All posts by Harry

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.

The Best Five Flies for Late Season Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing

The Best Five Flies for Late Season Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia. Fly Fishing Virginia.

Each year we find that we can often catch many large bass in October and November. We can do this by selecting our flies carefully and fishing them deeply in protected feeding stations.

Here are my five best flies for late season smallmouth bass fly fishing:

(1) Murray’s Crayfish size 6
(2) Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite size 4
(3) Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker Streamer size 4
(4) Murray’s Black Madtom Sculpin Streamer size 4
(5) Murray’s Skunk Road Kill Nymph size 6

My most productive feeding stations are the deep pools and deep back eddies. In order to fish my flies slowly along the streambottom in these areas I use a fast Sinking Head Line Fly Line. This sinks at 4 to 8 IPS.  The Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink 30 Warm Tip Fly Line in 200 grains is excellent for getting my flies deeply. My standard leader with these fly lines are the Murray’s Fluorocarbon 6 foot 2X Sinking Line Leader.

Fly Fishing in October Podcast

Fly Fishing in October Podcast by Harry Murray

Fly Fishing in October for trout

Since the brook trout are spawning in October, November, and December we feel it is not good to stress them by fishing for them even though we return them to the stream.

So let’s look at the nymph fishing tactics we use in large streams both in the Rockies and in the East.

I learned to fish nymphs from Charlie Brooks in the 1970’s and 1980’s in the streams around West Yellowstone,  Montana.  So in this months fly fishing podcast I want to discuss in detail the two tactics of Charlie’s that I use often.

  1. Upstream Dead Drift Fishing-  This technique relies on you seeing the strike therefore I rely heavily on my Bright Butt Leader and Scientific Anglers Indicators.
  2. Swing Nymphing– This technique is used on deeper runs where upstream dead drift nymphing is not possible.  Many beginners quickly  master this method because the strikes are detected by feeling the strike rather than seeing it.
Fly Fishing in October for Bass
Since October is considered a great time to catch large bass Harry discusses the flies and tactics which he finds productive.

Fly Fishing for Bass in October

Many of the old timers around Edinburg where I grew up in the 1950’s caught many of their largest bass of the year in October by using live bait such as Hog Suckers, Bluegills, and Darter Minnows.  Several years ago I designed my Magnum Streamer Series which both look and fish like a real minnow.  Today I will be discussing the Murray’s  Magnum Hog Sucker, Magnum Darter, and Magnum Bluegill and the best way to fish each.

If you need help finding the access places on the North and South Fork of the Shenandoah River, then stop by the fly shop and we can show you the best areas on our stores master map.

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.

Fly Fishing Tips

Fly Fishing Tips (Questions & Answers) Podcast by Harry Murray
September 2017

This months fly fishing tips podcast includes

  • tips on keeping your hands clean while out on the river all day
  • the benefits of using a Folstaff Wading Staff and when to use it
  • fly tying classes for beginners and also custom tying class for Harry Murray’s trout and bass patterns
  • fishing the Hexagenia hatch–when to fish it and what flies to use
    Mr. Rapidan SkaterMr. Rapidan Soft Hackle Olive
  • casting tips  (Fly Casting Class 101 this Saturday September 23 from 10a.m. to noon–outfits are provided)
  • designing flies for both bass and trout fishing
  •  importance of leaving the streams as you found it and not disturbing the rocks and natural habitat for the fish
Hexagenia Mayfly Hatch
The Hexagenia Mayfly hatch is the heaviest I’ve ever seen on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River this year and the fishing is great.

 

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.

Fly Fishing in September

Harry Murray’s Fly Fishing in September Podcast

Trout Fly Fishing

Fly fishing in September can be tricky due to the low and clear water conditions. This months podcast I discuss how to improve your success when fishing dry flies for trout all across the country by using slack line casts so you don’t have drag.  Which casts am I using?

  • Puddle Cast
  • Lazy S Cast

If you are interested in learning more about fly casting, then check out our Fly Casting 101 Classes .
Upcoming Dates
Saturday, September 9 from 10a.m. to noon
Saturday, September 23 from 10a.m. to noon

September Fly Fishing for Bass
Some of my favorite fishing in September is on the Hexagenia Mayfly Hatch.

Bass Fly Fishing

I always get great smallmouth dry fly fishing in September during the Hexagenia Mayfly Hatch.  This month I discuss the tactics and fly patterns I use to take advantage of this hatch.

Hexagenia Mayfly Hatch
The natural Hexagenia Mayflies can be very plentiful on some smallmouth rivers in September and October at dusk and produce great dry fly fishing.

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.

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

 

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.

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)

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.

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.

The Five Best Flies for Mountain Trout Streams for Summer and Fall

The Five Best Flies for Mountain Trout Streams for Summer and Fall

This list has been carefully refined and gave us great mountain trout fishing from July until Fall in 2016. I believe they will be great in 2017.

Murray’s Flying Beetle size 14 and size 16
Mr. Rapidan Ant size 16 and size 18
Murray’s Professor Dry size 14 and size 16
Murray’s Housefly size 14 and size 16
Mr. Rapidan Olive Soft Hackle Nymph size 16

These are the flies I rely on from July until Fall for our wild trout in our mountain streams. In July I usually use the largest sizes listed. I then go down to the smallest sizes in August and September. I fish all of these flies on Murray’s Classic 9 foot 6X Leader unless the streams are very low. Then I go to a Murray’s Classic 9 foot 7X Leader.

Fly Fishing Tips July 2017

Fly Fishing Tips Podcast by Harry Murray

Fly Fishing Tips--Charlie Waterman fishing a beaver dam
I’ve seen Charlie Waterman catch one large trout after another by using a slack line cast at this beaver dam.

Today I would like to discuss some fly fishing tips that I have learned over the years through trial and error.   In this podcast I will cover tips on

  • how to prevent your deer hair bass bugs from twisting your leader
  • the value of taking details stream notes for a successful fishing trip
  • how to properly cast a 2 to 3 fly rig without twisting your leader
  • how to fish a popper with a dropper such as a Shenandoah Blue Popper with a Pearl Marauder dropper
  • night fishing for smallmouth bass
  • using a slip strike to prevent breaking off large trout on fine leaders
  • how to use a slack line cast for trout, especially the puddle cast and lazy S cast
Fly Fishing Tip for Night Fishing
Jeff Murray catches many large bass at night. Note how he keeps a tight line so he can quickly feel the strike and hook the bass.

For more tips, sale specials and the chance to sign up for my monthly email newsletter visit our website at www.murraysflyshop.com

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.

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

Shenandoah Blue Popper

Shenandoah Blue Popper Blog- Murray's Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia
Shenandoah Blue Popper

Every year I catch more large smallmouth bass on the Shenandoah Blue Popper than all of my other surface bugs combined. Its gradual up-sloping face and long tapered body enables us to impart a broad variety of actions. This makes the Shenandoah Blue Popper very productive in many parts of the rivers. This year the shallow water in the tails of the pools at dusk are producing many nice bass. The bass are very wary in this shallow water so wade very slowly.

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

Fly Fishing Questions & Answers Podcast

In this fly fishing questions and answers podcast, Harry Murray discusses some of the topics that you have asked through email and phone calls.

Topics discussed include:

Fishing Tricos
Ed Shenk is a master at  fishing trico dry flies on all trout streams.

Fly Fishing Smallmouth Bass Schools throughout the summer at Murray’s Fly Shop.

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.

Musky Fly Fishing

A Guide to Musky Fly Fishing

Many of the rivers in Virginia hold very large musky that offer exciting fishing with fly rods. For example, both the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River hold good numbers of musky that can be reached by either wading or floating.

A great deal of success one can experience in musky fishing relies on selecting the proper rods, reels, lines, leaders and flies.

In this podcast, Harry Murray, discusses the new selection of musky flies that are available in his fly shop and how to effectively fish them.  He covers the proper leader and what fly rod and reel outfit he recommends for this type of fishing.

If you need help finding the areas of the Shenandoah River that offer musky fishing, stop by the fly shop in Edinburg, Virginia and he will show you the best areas on the map.

Show me the Musky Fly Collection
Show me the Musky Leader
Show me the Musky Fly Rod and Reel Outfit

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.

Fly Fishing in June Podcast

Fly Fishing in June can be very rewarding whether you are going to the trout streams or to the bass rivers.

In the first portion of this fly fishing podcast, Harry Murray discusses how to spot the trout on their feeding stations in the stream and how to use this skill to catch the trout.  He gives an in depth discussion on the different signals he looks for.  1)movement of the trout,  2) color/contract of the trout to the stream bottom, 3) shape of the trout, 4) shadow of the trout.

This month provides a great sulphur hatch so we recommend the Murray’s Sulphur Dry size 16 and 18 and Shenk’s Sulphur size 16 and 18.

Bass Fly Fishing Podcast
The Shenandoah Blue Popper is my favorite smallmouth popper because it takes bass under a broad variety of stream conditions.

The second portion of this fly fishing podcast Harry discusses fishing hard head surface bugs on the bass rivers.  Mastering the action of surface bugs is very important so you want to select the proper hard head bug for the type water you will be fishing. Each popping bug creates a different action based on 1) size of the bug, 2) taper of the body, 3) cut of the face.

Hard Head Bugs discussed includes: Shenandoah Chugger,  Shenandoah Slider, and Shenandoah Blue Popper

Learn How to Fly Fish for Smallmouth Bass in our On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools.  These schools are offered on various days from June to August and are held on either the North Fork or the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.  Each school starts at 9a.m. with a slide show/classroom presentation and then you are off to the river to fish for the rest of the day.  We supply the rod and reel outfits for the day at no extra charge.  We keep the class size small so each student has ample instruction time.  Sign up Today!

 

 

On The Stream Fly Fishing Schools

Smallmouth Bass Fly Fishing Schools
We have taught many students how to fly fish for smallmouth bass in our on the stream schools.

This month we are starting our on the stream smallmouth bass schools on various dates throughout the summer.  For 55 years we have been teaching these schools and feel they are the most informative schools around.  Each day begins at 9a.m. with a classroom presentation at our fly shop in Edinburg, VA  then you will proceed to the Shenandoah River for the “on the stream” instruction.

We customize these fly fishing schools to meet your specific needs.  These schools provide you with the most comprehensive experience by preparing you to fish smallmouth bass rivers and large trout streams. You will learn or brush up on casting, fly fishing equipment selection, knot tying, reading the water, entomology and all aspects of fishing for smallmouth bass.

We keep our class sizes small so each student has plenty of time with the instructor.  1 instructor per 5 to 6 students.  Don’t have a fly rod?  No worries–we supply the fly rod and reel outfits for the day.  Are you a total beginner?  No problem,  that is what we are here for.  Have you been fly fishing before but just need a little extra help?   We can help no matter your level of experience.

So, come by yourself, bring a friend, relative or that special someone and enjoy a day learning to fly fish.

2017 Dates

June 2, 8, 10, 12, 17, 26, 30
June 23 (Advanced Class)
July 8, 22, 28
August 5, 18, 26

$196 per student for the day

So check your schedule and register today!
You can register online or phone 540-984-4212

My Three Favorite Trout Flies for Spring Feeders Blog

My Three Favorite Trout Flies for Spring Feeders are:

I like fishing these flies in the sections of the streams below the natural spring. I catch many large trout in these areas. Big Stoney Creek West of Edinburg has many of these rich springs. I start about one hundred feet downstream of the springs. I then fish my flies upstream dead drift all the way to the springs.
The Murray’s Trout Nymph Leader is very helpful in detecting the trouts’ strikes because the built in indicators are easy to see.
The springs are easy for us to see by the rich bright green weed growth around them, both in the stream and on the bank.

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.

Fly Fishing Questions & Answers Podcast

Fly Fishing Questions & Answers Podcast by Harry Murray
May 2017

Fly Fishing Podcast Carp Fishing
Large carp are present in many smallmouth rivers and provide a great challenge when going one on one with them.

In the first section of this Fly Fishing Questions and Answers Podcast Harry Murray discusses carp fishing with a fly rod.  How to detect where the carp are in the river, the flies to use, and the best techniques to catch them.  Murray’s Olive Marauder size 6, 8    Bitch Creek Nymph size 6, 8

Fly Fishing Podcast--Swing Nymphing Technique
The “Swing Nymphing Technique” we teach in our bass schools is easy to master and very effective.

 

In the second portion, Harry discusses the swing nymphing tactic that he uses for bass fishing.  This method was taught to him by Charlies Brooks many years ago and is still effective today.. which is why we teach it in our Smallmouth Bass Schools.  You can also learn more about this technique in Harry’s book  Fly Fishing Techniques for Smallmouth Bass.

In the third portion, Harry discusses a tip he uses while floating in a boat but not getting any strikes in normal fishing conditions.  He uses a Half Roll Cast Pickup which causes his streamer to swim back and forth across the stream rapidly.   Shenk’s White Streamer    Murray’s Heavy Hellgrammite

In the fourth portion, Harry discusses tips for fishing in the wind and fishing with flies that match the natural foods that the bass see in the rivers.  Natural food-hog sucker=Murray’s Magnum Hog Sucker size 4; Natural food-bluegill=Murray’s Magnum Bluegill size 4

Learn to Fly Fish with our Smallmouth Bass Schools or Half Day Fly Fishing Lessons

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.

Music in the Mountains

Music in the Mountains Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop- Edinburg, Virginia

The next time you hike into a mountain trout stream from a ridge high up on the mountain, pause before descending far down the trail.  Listen to see if you can hear the stream far below. Possibly you will discern a subtle low rumble that may remind you of the low notes of a tuba.  Descend further and you may detect more of the flowing of the stream resembling a French Horn picking up the tune. Another thousand feet down the trail, as you approach the stream, the gurgling melody of the stream resembles a clarinet picking up the lead.
This music of the trout stream accompanied by the beautiful melodies of the songbirds is a wonderful reward nature provides in the mountains.

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

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

Fly Fishing Report for May 2017

Fly Fishing Report for Virginia by Harry Murray

This months fly fishing report podcast includes some tips and techniques for the trout and bass fishing that we have this month.

Fly Fishing Report for Virginia, Trout Fishing
Camping overnight is a great way to take advantage of the great dry fly fishing on the spinner fall in the remote streams.

Trout

In this fly fishing report, Harry Murray, discusses the 4 major aquatic hatches that we get in May, the artificial flies we use to match these hatches, and the effective tactics for fishing them.

Gray Fox Hatch–use Mr. Rapidan Dry size 16, Murray’s Professor Dry size 16
Light Cahill Mayfly Hatch–use Murray’s Yellow Drake size 16, Light Cahill Dry size 14
Sulphur Hatch–use Murray’s Sulphur Dry size 16, Shenk’s Sulphur size 16
Little Yellow Stonefly Hatch–use Standard Little Yellow Stonefly Dry size 16, Murray’s Little Yellow Stonefly Dry size 16

Fly Fishing Report for Bass
Many large bass feed heavily on natural hellgrammites below the river-crossing ledges and take the Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite quickly.

Bass

For the bass fishing this  month, Harry will be discussing how to identify the protected feeding stations below the ledges (Shenandoah River, James, Clinch River) and how to fish them.

Recommended Bass Fly: Murray’s Heavy Hellgrammite

Murray’s Fly Shop is celebrating 55 years.  Be sure to check out our specials and be entered into a drawing to win a prize.  Our grand prize: 2018 Fly Fishing Guide Trip ($425 value)

 

 

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.

Five Tips for Tying Durable Flies

Five Tips for Tying Durable Flies Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop

Here is Five Tips for Tying Durable Flies:

(1) I keep my diluted fly tying cement in a hypo-syringe so I can apply a tiny drop of cement at each tie-in and tie-off step.

(2) I use the strongest tying thread possible for each type fly. I also use Kevlar Tying Thread when tying saltwater flies and deer hair bass bugs.

(3) I rely on very tight wraps of thread to hold all materials snugly to the hook rather than a great number of wraps.

(4) I remove all extraneous fuzz and wild hair fibers from each pinch of deer hair, elk hair, calf tail and buck tail before tying it onto the hook.

(5) When I complete trimming a surface deer hair bass bug I paint the stomach hook shank with spar varnish. I cut this 50-50 with paint thinner.

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

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.

Fly Fishing in April

Fly Fishing in April Podcast by Harry Murray

Fly Fishing in April is one of my favorite times to get out and explore the trout fishing in the Shenandoah National Park.  These small brook trout streams are beautiful and there are many aquatic insects that hatch on these streams now.  By using flies that match the hatches you can have a wonderful day of fishing. Listen to my podcast to see what’s hatching or check out the hatch charts in my book Trout Fishing in the Shenandoah National Park.
Recommended Trout Flies: Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry #14, Blue Quill Dry #16, Mr. Rapidan Soft Hackle Brown #14, Mr. Rapidan Olive Delta Wing Caddis #14, Murrays Olive Caddis Pupa #14

Fly Fishing for Bass in April
By fishing the “bank bay” feeding stations with a Murray’s Crayfish at this time of the year you can catch many large bass.

Fly Fishing for Bass in April

In the second part of this months fly fishing podcast I discuss some special tactics and flies that will help you catch many large bass from some special feeding areas that we now have.  By using heavy weighted flies you can reach these areas and possibly catch your biggest bass of the season.
Recommended Bass  Flies  Murray’s Crayfish #6, Murray’s Tungsten Cone Head Marauder Olive #4, Murray’s Tungsten Cone Head Marauder Black #4

Fly Casting Workshop–NEW DATES

Since our fly casting workshops have been so popular I have formed two new dates.   May 6 & May 20.  These are two hour workshops that will help you get the basics of fly casting.  More information…click here.

Murray’s Fly Shop
121 S. Main St.
P.O. Box 156
Edinburg VA 22824
www.murraysflyshop.com
info@murraysflyshop.com

My Three Favorite Trout Leaders

My Three Favorite Trout Leaders- Murray’s Fly Shop

Here are my three favorite  trout leaders:

(1) Murray’s Classic Knotted Compound Tapered Hand Tied 7.5 foot long Leader. This leader is perfect for small trout streams.

(2) Murray’s Compound Tapered Knotted Hand Tied Nymph 9 foot Leader with a built in Scientific Anglers Indicator. This leader is ideal for nymph fishing.

(3) Murray’s Classic Hand Tied Compound Tapered 9 foot Leader. This is leader is excellent for all dry fly fishing and also streamer fly fishing on large streams.

The tippet size of these leaders is determined by the fly size using this formula:
Fly Size ÷ 3 = Tippet in X

An example is: size 12 fly ÷ 3 = 4X tippet

We also have the Murray’s Classic Leader 9 foot Leader in a 3 pack. These are regular price $15.75 but they are on sale for $10.99.

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

Musky Fly Fishing

Many of the rivers in Virginia hold very large musky that offer exciting musky fishing with fly rods. For example, both the North Fork of the Shenandoah River and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River hold good numbers of musky that can be reached by either wading and floating. Just stop in and I’ll be glad to show you these areas.
A great deal of the success one can experience in musky fishing relies on selecting the proper rods, reels, lines, leaders and flies before heading to the rivers.
I like a powerful 10-weight 9ft rod, a reel with a strong drag and enough capacity to hold 100 yards of 20lb backing.  I like a 45 inch leader with a 30 inch 50lb test butt section which has a 15 inch 55lb test wire tippet with a quick change fly snap on the end. There are two fly lines I like for musky fishing.  The Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink 30 Clear 350 grain line has a 30 foot head that sinks at 1.25 ips with an intermediate sinking running line. This line is ideal for fishing where there are medium currents in water up to 4 feet deep. However, where there are fast currents or the water is over 4 feet deep I like the Scientific Anglers Sonar Sink 30 Warm 350 grain line which has a 30 foot head which sinks at 4 to 8 ips with an intermediate sinking running line.  This line sinks quickly enabling us to swim our flies deeply.
We carry many excellent musky flies, some of which are 8 inches long. However, our fisheries biologist tell us that suckers are a very important bait-fish in the diet of the musky. The Wee Broonie Musky Fly at 5 inches long is an excellent match for the yellow sucker and the Joe’s Flathead Shad Musky Fly at 8 inches long is a good match for the hog suckers.
Here are a few angling tactics which I believe are important when fishing for musky. When you get a strike set the hook solidly by using a powerful line-hand strike simultaneously with strong rod-lifting motion. For good insurance, hit him a second time in the same way.—Once you have him hooked recover all of the slack line below the stripping guide and crank all of this onto the reel quickly. Otherwise he may make a powerful run and break you off as the line becomes wrapped around something in the boat or the rod butt extension.—When landing your musky use strong, long forceps such as Dr. Slick Bullet Head Pliers to remove the fly from his jaw. I well remember shredding by fingers and thumb on my first trip to Canada when I tried this bare-handed.

Check out our Musky Fly Selection!

Visit our fly shop at:

121 S. Main St, Edinburg VA 22824
Email info@murraysflyshop.com
www.murraysflyshop.com
Ph 540-984-4212

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

Fly Fishing Questions Podcast

Fly Fishing Questions & Answers Podcast–March 2017

In this fly fishing podcast, Harry Murray discusses the questions you have either emailed or phoned about within the last month.    He goes into details on how to spot the trout in the stream.  He discusses the importance of the hatch charts in predicting which aquatic insects will hatch at what times. He reveals his personal uses of the loop to loop line leader connection verses a needle knot connection.

Fly Fishing Questions Podcast
When fishing a sinking tip fly line for bass a roll cast pick up easily enables you to shoot your fly to the next target.

Next fly fishing workshop at Murray’s Fly Shop
Smallmouth Bass Fishing on the Shenandoah River–March 18
Fly Casting & Rigging–March 25 & April 8

 

 

Fishing Nymphs and Streamers Deeply

Fishing Nymphs and Streamers Deeply- Murray’s Fly Shop

We have many excellent sinking head and sinking tip fly lines that are a great help in fishing our nymphs and streamers deeply along the streambottom. However, I find that in order to take full advantage of these fly lines it helps to use a Murray’s Fluorocarbon 6 foot Sinking Line Leaders. Longer leaders negate the forward sinking portions of these fly lines. They also prevent the flies from swimming as deeply as desired.

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