Mini’s for everything

by Brian Zinger on January 8, 2019

Tomorrow evening kicks off the 2019 fly tying night. I’m looking forward to seeing folks I don’t get to see much after fall fishing, telling stories and tying up a ton of flies. As usual I start off tying flies I use a lot and lose a lot.

The hottest fly in my box for last couple years has been a Muddler minnow. With so many other flies in my box, this older than dirt fly pattern made of naturally harvested feathers and fur still produces more tight lines and smillin faces than any other.

If you know me or read anything I write about, you’ll know that love tying thing in a mini version. Mini is mighty when it comes to Muddlers. #12’s are not commonly found in many a fly fishers box. I usually have a row dedicated to them.

The keeper of the Ausable

I was versed on Mini Muddlers by Fran Betters.  When I first moved to Vermont I fished everywhere and started fishing the Adirondack’s in NY. Any time I would fish the West Branch of the Ausable River, I would stop in to visit with Fran as he sat and spun up the fly of the day. One day he was tying up small muddlers, which was surprising to me as I only carried #4 – 8 back then. He told me of of their virtue and that was all I needed. I walked out with a half dozen fresh of the vise, as I always did. I fished them for the rest of the season with great productivity. Since then I have tied many patterns that you normally think to tie large and make them mini. Mini muddlers are a must have.



Muddler Minnow

Hook: Mustad 9671 #14 – #4

Tail: Tom Turkey tail feather section, with a “v” cut into it

Body: gold tinsel

Wing: Tom Turkey tail feather section, 2x length of hook shank

Head: stacked bunches of spun deer hair, 1st stack spin to make the collar add additional stacks of different neutral colors of hair.

Optional and recommended: gold bead head

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