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Hellgrammite

Joined:
2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
Posts: 935
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There has been a lot of talk lately about Hellgrammite patterns so I thought I would throw this one up on the Fly Tying Forum. This is Murray's Hellgrammite pattern designed by Harry Murray. He refers to it as Murray's Lead Eye Hellgrammite in his book " Fly Fishing Techniques for Smallmouth Bass". Harry Murray is a master smallmouth bass fisherman from Virginia. This pattern has been a big producer for me so far this WW season. Here is how I tie them.

Hook - #8 2 or 3XL Nymph Hook
Tail - Black Ostrich Herl
Body - Black Chenille
Rib - fine copper wire
Hackle - Brown Saddle Hackle
Eyes - Dumbell Eyes (Clouser style)
Pincers - Medium Black Rubber Legs
Thread - 6/0 Black

I put up a picture of one of my new ties and one that has caught over 30 fish (combined SMB, Rock Bass and Redbreast Sunnies) over the past few weeks. I counter wrap the fine copper wire over the palmered hackle for durability. The herl tail has proven to be extremely durable with great movement. The last photo is a smallie that I caught this afternoon on my way home from work on the same well used fly that I have pictured in this post. This is a great pattern! Give it a shot on your favorite smallie stream.

Attach file:



jpg  Hellgramite 2.jpg (23.00 KB)
6132_51df51a011337.jpg 448X336 px

jpg  Hellgramite 3.jpg (22.55 KB)
6132_51df51abceae1.jpg 448X336 px

jpg  SMB 1.jpg (35.80 KB)
6132_51df51ba90293.jpg 336X388 px

Posted on: 2013/7/11 20:48


Re: Hellgrammite
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Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9008
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Nice - that'll catch 'em.

I've found over the years that SMBs really like a large nymph during the summer and flies like this probably account for more bass for me in summer than any other flies. This wasn't always true: in past years I got most summer bass on poppers. Not anymore.

During the pre-spawn and autumn months, minnow type streamer flies work bets for me. However, for summer, I'm convinced that invertebrates like hellgrammites, large nymphs, and crayfish really are the main forage for bass in small streams.

Posted on: 2013/7/11 20:56


Re: Hellgrammite

Joined:
2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 2177
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The only thing that would concern me with that fly would be the ostrich herl an its durability...

Posted on: 2013/7/11 21:29


Re: Hellgrammite

Joined:
2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
Posts: 935
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Geo,

I had the same concern originally with the pattern. I have given this pattern a serious work out so far this season. The second photo in my post is actually the only Murray's hellgrammite pattern that I have used this year. At the time I took the photo of the used fly, as I stated I had caught over 30 fish. I took another 20 fish on that same fly this afternoon and the ostrich herl tail is still intact (although it is starting to get a bit thin). I actually think is has held up just as well as a marabou or bunny strip tail after that many hook-ups.

Posted on: 2013/7/11 21:51


Re: Hellgrammite

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2009/4/11 18:51
From State College
Posts: 938
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Looks good, Ill be whipping up some.

Posted on: 2013/7/11 22:04
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"If fish had the exact same flavor and alcohol content of PBR, I'd likely be packin' a stringer and old can of night crawlers down to the river"-Hank


Re: Hellgrammite

Joined:
2009/9/9 14:52
From Bel Air, MD
Posts: 699
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I caught a nice smallmouth on Deer Creek below Eden Mill dam a while back drifting a HUGE stonefly nymph. There are no naturals that big in Deer Creek, but as others have said, smallies love the big ums!

Posted on: 2013/7/11 22:47


Re: Hellgrammite

Joined:
2012/1/13 15:28
From Ferguson Twp.
Posts: 2402
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Nice looking hellgs John. I know for sure that pattern works and holds up well, been tying and fishing that one for over 25 years. I got my first tying supplies from Harry, this pattern was one of the first flies I tied. Started ff for ww and Harry was a big influence on me.

Posted on: 2013/7/12 5:10
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There is a need to fish, to be in the water. It soothes the soul...


Re: Hellgrammite

Joined:
2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
Posts: 732
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Smallmouth feed on baitfish all season long. As you get into summer, smallies will feed on baitfish in the early morning and later in the evening. Durring the day, the day invertebrates seem to work best (especially crayfish). Try a Clouser minnow through a riffel predawn or just after sunset, hang on! I've been exclusivly fishing poppers for smallmouth since the begining of June. Not because they work better than other flies, I'm addicted to the surface action!! Some days are good on the popper, others are not.

Posted on: 2013/7/12 7:37


Re: Hellgrammite
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8854
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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
Nice - that'll catch 'em.

I've found over the years that SMBs really like a large nymph during the summer and flies like this probably account for more bass for me in summer than any other flies. This wasn't always true: in past years I got most summer bass on poppers. Not anymore.

During the pre-spawn and autumn months, minnow type streamer flies work bets for me. However, for summer, I'm convinced that invertebrates like hellgrammites, large nymphs, and crayfish really are the main forage for bass in small streams.



True dat. Back not that long ago, I would fish a popper on top first. If the smallies weren't slamming it, I'd switch over to a bugger or maybe a clouser and swing and strip. Rarely did I have to do anything more to catch a bunch of smallies.

Now it seems I have to molly coddle SMBs and spoon feed them nymphs upstream like when trout fishing to catch a few. I started fishing a 10' 7wt rod for smallies to do this a little more efficiently.

More often than not the bass seem in the neutral or even negative mode rather than being on a seek and destroy mission. From my recollection, this is the third season where I can say this has been happening on a regular basis.

When I checked out popper box to see if they were still there...I had to clean out the cobwebs.

Posted on: 2013/7/12 8:14


Re: Hellgrammite

Joined:
2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
Posts: 6316
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Very nice. I'll be tying some of these up tonight for usage tomorrow.

If I can find my black chenille...I have a serious mystery of missing chenille! I should start w/ my 4 yr old daughter, I think........

Posted on: 2013/7/12 8:45


Re: Hellgrammite

Joined:
2011/4/12 17:23
From Lancaster Co.
Posts: 1125
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I do not have ostrich herl. Based on the appearance of this fly I will follow the KISS principle and stick with my black woolly buggers.

I may for the first time try some nymphs for smallies though.

The challenge right now is finding some water that doesn't look like a latte'.

Posted on: 2013/7/12 9:05
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"You might be a big fish, in a little pond. Doesn't mean you've won, cause a long may come, a bigger one."


Re: Hellgrammite

Joined:
2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
Posts: 6316
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Black micro-bugger. Works as a "large nymph", right? haha!

Posted on: 2013/7/12 9:09


Re: Hellgrammite

Joined:
2011/3/8 19:04
From York, PA
Posts: 364
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Do you think this is more effective than a wooly bugger? Looks pretty similar? Just curious if this has an advantage due to the red eyes.

Posted on: 2013/7/12 12:39


Re: Hellgrammite

Joined:
2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
Posts: 935
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sipe,

I can't really say that it is more effective than a wooly bugger. Murray's original pattern called for unpainted dumbbell eyes. I used red because that is what I had on hand. I have resorted to putting red dumbbell eyes on almost all my buggers. I also have replaced the marabou tail with rabbit strip tails. I really like the red dumbbell eyes and they way those flies ride hook up when they are tied this way. And yes, I do think the red eyes catch some attention.

Posted on: 2013/7/12 16:17


Re: Hellgrammite

Joined:
2006/9/28 14:40
From Philadelphia
Posts: 368
Offline
Good looking bugs, dc! As for the herl question, I fish the Murray a lot and haven't noticed much wear and tear. I haven't put red eyes on my hellgrammite patterns but do think they make a difference on my Clouser's. Dah...think I need to go tie a few.
Coughlin

Posted on: 2013/7/13 18:24






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