One of his employees was an excellent fly tyer and the gentleman, who had never fished for smallmouth bass but knowing I fished for them often, pulled out several beautiful, well tied flies he called smallmouth streamers for me to see. I complimented him on the great appearance of his smallmouth streamers, some of which he had skillfully incorporated more than twenty different body parts.  When we were outside in our car I turned to my son, Jeff, and said, “Those were some of the most beautiful smallmouth streamers I have ever seen, but I do not believe they will catch many fish because with all that material on them it will be next to impossible to sink them.”
Several years before this we had done extensive testing on new fly designs and found that in many cases the most sparsely tied nymphs and streamers caught the most bass and trout. I believe much of this success came from the facts that these flies sank well, were strongly suggestive of the natural nymphs and minnows I was striving to mimic and could easily be made to duplicate the swimming action of these naturals.
Some of our flies which fall into this classification are groups of flies in our Shenandoah Simple Streamer series for both bass and trout, the Mr. Rapidan Soft Hackle series  for both bass and trout, many of flies (although they are drys) in my “Change of Pace” trout series, the Murray’s Marauders, the Murray’s Floating Minnows and the Murray’s Strymphs.
The outstanding book, Simple Flies by Morgan Lyle shows how to tie and fish fifty two flies for trout, bass and in saltwater. If you are considering tying some new flies for your personal use I believe using the simple approach I have used in many of my flies and those Morgan Lyle discusses in his great book will help you catch many fish.

Where are the Natural Nymphs?

Harry Murray relies strongly on his Murray's Nymph Leader with its Scientific Anglers Indicators to catch trout on nymphs in the spring.
Harry Murray relies strongly on his Murray’s Nymph Leader with its Scientific Anglers Indicators to catch trout on nymphs in the spring.

Many natural nymphs move to the downstream side of the cobblestones in the lower sections of the riffles at this time of the season in preparation of hatching over the next several weeks. Any nymphs dislodged here are swept into the pool downstream where they are easy prey for the trout. A very effective tactic is to fish a nymph such as the Mr. Rapidan Dry size 14 upstream dead drift right below these riffles and into the runs on each side of the riffles. The Murray’s Nymph Leader with its built in Scientific Anglers Indicators is a great help in detecting these strikes.

Selective Trout

If a trout rises to take your fly but refuses it, give him a few minutes to get back on his feeding station before you cast to him again.
If a trout rises to take your fly but refuses it, give him a few minutes to get back on his feeding station before you cast to him again.

A large trout comes up and looks at your dry fly but refuses it. There is a natural tendency to cast back to him right away to try him again. A ploy which works best for me is to hold my cast for five minutes until I am sure he is back on his feeding station before casting to him again. If he refuses the second drift I got to a smaller fly that creates an entirely different light pattern and this usually takes him.

Find the Good Water

Mountain Trout Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains
Mountain Trout Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop VA
I have often gotten excellent fishing on the mountain streams in the Rockies by hoking into the remote headwaters.

Late last summer I drove a long distance to fish a mountain trout stream.  When I arrived at the lower end of the stream, I was surprised to find it was very discolored as a result of recent rains. Checking my topographic maps I noticed that two substantial feeder streams entered my stream just a mile upstream. By hiking up the trail beside the main stream until I got upstream of the two feeder streams, I found clear water and had outstanding fishing.
On a different trip to a different stream the high stream level forced me to hike several miles upstream to where a nice little feeder brook entered the main stream. I had never fished this little feeder brook before, but that day I had one of the finest days of dry fly fishing I have ever experienced.  Often you are rewarded with outstanding fishing after a short hike.

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.

Cold Hands?

Simms Freestone Half Finger Fishing Gloves Murray's Fly Shop VA
Simms Freestone Half Finger Fishing Gloves

During the winter and spring I always carry Simms Freestone Half Finger Fishing Gloves in my vest. Experience has shown me that if I put these on before I start fishing I have excellent control of tying my flies onto the leader and carefully releasing the fish. These gloves come in size Medium, Large and X-Large.

Releasing Trout

Releasing a trout properly will assure he will be there to challenge you again in the future.
Releasing a trout properly will assure he will be there to challenge you again in the future.

Always land your trout with a net as quickly as possible to prevent stressing them. Revive your trout completely before releasing him. Choose water from one to two feet deep with a moderate current. I gently face the trout into the current, holding him upright tightly with my right hand around his tail and with my left hand under his head to balance him. I hold the trout in this position until I am sure he can hold this upright posture on his own.  This is easy for me to discern as I slowly open the grip with my right hand, if he leans to the side I tighten my grip and hold him another two to three minutes until he can keep his balance. At this point I slowly remove my right hand and then my left hand and I know this trout will survive.  Make all of your movement slowly because otherwise you will frighten the trout and he will lunge unto deep water where you can’t get him. Often a lunger will wobble on downstream and will turn bell-up and die.

Virginia Fly Fishing Stream Report–Winter 2015-16

Fly Fishing in Virginia in December

In this Virginia Fly Fishing Stream Report Podcast, Harry Murray discusses the tactics and flies which are effective in fishing the large stream with nymphs for trout.  Flies discussed include: Murray’s Adams Nymph, Murray’s Professor Nymph, and Murray’s Dark Stonefly Nymph

Learn How to Fly Fish with our two hour workshops,  1-day Mountain Trout Schools, and our 1-day Smallmouth Bass Schools.

Fly Fishing Workshop Podcast

Fly Fishing Workshops

Learn to Fly Fish with our Fly Fishing Workshop–This November we will be starting our fly fishing workshops on Saturdays in the fly shop from 10a.m. to noon.  I will be covering various topics throughout the winter into the spring including  fly casting, fly tying, trout fishing in the Shenandoah National Park, smallmouth bass fishing in the Shenandoah River and NEW this year Selecting the Proper Fly Rod Outfits.

For more information or to register for a fly fishing workshop …click here   or call 540-984-4212

Fly Casting Workshop

Healthy Trout

Trout Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop Virginia
By quickly landing large trout and gently releasing them once they are stable assures their survival.

Many beginning trout anglers are amazed to see a nice trout turn belly-up and die when they return him to the stream with good intentions for his survival. It is very easy to stress a large trout by fishing him an excessively long time. Therefore it is wise to land large trout quickly. To do this: (1) Get downstream of hooked trout so he must fight the current as well as the rod pressure when he runs upstream, (2) Apply the maximum rod pressure which the tippet will take, (3) Use a large landing net and lead the trout gently into it and (4) Be sure he is stabilized and that he can maintain his proper posture before releasing him gently facing  into the current in knee deep water.

Fly Fishing Stream Report Podcast, Early Fall 2015

Jeff Murray with a smallmouth bass
We catch many large smallmouth bass in the early fall with our Murray’s Crayfish and Magnum Streamers.

Fly Fishing In Early Fall in Virginia.  In this podcast Harry discusses the tactics to use in order to get your best fishing on the stocked trout streams and delayed harvest areas for the months of October and November.   Effective flies: Pearl Marauder size 10, Black Marauder size 10, Shenandoah Silver Ghost size 10.

The second section of this podcast covers the smallmouth bass fishing on the Shenandoah River  with the best tactics, the best sections of the river, and the best flies to catch the large bass as the rivers cool in the fall months.  Effective flies: Murray’s Crayfish size 6, Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker size 4 and Murray’s Magnum Darter size 4

Delicate Presentation

The Scott Radian Fly Rod helps me greatly in casting small flies into the wind.
The Scott Radian Fly Rod helps me greatly in casting small flies into the wind.

When fishing 7X leaders with small flies  a delicate presentation is difficult when the wind is blowing straight into your face.
One option is to relocate so the wind is at a different angle. A second option is to use a low side arm cast to cast under the wind. A third option is cast a low tight loop on your presentation cast with extra power on your delivery. The only problem with this last tactic is that I have seen many excellent anglers slam the fly onto the surface of the stream. This will scare the trout and often puts them down.
I have never seen this slamming of the fly occur with the new Scott Radian Rods.  I assume the wonder damping action of the Radian Rods is responsible for this.  I do know that casting into many powerful head winds in Montana last fall I had no problems with delicate presentations.

MFS Fly Fishing Podcast for July

MFS Fly Fishing Report July

Harry Murray discusses how to find the trout in the stocked trout streams and the best tactics and flies to use to catch them.
Flies that are working: Murray’s Dark Stonefly Nymph size 12, Murray’s Yellow Stonefly Nymph size 16, and Mr. Rapidan Soft Hackle Brown size 12

The second part includes the “change of pace” trout flies that are working well for us that match the natural foods in the mountain trout streams.  Check out our “change of pace” trout fly assortment!

The last segment includes Harry’s new “Escaping Minnow” Streamer Technique as well as fishing hellgrammites and surface bugs on the Shenandoah River for smallmouth bass.  Flies that are working include: Shenk’s White Streamer size 6, Murray’s Olive Marauder size 6, Heavy Black Hellgrammite size 4, Blue or Damsel/Black Popper size 6 and Shenandoah Chartreuse Popper size 6

Easy Trout

Fishing Trico is one my favroite alongling games. On Armstrong at Livingston, Montana I had three dozen trout rising within casting distance.
Fishing Trico is one my favorite angling games. On Armstrong at Livingston, Montana I had three dozen trout rising within casting distance.

Now that the Trico hatch is in full swing on our trout streams you can rest assured that these trout probably have examined more artificial flies than most anglers. The trout know this hatch well and want to feed on the naturals as an exceptionally tough brown trout showed me one morning on a small Pennsylvania stream when he took 67 naturals in a measured 60 seconds.
Here are some of the ploys I use on this hatch that help me.
(1) I always get to the stream well before the time of the day when I know the hatch is due to start and stay well after it is over. Often the trout are easier to fool when the naturals are sparse.
(2) In order to get a drag-free drift over a steady riser I usually use a “puddle cast” which creates extra slack in the leader.
(3) Although I normally fish 7X leaders on this hatch i find that 8X leaders often renders a more natural fly drift.

Stream Approach

On the Stream Schools Fly FIshing Murray's Fly Shop VA
In our schools we strive to teach the students how to approach and fish the different types of water in order to make the best use of their time on the stream.

The most valuable angling skill you can master is learning how to approach the specific piece of water you plan to fish. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Actually it is; all that is required is some thought about the water before you. Simply stated, the fish select feeding stations that will give them the greatest amount of food while exerting the least amount of energy. However, as we have found in our “on the stream” trout schools and smallmouth bass schools this basic skill is often neglected. In some cases the angler first wades into the stream and then asks, “Where do I fish?”
Mastering this basic skills has given many large trout on the Yellowstone River, helped me find the easy trout on the Beaverkill, catch large browns on Big Spring Creek that many anglers overlook. This approach also helps me catch nice smallmouths on the North Fork of the Shenandoah river practically within sight of my fly shop in Edinburg, Virginia.

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.

New Angler, Part B

Trout Fly Fishing in Eastern and Western Spring Creeks.
Trout Fly Fishing in Eastern and Western Spring Creeks.

“I am new to fly fishing and need advice on rods for freshwater fishing”. This question came in as email and I believe many anglers are at this point.  In  order to answer this in a meaningful way I will discuss the outfits I use in various types of fly fishing and why.  I will break this down into four separate blogs and post one each week:

(A) Small Mountain Streams
(B) Large Eastern Trout Streams and Western Spring Creeks
(C) Large Western Trout Streams
(D) Bass Streams and Lakes

Part (B) Large Eastern Trout Streams and Western Spring Creeks

In answering my beginning anglers question for help on “selecting tackle: let us look at the ideal outfit to use on large trout streams in the East. This could be the Beaverkill in New York, Big Spring Creek in Pennsylvania or The Jackson in Virginia.  I use flies as small as 24 Tricos on 7X on these streams and go up to nymphs as large as size 8.  Accuracy in fly placement as well as delicacy is very important on these streams, as is drag-control on the drifting of the flies. I find that a delicately tipped 9 foot 4 weight rod is perfect for this eastern fishing as well as fishing Western Spring Creeks.  For me personally rods which require lines larger than four do not give me the delicacy I like and rods shorter than 9 feet long rob me of drag control. My favorite rods are the Scott G2 9 foot 4 weight 4 piece and the Scott Radian 9 foot 4 weight 4 piece.

Switch-Hand Casting

Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop Virginia
By knowing the basics of good fly casting one can easily cast with either hand.

I have a good friend who injured his right shoulder badly.  Since he cast with his right hand he was very disappointed that he would loose a season’s fishing while he recovered from surgery. I encouraged him to just switch over and cast with his left hand which he did and he was able to fish the whole season.
In my fly fishing schools I have always had to cast with both hands to help all of my students. If you have not tried this give it a go. You will be pleased how well you do. After all you already know the proper casting technique.

New Angler

Trout Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop VA
Harry Murray is fishing in a small mountain trout stream.

“I am new to fly fishing and need advice on rods for freshwater fishing”. This question came in as email and I believe many anglers are at this point.  In  order to answer this in a meaningful way I will discuss the outfits I use in various types of fly fishing and why.  I will break this down into four separate blogs and post one each week:

(A) Small Mountain Streams
(B) Large Eastern Trout Streams and Western Spring Creeks
(C) Large Western Trout Streams
(D) Bass Streams and Lakes

(A) Small Mountain Trout Streams
These streams require rods that give good accuracy and delicacy from twenty to thirty feet which are short enough to cast under the overhanging tree limbs. In rod design this calls for a rod with a delicate tip and a butt section that is firm enough to turn the tip over. Three weight rods are excellent for this delicate fishing with flies from size 22 up to size 10. Rods which are 6 foot 10 inches long up to 7 1/2 feet are ideal. My favorite is the Murray/Scott Mountain Trout Rod which is 6 foot 10 inches long, 3 piece and 3 weight. This approach will help you select the correct tackle to use on small trout streams all across the country.

The next section of these blogs will be posted next Thursday!

Hiking Comfort

Hiking Trout Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop Virginia
If I am going more than 2 miles into the head of a stream I wear hiking boots and carry my boot foot wading hip boots.

When I hike into the remote hollows to fish mountain trout streams I wear my felt sole boot foot hippers if I am going two miles or less. If I am going to hike in more than two miles I wear hiking shoes and hang my hippers over my shoulders. Then when I get to the area I plan to fish I put my hippers on and hide my hiking shoes behind a tree. When I finish fishing I retrieve my hiking shoes and wear these back to my jeep. I never wear chest-high or waist-high waders when fishing small mountain trout streams because they limit my ability to crawl along the streams.

Caddisflies Tandem Rig

Dry fly with a nymph dropper
A combination dry fly with a nymph dropper is effective in many cases.

At this time of the year caddisflies are very active. Frequently each evening there are adults returning to the streams to deposit eggs as well as emerging adults from the stream. For every adult we see drifting along the surface of the stream there are possibly a dozen pupa drifting just below the surface of the stream preparing to hatch into an adult.
A good way to cash in on this great action is to attach a Mr. Rapidan Delta Wing Dry Caddis to the leader and then attach a two foot strand of tippet material to the bend of the dry fly hook with an improved clinch knot. To this attach a Murray’s Caddis Pupa. On large trout streams and smallmouth rivers I fish this rig across stream with a slow twitching action. On small mountain trout streams I fish this rig upstream dead drift.

Trout and Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Report for April 2015

Jeff Murray with a smallmouth bass on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River
Jeff Murray with a smallmouth bass on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River

In this fly fishing report podcast Harry Murray discusses in three parts the stocked trout fishing, mountain trout fishing, and smallmouth fishing along with what flies and techniques are working.
Part 1–Stocked Trout Streams and Delayed Harvest Streams–Harry explains how to fish nymphs effectively for the large trout which are stocked in our trout streams.  Effective flies include: Murray’s Dark Stonefly Nymph size 12, Murray’s Yellow Stonefly nymph size 14, and Mr. Rapidan Soft Hackle Nymph, Brown size 10
Part 2–Mountain Trout Streams–Harry explains the wonderful fishing which can be found in the mountain trout streams with the tactics and important feeding stations. Effective flies include: Blue Quill Dry size 16, Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry size 14, Mr. Rapidan Emerger size 12, Murray’s Little Yellow Stonefly Dry size 16

Part 3–Smallmouth Bass–You can catch many large bass now by using the tactics and flies Harry discusses today to fish the protected feeding stations in our rivers. Effective flies include: Shenk’s White Streamer size 4, Murray’s Olive Marauder size 6, Murray’s Pearl Marauder size 6

Find Good Trout Fishing

Hiking Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop Virginia
Hiking into the back country is the best way I know to find good fishing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a good angling friend who consistently gets very good trout fishing. In order to accomplish this he simply says, “I walk away from the roads.” He uses this ploy on both stocked streams and wild brook trout streams. Fortunately one can easily achieve this on the mountain streams. The National Forest and National Parks have provided good roads to the access points at the heads of these streams. By parking at these trail heads on the tops of the mountains and walking in a mile or two you can often find great trout fishing. I have covered many of these trail head access points in my book, Virginia Blue Ribbon Streams.

Study Entomology

Mayfly
Studying the natural insects in the stream is great fun and very rewarding.

If you fall down in a shallow stream and anyone is watching, rather than splashing around while you embarrassingly try to stand up, just stay there. Calmly pick up some stones from the stream bottom and examine them very carefully one by one as if you are making a study of the insect life on the streambottom.

Dry Fly Refusal

Trout Fly Fishing Murray's Fly Shop VA
Many trout fly refusals can be overcome by using slightly smaller flies and getting drag free drifts.

Many trout refusals of dry flies result from one of two problems which can be easily corrected. First the fly may be too large for his liking. Here we simply switch to a smaller fly.  A dragging dry fly is another cause for refusals. Here a slack line cast, or a different presentation position, or a different presentation angle or dropping your dry fly closer to the trout’s feeding station will enable the dry fly to drift naturally and the trout will take it solidly.

Match the Hatch

Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry Fly
Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry Fly

I really enjoyed identifying the aquatic insect hatches with Art Flick’s help for the three book I have written on the subject. And I still spend a great amount of time studying and photographing aquatic insects. Admittedly, I do rely on this information when I am fishing.
However, one of the finest anglers I have ever known simplifies the match the hatch game. He always studied the streams carefully and each day when we were on the stream he watched closely to see what was hatching. The important physical features to him were the size and color of the hatching insects. Then armed with this information he would select the fly to use that day which matches the naturals in size and color. I have never fished with anyone who caught more trout than Jack Sperry.

Mastering Trout Nymph Fishing

 

Mayfly Nymph Murray's Fly Shop VA Fly Fishing
One can often catch many trout in high cold water by using nymph patterns which match the natural insects.

Here is how you can easily solve the dilemma of trout nymph fishing. On a day when you have caught several dozen trout on dry flies you know they are feeding well. Now, replace the dry fly with a nymph and continue fishing the same sections of the pools. If you do not continue catching as many trout as you did with dry’s the reason is very simple: You are getting strikes but not detecting them.
I find that the new Murray’s Trout Nymph leader with its special knotted taper and two Scientific Anglers Indicators spaced along it is a great help in discerning the strikes.
As the nymph drifts naturally along the stream bottom be sure to retrieve the line with long line hand strips. Short pulls mask the strike. When you see the strike set the hook quickly with both the line hand and the rod.

Fly Fishing Report Podcast – Trout & Smallmouth Bass- March 2015

William Downey (102 years old) has enjoyed the native brook trout fishing in the Shenandoah National Park, since "before the war" in his words. (That would be WWII)
William Downey (102 years old) has enjoyed the native brook trout fishing in the Shenandoah National Park, since “before the war” in his words. (That would be WWII)

In the first part of this fly fishing report podcast Harry Murray discusses the effective flies and tactics for fishing streamers below the riffles on our stocked trout streams.  (Hot Fly–Murray’s Marauder in Black or Pearl size 10)

The second part of this fly fishing report podcast covers the sections of the streams and locations along with the best flies and tactics to use when fishing the mountain trout streams in the Shenandoah National Park. (Hot Fly–Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry size 14, Mr. Rapidan Soft Hackle Olive size 12)  For more information on the Shenandoah National Park Streams check out the book Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park.

The last segment of this fly fishing report podcast covers the locations in the rivers where the bass feed under the present conditions along with the best flies and effective tactics.  (Hot Fly–Magnum Creek Chub size 4 and Magnum HogSucker size 4)

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.

Nature Can Tell You What Fly To Use

Murray's Fly Shop Fly Fishing Virginia
The hatches of aquatic insects often coincide closely with the blooming of wildflowers helping us use the best flies.

Just as Mother Nature controls the time of the year in which the beautiful little wildflowers push through the thick leaf carpet in the mountains to bloom, so does she dictate the time which the natural insects hatch in the streams. Since I am fond of photographing both of these I have kept stream notes on them for forty years.
Interestingly enough this has helped me in my fishing because usually a specific fly hatch will coincide with the blooming of a specific wildflower. The beautiful little blood root which is the first wildflower to bloom in many mountains tells me it is time for the first aquatic insect hatch. The trillium follows this and usually brings the next two aquatic insect hatches. Different wildflowers follow throughout the season with their accompanying hatches.
The specific insects that hatch at these times vary from one geographical part of the country to the next. However, it repeats each year in a predictable pattern. Keep stream notes and you will be richly rewarded.

Listen to my Trout Podcast Part IV for more information on trout fishing early in the season.

Trout Fly Fishing Report for Late Fall – Murraysflyshop

Trout Fishing in Late October and November Podcast - Murray's Fly Shop
Trout Fly Fishing Report for Late Fall – Harry Murray discusses how the fishing is and what techniques to use when fishing the large trout streams and delayed harvest streams in October and November.

Smallmouth Bass & Trout Stream Report for September 2014

Shenandoah-Chuggar,-Gray

As fall is approaching Harry Murray gives you an update on the streams conditions when fishing for smallmouth bass and trout. The first part of this podcast is about the smallmouth fishing on the Shenandoah River and includes some of the flies that are working well for him.    Shenandoah Gray Scaled Chugger–pictured here.

The second part of the podcast includes the trout fishing in the Shenandoah National Park for September along with the current hot flies including the Murray’s Flying Beetle.  He also discusses what to expect on the stocked trout streams in October.

Smallmouth Bass and Trout Fly Fishing Report Podcast

August-Podcast

Smallmouth Bass and Trout Fly Fishing Report Podcast – Stream Report for Smallmouth Bass and Trout Fly Fishing in the Shenandoah Valley -August 2014
Harry Murray discusses the river conditions for the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River along with the best smallmouth flies to use and how to fish them.  We have been fishing well the last two hours of daylight with the Shenandoah Blue Popper size 6.   In the second part of this podcast he discusses the trout fishing in the mountain trout streams in the Shenandoah National Park along with the best flies to use, including the Mr. Rapidan Ant size 16.

If you are interested in learning to fly fish, we are currently conducting our half day fly fishing lessons in August and September.  These are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9a.m. to 1p.m. These are great for those just starting, those that want to brush up on their skills, or for those that just want to enjoy a few hours on the river.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at info@murraysflyshop.com or (540) 984-4212.

Fly Fishing Report for Smallmouth Bass & Trout–May 2014

Fly Fishing Report May 2014

Fly Fishing Report for Smallmouth Bass & Trout–May 2014
In this fly fishing podcast Harry Murray discusses the streams conditions plus the techniques to use at this time of the year on our smallmouth bass rivers in the first part.  The second part includes the conditions of the trout streams and what flies and techniques to use.

Interested in learning to fly fishing?  Consider our 2-day Smallmouth Bass Schools or our 1/2 day Fly Fishing Lessons.

Have questions on where to go?  Stop by the fly shop and we’ll be happy to go over the maps with you for the best areas to fish.

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

Large Bass Go Deep in Cold Water

087

As the rivers temperatures drop the bass undergo a mini migration to deeper water which can range from five to eight feet deep.  I switch to a SA Sink Tip III Line or a Teeny 200 Sinking Head Line at this time.  Good flies are the Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker size 4 and the Murray’s Magnum Creek Chub size 4.  In order to get good depth I use a 5 foot leader.

One of my most productive tactics is to wade or float down the shallow side of the river of these deep pools.  I start in the head of the pool and cast across stream.  After my streamer sinks deeply I swim it slowly across the stream bottom by stripping it six inches every ten seconds.  I move slowly downstream stopping every five feet to repeat this same fly-swimming action.  This methodical tactic shows your fly to every large bass in that pool so take your time.

Setting the hook on these deep swimming flies requires special attention to assure a high percentage of hooked bass.  My favorite tactic is to use a fast line hand stripping action while lifting the rod firmly.  I use 10lb. or 12lb. leaders to avoid breaking the bass off on the strike.

 

Smallmouth Bass and Trout Fly Fishing Report Podcast – October 2013

October Fly Fishing -Report

Smallmouth Bass and Trout Fly Fishing Report Podcast – October 2013 with Harry Murray.  In this fly fishing report Harry Murray discusses how to fish deeply for smallmouth bass and the best flies to use in late fall and winter. Smallmouth Bass Flies discussed in this fly fishing report podcast include the Murray’s Magnum Bluegill #4, Murray’s Magnum Creek Chub #4, and Shenk’s White Streamer #4.

The second part of the discussion includes how to fly fish two nymph rigs and single streamer systems on delayed harvest Trout Streams and large Trout Streams in the fall and winter. Trout Flies covered in this fly fishing report podcast include the Murray’s Dark Stonefly Nymph #12, Murray’s Olive Caddis Pupa #14, Pearl Marauder #10, #12 and Black Marauder #10, #12.