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.
Virginia Fly Fishing Podcast by Harry Murray for March Trout and Smallmouth Bass Fishing
In this fly fishing podcast, Harry Murray discusses the Epeorus pleuralis mayfly hatch which occurs in March on the trout streams around the mid-Atlantic. He will also discuss the best feeding stations in the pools, the most effective flies and the best tactics and leaders to use.
Flies: Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry size 14, Blue Quill Dry size 16, and Mr. Rapidan Bead Head Nymph size 14
Fishing these nymphs and streamers deeply in the pockets below the riffles and in the deep pools produce many large trout. I do well with the Mr. Rapidan Dry Fly by fishing it along the edges of the riffles where the trout enter the pools.
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.
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 VideoFly Lines
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.
The second portion of this fly fishing podcast, Harry goes into detail on where to catch large bass in November, the areas the bass are holding in, and the best tactics. He also explains why he uses a Sinking Line with Fluorocarbon 6ft Leaders.
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.
In this Fly Fishing Question and Answer Podcast, Harry Murray discusses questions that he has been asked over the last month through phone calls and emails at his fly shop in Edinburg, Virginia.
What type of fly rod should I be using when nymph fishing? How can I enjoy fly fishing when I have hurt my casting arm? How can I improve my fishing in low, clear water when the fish are easily spooked? How many reels should I carry with me when on a fishing trip?
The second portion of the podcast is dedicated to the smallmouth fishing we are getting now and what we can expect throughout June. He covers the natural hellgrammite’s actions and the best flies and tactics to catch the bass which are feeding upon them. He also discusses the great fishing we are getting the Shenandoah Blue Popper by fishing these along the shaded banks.
Effective flies include: Murray’s Heavy Black Hellgrammite size 4 and 6, Shenandoah Blue Popper size 4 and 6
This segment of our fly fishing questions and answers podcast includes Harry Murray discussing 1) the importance of recording stream notes on a calendar to help plan future trips, 2) mentally marking previous hot spots on the streams in order to return to fish these areas later, 3) the pros and cons of attaching the leader to the fly line with loops vs. needle knots, and 4) camping at the upper forks on mountain trout streams to get great fishing.
Fly Fishing Stream Report for May. In the first part of this podcast Harry Murray discusses the wonderful dry fly fishing that you can find in May by covering the aquatic insect hatch throughout May, the best fly patterns to match each one and the effective tactics. In the second part Harry discusses the specific sections of the rivers which gives us good smallmouth action in May. He discusses the flies, leaders, and fly lines that help us in the different feeding stations as well as the most effective tactics in the different sections of the river.
FlyFishing Report for Virginia including native brook trout and smallmouth bass fishing.
April is the favorite month for trout fishing by many serious mountain trout fishermen. With the ideal stream levels and water temperatures, the trout are feeding and the hatches continue. In this podcast I will be discussing these specific hatches, the order in which to expect them, and what flies to use to match these hatches. The number one selling fly to match these hatches–Mr. Rapidan Parachute Dry size 14. I fish these on our Murray’s Classic 7 1/2ft 5X Leaders. Also, check out our new Foam Leader Keepers. These are very handy for those that hate complicated knots and changing tippet material while on the stream.
The smallmouth bass fishing on the Shenandoah River will start to take off in April as the water warms and the bass start to feed. I like to use streamers which match the natural foods the bass are seeing in the river such as Murray’s Heavy Streamers in Chub, Sunfish or Shiner all in size 6. These are fast sinking streamers which will help get through the spring currents. I use a Sink Tip III Fly Line with a Sinking 6ft. 2X Leader in fast currents and water over 4 feet deep. In moderate currents I use a Scientific Anglers Frequency Boost Fly Line with a Murray’s Bright Butt 9ft 2X Leader. The second part of this podcast includes the areas I like to fish (bank bays) at this time of the year and the productive tactics and gear including rods.
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 Fishing Stream Report Podcast – Late Summer 2015 with Harry Murray
In this fly fishing stream report Harry Murray discusses the best areas to find the trout in the stocked trout streams and the most productive flies and techniques including Ed Shenk’s Cress Bug. Also with the water levels dropping for the end of the summer he touches on the best flies (Murray’s Moth, Housefly, Oakworm, & Yellow Jacket) to use to catch those brook trout in the mountain trout streams in the Shenandoah National Park using the hands and knees approach.
The last section of this podcast covers the smallmouth bass fishing on the Shenandoah River. He discusses when, where and how to catch the bass feeding on the Hexagenia Mayflies along with a new technique and flies (Mr. Rapidan Skater, Shad Streamer) for catching bass with a riffle hitch.
See our video on the riffle hitch (click here).
The late Charlie Fox introduced me to the trico mayflies over 30 years ago and ever since then it has been one of my favorite hatches both in the East and in the Rockies. One morning as I was speculating on the density of the hatch I noticed that a spider web in a down fall over the stream had caught many flies. For a rough count I held my hand up beside the spider web and counting by tens I estimated that under the span of my hand there were over 200 flies from just that days hatch. You can imagine how the many flies on the stream will turn the trout on.
For example, one morning on a small Pennsylvania stream a very large brown trout which was feeding on natural tricos kept refusing my fly. In frustration I stopped fishing and went back to sit down in the shade to evaluate my tactics. While sitting there my arm fell across my knee, setting my wristwatch up in line with my trout so I timed him. In one measured minute he took 67 natural tricos. Vince Marinaro who was sitting beside me speculates that I was getting drag that we could not discern but that turned the trout off. He suggested going back to my trout but trying a different casting position. I did this and took the trout on the first drift.
This shows how important it is to get a natural presentation on trout feeding on a heavy trico hatch. Sometimes I use an up and across cast, sometimes down and across and sometime straight across stream cast. I never cast straight upstream to them because this would allow the leader to spook the trout. I also often use a slack line cast and fish 7X or 8X.
I use to carry eleven trico patterns but now I find I can fool most of the trout on a size 22 down wing spinner if I get a natural drift.
Fly Fishing for Trout in Spring and early Summer are great times of the year to hike into the remote mountain trout streams and spend a few nights. Usually, the further away from the roads I get the better fishing I find.
A way I enjoy fishing a remote mountain trout stream if I have several days to camp is to set up my tent about mid way along the length of the stream. The first day I fish upstream from my camp, the second day I walk downstream about an hour and fish back up to my camp. If I have a third day I’ll go upstream or downstream beyond those sections I fished the first two days.
Keep safety in mind in the back country. Always let someone know where you’re going and when you are coming back. Carry good maps and a first aid kit. Since cell phones seldom work back in the mountains I carry a satellite beacon.
The beauty and serenity found in these areas is very gratifying,
Shenandoah River Smallmouth Bass Fishing Report Update:
The North and South Fork of the Shenandoah are both in great shape and running in the mid 50’s. Check the Fishing Report for current fishing conditions for both Smallmouth Bass and Trout.
Our 2014 Catalogs just arrived at the Fly Shop and if you’re on the mailing list you should be receiving yours in the next week.
Our theme this year is “Learn to Fly Fish!!” The great outdoors is full of opportunities that don’t include the – “enter your chosen obsession with the techno world”. The fishing world is a great way to experience the great outdoors; alone or with companions. Have you already mastered flyfishing? Teach someone to fly fish! Need equipment? Give us a call and we probably have some loaner gear you can use to teach a friend or child or spouse or parent.
Fishable water can be found within 10 minutes of 90% of the population of the U.S.A. – To help you Learn to Fly Fish we have many opportunities from fly fishing articles to fly fishing classes which are available throughout the year. Bring your Student ID or Military ID to any of our Winter Workshops and it’s FREE! Don’t have one of these ID’s? Bring a friend and it’s FREE for one of you!
Fly Fishing with Cressbugs and Shrimp for trout produce many nice fish year round in many areas. Many of our richest trout streams have great populations of shrimp (scud) and cress bugs (sow bugs). The greatest numbers are found in the sections of the streams downstream of where the springs enter the main streams. Depending upon the volume of the stream and the springs the productive areas to fish may reach well over 100 feet downstream of these springs. Here are my three favorite tactics to fish these areas with Shenk’s Cress Bugs sizes 14 and 16 and a Shrimp size 14.
1. If the stream is one to two feet deep along the bank below the springs you can often actually see the trout feeding. Here you can go one-on-one with each trout by casting your Cress Bug two feet upstream of him.
2. If the water is three feet deep or more below these springs a better ploy is to fish the whole area upstream dead drift using a Scientific Anglers Indicator to help detect the strikes.
3. If the stream is over 30 feet wide I often use an across stream presentation by casting my Cress Bug tight to the bank below the springs. A very slow two inch fly-twitching action is very effective. I usually start right below the spring and continue this method for at least 100 feet on downstream.
The abundance of natural cress bugs and shrimp in the rich areas of these streams often prompt many large trout to move into these areas to feed so be sure to devote extra time to fishing here.