One of the true classic streamer patterns of all time, the Muddler minnow has been deceiving fish for nearly a half century. The Muddler was originally invented by creative fly tier Don Gapen somewhere around the 1950’s, to catch brook trout from the Nippigon River system. Since then this versatile pattern has adapted well to almost all waters both lakes and streams, catching many different species of game fish under a wide range of circumstances. The Muddler minnow is definitely a must have for every serious fly fisherman’s collection.
This unique streamer pattern incorporates a large spun deer hair head into the fly’s construction to add buoyancy and give the fly a very unique look on or in the water. An angler has the choice to fish this fly on the surface or low and slow to imitate baitfish. Which ever way you choose to fish this classic streamer pattern, fish will be sure to cooperate and bite down greedily.
Tie this fly in sizes 6-10.
Start this fly by placing the hook into the vice and attaching the thread behind the hook eye. Advance the thread to the point above the barb on the rear of the hook shank and get out your turkey feather. Match two of these feathers (concave sides towards each other) and clip a small section of the quills (5 to 7 quills) to be used for the tail. With these matched quills in your left hand (if you are right handed) rest the quills on top of the hook shank and take two turns of thread around the fibers. Slowly increase the tension on the quills buy pulling down on the tread compressing the quills at the tie down point. Clip the tag end of the turkey quills and cover with thread to hold them in place securely.
Attach 4 strands of gold tinsel at the tie in point for the tail and spin them lightly between your fingers. Wrap this tinsel rope forward up the body of the fly until you reach the 1/3 mark on the hook shank. At this point repeat the procedure you did for the tail with the turkey feather quills but this time let the turkey quills extend approximately to the end of the hook shank.
After the wing in tied in securely, clip a small bunch of deer hair about the width of a pencil and spin it onto the hook shank. It should take three bunches of deer hair to fill the remainder of the hook shank then tie off and whip finish the thread.
With a sharp pair of scissors, clip the head of the fly in a cone shape making sure that you do not cut the deer guard hairs that are making the collar for the head of the fly.