Old Schools of Muddlers

by Brian Zinger on January 17, 2015

Muddler school


This week I’ve been busy twisting up another of my “Top 12” flies for every day fishing, the Muddler Minnow. What I mean by  a fly for “everyday fishing” is a fly that is productive everyday when matching a hatch is not an option. The muddler is a perfect example in that it is productive in the middle of winter as well as mid summer.  It doesn’t match any hatching aquatic insects, but imitates sculpin, which is a bait fish  that is present in most waters everyday.

Most anglers think of a Muddler as an “old school” fly.  It’s true the pattern has been around a long time. There are many variations to the original pattern, which is true with most flies these days.  I believe the original pattern, tied with wild turkey tail feather for the tail and wing, gold tinsel for the body and spun deer hair for the shoulders and head is best, and the only one I carry.  The only thing I would add is a gold bead for smaller sizes, and a gold cone for larger.

Most patterns are tied fairly large. Size # 6 hook, 4x long and bigger. Fran Better liked mini muddlers in a size #12. All are productive and most species of fish have been fooled.  There is no wrong way to fish a muddler, however the best way is to fish it dead drifted or on the swing, as close to the bottom as you can.    Don’t be afraid to add some strips as it swing and at the end of the swing when the fly is directly down stream from you.

You can purchase schools of muddlers for a buck a fly until 3/1/15.

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