April Fly of the Month: Murdich Minnow

April Fly of the Month: Murdich Minnow

The Murdich Minnow was originally designed by Bill Murdich for east coast striped bass, though has proven its worth as an equally effective smallmouth bass fly throughout North America. I have used them to great success on our Lake Whatcom smallmouth, along with smallies in the Columbia River system, and of course while visiting the in-laws back in Wisconsin. I’ve also caught sea run bull trout along with very ambitious sea run cutthroat on the Murdich. I suspect it would also work wonders on beach coho feeding on herring in late summer though have not yet put it to task.

I think the effectiveness of the Murdich Minnow, aside from its relative simplicity and efficiency to tie, centers on a couple of key qualities. One is that the fly has a tendency to suspend in the water column like a natural baitfish. Real fish don’t sink like stones to the bottom and the ability to work a streamer slowly and methodically over structure without the fly taking a nosedive helps fool a ton of fish. The other quality is the ability of the Murdich to push water and approximate the mass of a real fish. Its water-pushing ability helps fish to locate the fly and ultimately eat it. The bulky head also creates a vortex as you strip it through the water and forces all that mobile flashabou in the tail to wiggle and dance enticingly. The other beauty of the Murdich as a generic minnow imitation is how quickly you can modify the overall color with a sharpie to match the prevalent baitfish species. Yellow, gray or olive over white have been my go to combinations for smallmouth, with black over white working very well for bull trout.

I typically fish the Murdich on a clear intermediate or streamer tip line and employ a quick erratic retrieve. If you wish to take things to the next level, tie a small glass rattle under the body material. Whether you’re bound for the Lake Whatcom this spring, the Columbia or some storied river in the Midwest this summer, be sure to have some Murdich Minnow at the ready and be prepared for a solid grab!

Murdich Minnow Recipe
Hook: #2 Gamakatsu B10S
Thread: 140 Denier White Ultra Thread
Tail: White Bucktail
Flash: Lateral Scale & Blue Steel Flashabou #6916
Collar: UV Pearl Ice Dub
Body: Large Clear Chocklett’s Finesse Body Chenille
Eyes: 7/32″ Super Pearl 3D Eyes

Confluence Beer Pairing: One of the greatest developments in Bellingham this spring is the long awaited opening of Structures Brewing in the old Chuckanut Brewing location on Holly Street. Not only is it a great space for an after work refreshment both inside and out, but their beer is about as good as it gets. Pair their Pathos Pale Ale with your Murdich Minnow tying experience. It’s a refreshing spring session ale with a little bit of hoppy bitterness but not too over the top. While you’re pairing the beer with the fly, consider pairing both with one of Structure’s signature burgers. They’re pretty awesome and we hear the chicken sandwich is out of this world too!

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