By: Adam Spence
This week on Big Fly Friday, we’re checking out a fly that, for a lot of smallmouth junkies, is the one fly to rule them all: the Murdich Minnow. This fly was designed on the East Coast for stripers, but has found its way across the country into the streamer box of anglers everywhere. The Murdich Minnow is a relatively easy tie, so tyers of all skill levels should think about sitting down at the vise and tying some up.
Main Target Species: Smallmouth bass, but anglers hunting big brown trout are also turning into Murdich believers
Prime Water: The Murdich Minnow can produce in almost any type of water, but I think it is best when the clarity is good. This fly is not huge and gaudy. Its profile is a dead ringer for baitfish, and that means that it can fool bass even in the clearest of flows. The other type of water I like the Murdich in is “nervous water”, that is, when you see balls of baitfish churning up water just below the surface or when you can actually see them being busted and creating chaos on the surface.
How to fish it: While you can fish the Murdich Minnow on an intermediate sinking line, it’s actually best with a floating line. This fly isn’t meant to sink, but I will tie it on a Gamakatsu B10S stinger, which gives it enough weight to sit JUST below the surface. Some guys put 3-5 wraps of lead on the shank for the same effect. The point is, I want this fly to sit right below the surface so that it imitates a baitfish feeding or being busted at the surface. As far as line goes, your favorite floating line will suffice. The fly is almost weightless, so you don’t need something with a big, heavy taper to get it to turn over. However, if you carry only one floating line for bass, and it happens to be one with a heavy taper (like Orvis’ Hydros Bass Line ), no worries. Even if you don’t get a gentle presentation, I think a little surface commotion imitates baitfish churning up water at the surface.
Action: This fly is not as “swimmy” as something with marabou, schlappen, or rabbit strip. The flashabou does provide a little wiggle in the tail, and tying a loop knot does help add a little action to the head. However, what I love about the Murdich Minnow is it’s profile. The estaz/cactus chenille head to ice fur body to flashabou/bucktail tapes down just like a real bait fish would. Pair that up with the little bit of wiggle in the tail and the side-to-side action up front, and you have a deadly pattern.
Colors: As always, I love gray/white combos. It’s a great color in my home waters, and really, I think almost anywhere. I make sure to have a handful in yellow/white for bright days but dirtier water, and I also tie brown/white for an imitation of the creek chubs that live in the rivers I fish the most. I have yet to tie some (I can’t find the right color of marker), but chartreuse/white would be a great combination as well.
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