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.
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.
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.
Each year I get asked, “What kind of fly fishing can I expect for November and December in Virginia?’
November and December provide outstanding fly fishing for large trout and smallmouth bass. However, the cooling streams and the natural foods change the feeding habits of the fish and we get our best results by adjusting our fly selections and angling tactics accordingly.
In order for you to get good fishing I will break down my three favorite forms of angling at this time of the year. First we’ll look at my favorite Pennsylvania fishing, then we’ll discuss Virginia’s Delayed Harvest Streams and large stocked trout streams and finally I’ll cover the smallmouth fishing.
Don’t forget I will be holding fly fishing workshops on Saturdays in my fly shop from 10a.m. to noon. I cover many topics including fly tying, fly casting, trout fishing, bass fishing and selecting the proper fly rods. To see the schedule and to sign up…visit our website.
Catching trout on heavily fished streams can prove to be a monumental challenge for even the most experienced anglers. On heavily fished trout streams I often catch many large trout by fishing with what I call “Change of Pace Flies”. These are fly patterns which mimic the natural foods upon which the trout feed but which show them fly patterns they seldom see. A good example of this is the Murray’s Housefly. By placing the wings down spent on each side of the flies body I show the trout a food they know well but that produces a different light pattern from what they usually see. I fish these below shrubs along the banks and below overhanging tree limbs using an upstream dead drift.
The Inchworm is another fly which matches many worm-like creatures that the trout feed heavily upon in addition to the real inchworm. Since many of these worms fall clumsily onto the stream, I find that presenting my Murray’s Inchworm will roll cast causing it to land on the stream with a splash often brings a strike from a trout which races across the stream to get it. Dapping this carefully over vegetation along undercut stream bank causes the Inchworm to dangle on the surface like a natural worm hanging from his thread.
The Mosquito is another artificial fly which will fool many wary trout when fished with a dead drift along brackish water on mountain streams and on sloughs in spring creeks.
Frequently these tactics bring me some of my largest trout of the season.
Many of our best stocked trout streams in Virginia such as Big Stoney, Mill Creek and the Bullpasture have gotten very high from heavy rains in the past two weeks. This can actually help the flyfishing when the streams drop back to normal levels because the trout become distrubuted throughout the streams.
Frequently the most productive sections of the streams for flyfishing will now be the deepest pools from a mile to five miles downstream of the areas that are normally stocked. Fish these thoroughly with the Murray’s Betsy Streamer and Pearl Marauder both in size 10.
On many occasions I’ve taken a friend fishing and have intentionally given him my favorite part of the stream while I fished another part of the stream well upstream or downstream from him. Frequently I’ve found some new water which was much more productive than I had expected it to be. From this I’ve learned I can frequently find outstanding fishing by exploring new waters.
The water temperature of mountain trout streams is very important to the feeding habits of the trout. Early in the spring and late in the fall the streams are cold and we seek areas with slightly warmer water. In the summer the streams get warm so we look for areas with cooler water. What I do to give me help here is to take the water temperature of all of the tiny feeders I come to as I’m walking up the trails and fishing up the streams. For example, it is not at all unusual to find a feeder ten degrees cooler than the main stream in the middle of August. Downstream of where this feeder enters the stream the fishing will be excellent.