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Same Thing Murray Pattern & Tying Instructions

Fly Tying Recipe: Same Thing Murray
Mustad 36890 salmon hook, size 10.
Black, 6/0 or 70 denier.
Oval tinsel, small.
Bright orange saddle hackle fibers.
Fluorescent green Nylon-Stretch.
Silver Ultra Wire, small.
Peacock herl.
Black goat hair.
Black rooster neck.
Black ostrich herl.
Bright red 6/0 Danvile thread.
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Video Transcript:

This fly is called a "Same Thing Murray". It was invented about 20 years ago by Doug Hastings of Sydney, Nova Scotia for use on the hallowed waters of the Little Southwest Miramichi in New Brunswick. Since then it has become a go-to fly of atlantic salmon fishermen the world over.

Here author, fly tier and blogger Matt Grobert is going to tie a slight variation of the pattern. For a hook, Matt's going to use a size 10 Mustad 36890.

For thread, he's loaded a bobbin with black 6/0 Danville. Start your thread on the hook shank just behind the return and take wraps rearward before snipping or breaking off the tag. You should end up with your thread just behind the hook point.

Small, oval tinsel is used for the tip of the fly. Snip off 4 to 5 inches from the spool, this seems like a lot but you'll see why it's needed in just a minute. With the tinsel extending all the way to the hook eye, tie it in on the underside of the hook and take wraps rearward to about the barb. Give your bobbin a counter-clockwise spin to flatten out the thread so the following wraps go on extra smooth. Wrap forward up the shank to control the tag end of the tinsel.

Begin taking adjacent wraps of the tinsel to form the tip. You can see why having nice smooth under wraps of thread is important. After about 5 turns, unwind your tying thread back to the tinsel and, once again, give it a counter-clockwise spin to flatten it out. Secure the tinsel on the underside of the hook with 2 or 3 wraps of thread and then begin working your way forward attaching the tinsel to the underside of the hook. Reach in with your tying scissors and snip the tinsel off so both ends terminate right at the hook return. The idea here is to create a flat even underbody for the rest of the fly.

With the tinsel secure, wind your thread all the way back to just in front of the tip and once again, give it a counter-clockwise spin to flatten it out.

Strip about a half-inch length of bright orange saddle hackle fibers free from the stem. If they've gotten out of alignment, give the butts a little push which will align the tips. Lay the fibers on the near side of the hook and let thread tension carry the butts to the top. Take wraps rearward to the tip. The tinsel should drive the fibers up at an angle like so. You can then take wraps forward to about the midway point on the hook shank. Fluorescent green nylon stretch is used to form the fly's tag. Snip about a 6 inch length free from the spool. On the far side of the hook, bring the material under the last wrap of tying thread and pull it rearward until the thread is just barely hanging on to the end. Then take a few good tight wraps to secure and cover the end. Now pull the material tight and begin taking adjacent wraps that flatten out into a smooth layer. Wrap all the way back to the tinsel and then start back up the hook shank. The smoother you can make these wraps, the better the fly will look. Keep on taking wraps until just before the midway point on the hook shank. Once there, secure the material to the bottom of the hook shank with a few tight wraps and then reach in with your tying scissors and snip the remainder off close. Take a few more wraps to cover the butts completely.

Small silver Ultra wire adds a bit of flash and will help to protect the delicate peacock herl that gets tied in next. About a 4 inch length is all that's needed. Secure the silver wire to the underside of the hook and take wraps rearward to the beginning of the green tag. If your thread's gotten corded up, give a counter-clockwise spin to flatten it out a bit.

Snip two peacock herls from the area just below the eye. Lay the butts against the near side of the hook and take good firm wraps of tying thread to secure them. Get hold of both herls and begin taking adjacent wraps rearward to form the body of the fly. I promise someday we'll show the secret of how Matt gets the peacock herl to wrap so perfectly. It's not an easy thing to illustrate. When you reach the tag, get hold of the silver wire and begin making open spiral wraps, zig-zagging your way through the peacock herl. These are effectively counter-wraps which will greatly increase the durability of the herl. When you reach the front of the body, secure the wire with a few turns of tying thread and helicopter to break it off close. You can then reach directly in front of the camera and snip away the excess herl. On this particular tie, Matt's going to skip tying in the half dozen or so strands of pearlescent or peacock flashabou that are often used to form an underwing.

And in a departure from the traditional black bear wing, Matt snips a small clump of absolutely gorgeous black goat hair free from the hide and then strips out the abundant underfur from the butts. Measure to form a wing that extends to the tip of the tail. Lay the wing against the near side of the hook and allow thread tension to carry it to the top of the hook where you can bind it down with tight wraps of tying thread. It should kick up at an angle like this. With it firmly secured, lift the butts to vertical and snip them off close, being careful not to cut your thread in the process. Then take a few more wraps of tying thread to smooth things out.

For the hackle collar, Matt chooses a feather with appropriately sized barbules from a black rooster neck. While holding the tip, gently pull a half inch or so of fibers down toward the base so they stand out from the stem. While protecting these with the thumb and index finger of your right hand, remove the off-colored and webby barbules from the butt. Once again, pull the good barbules down and then snip off the tip, leaving just a small triangle for a tie-in anchor. Give your thread a clockwise spin to cord it up so it has more grip then place that little triangle on the underside of the hook and tie the hackle in. Get hold of the stem with hackle pliers and fold the fibers rearward. Make adjacent wraps with the hackle, and continue to fold the fibers rearward as you go, 2-3 wraps should do it. Then cut off the excess stem and fibers. Take a few more wraps of tying thread to hold the hackle back and smooth the head.

Snip a single black ostrich herl free from the stem and tie in the butt just behind the eye. Follow this with a 5 or 6 turn whip finish and then cut the black tying thread off close.

Load a bobbin with bright red 6/0 Danville thread and get it started in the free space behind the ostrich and carefully snip off the tag end. Make a few wraps to build up a red accent band and then take a few wraps rearward with the ostrich herl to create a fuzzy little collar. This little detail can be delicate and persnickety but take your time and you'll get it. Snip off the excess ostrich and do a 5 or 6 turn whip finish to further build the red accent band. Then, finally, snip or cut your tying thread free.

And that's the "Same Thing Murray", minus a crystal flash underwing. If you find the ostrich herl collar a bit much, you can simply use a red head on the fly. On this tie, rather than a hackle collar, Matt used a beard of black hen fibers, which also looks really nice on the pattern.