Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hayward Fly Fishing Company

The Hayward Fly Fishing Company
I was in Hayward, Wisconsin today visiting a new prospect and stopped by the Hayward Fly Fishing Company.  Like many of you I have heard about this jewel and decided to stop in and see if it lived up to its legendary status.  Safe to say this place is a bass and musky fisherman's heaven on earth!  The fly selection is awesome!  Bin after bin of smallmouth goodies....just a fantastic shop.

The Murdich Wiggler
I took three flies home with me to discuss on the blog.  One was called the Murdich Wiggler, a neat looking pattern with a flat profile.  The owner (Larry Mann & Wendy Williamson both own HFFC) said it was the hot pattern because crayfish are presently molting and this baby looks like soft shelled crayfish.  His advise was to hop the Wiggler and hang on tight.  I'll be trying this on the Mississippi this weekend.

Murdich Wiggler
Murdich Wiggler - Rootbeer Color
The picture above doesn't do the Wiggler justice.  The hook has a bend giving the pattern a interesting shape.  The beauty of this pattern is in the simplicity.  Nothing more than a slightly modified hook, cactus chenille, marabou and some fine flashabou.  The shank of the hook is weighted with lead and the cactus chenille is clipped flat (better seen on the white wiggler above).  The flat profile and weighted shank makes the pattern "wobble" when dropped of hopped in the water column.  I have seen patterns like this in the past, but these flies are excellent.

The Whistler
The next fly I'm going to detail is a common Whistler....not a ton to talk about since this pattern is a standard in just about everybody's fly box, but it is a very nice example of the streamer.

The Whistler
I like the fact the flashabou is extra long.  I noticed this detail on many of the flies in the shop....a very nice element that is always working for you in the current.  Like a hypnotists waiving fingers saying "Eat!.....Eat!" this Whistler will be a killer----I can feel it.

The Ultimate Reverse Tied Streamer
This last pattern grabbed me instantly, a clear champion that reminded me of Gabe Schubert's reverse tied works of art.  Larry went on to tell me this streamer is a very good producer in their region.  The color scheme was loud, but strangely appealing.  Take a look and see for yourself.

Reverse Tied Minnow
The first thing I noticed about this streamer (besides the color) was the meaty profile.  I was holding it in my hand admiring the chunkiness and Larry said "that fly fishes bigger than it looks."  He asked me if I knew what that meant and I assured him I was on board with the comment....I have been throwing larger flies this season and I knew exactly what he was talking about.  Some flies are so well designed they appear bigger than they actually are!  This pattern has that nice flashabou tail, the saddle hackle trailer, excellent profile and water displacing characteristics etc.  These streamers are hard to get balanced.  Too much hair on one side of the shank and the pattern will not swim properly.  The specimen I took home was perfectly balanced.

Back to the Shop
The three patterns I took home were only a very small sampling of the bass and muskie patterns on the shelf at the Hayward Fly Fishing Company.  The inventory at this place is staggering (in a good way!)  If you are a fly hoarder you need to see the shop!

Larry was very friendly, a real pleasure to speak with and hopefully get to know better.  I wish I could visit his shop more often, but it is nearly 3 hours from my doorstep to his place....not a shop I could just hop in the car and visit....what a shame.

Aside from their fly selection the shop has everything a guy would need to hit local waters.  From waders to rods and reels they have it covered.  I am sure they are great guides as well....I'll have to find out this fall!

Here is a great video that demonstrates the expertise of this shop.  This leader system uses the slim beauty....a very simple and strong musky leader.

If you are a fly fisherman you have to find a way to visit this of the best shops I have visited to date.


  1. I would have to say that all these patterns would produce smallmouth---but my favorite is the reverse tied minnow. What size is the tied minnow? I may ordered some from this fly shop.
    thanks for sharing a post

  2. Bill-

    The reverse tied minnow is a pretty Big streamer measuring in at 6" in length. The hook appears to be a 1/0+ saltwater hook.

    I did not record the actual name of the pattern, but if you gave Larry a description of the streamer he would know what you were talking about.

    Thanks for the reply, hope you are doing well!


  3. I live in Madison and our camp is over in the northeastern corner of the state, so I've not yet had a chance to visit HFFC. After this great review, I may have to make an excuse to get over there. Thanks for the post!

  4. This fly called the Murdich Wiggler is told to be a great fly for smallmouth bass as well as other great fly patterns. The Murdich Wiggler fly acts as an injured minnow.