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About the Muddler Fly
  Author: Unknown


Muddlers typically simulate the "sculpin" or a juvenile "bullhead." The original Muddler has generated a large number of variations that all have a clipped deer hair head. It is now used worldwide. The muddler head is tied with natural deer hair and then clipped into a cone shape. The buoyancy of deer hair keeps the Muddler off the bottom, so it can be fished at all depths. Deer hair is hollow and the trapped air makes it very buoyant. Late in the season, when the weather is dreary and the sedges are skating across the surface of the water, fish them as a wake fly. Stripping the muddler across the waves can induce ferocious takes from trout, which will follow it for yards. The natural colors are most effective on dark days. As you fish them on a sinking line, its buoyancy adds life to the fly beneath the surface. Trout go on a feeding spree at the end of the season to build up strength for their annual spawning. Big trout show cannibalistic tendencies at this time of the year feeding on trout fry (baby fish). Small fish will congregate in areas that suit their needs like marginal weed beds or entrances to feeder streams. Muddlers are extremely effective in these areas in late summer and early fall.

The Muddler Minnow is definitely a "stand by" pattern. They are often used as a surface pattern to take sea-trout at night. In midsummer, skip it across the surface to bring trout up for an attack. They are also effective for salmon in shallow water areas on the rivers. Fished slowly and deep along the bottom can simulate an aggressive dragonfly nymph. Fish it with a slow steady pull, pausing between each pull.

The Muddlers were originally intended to imitate a small sculpin. Smallmouth bass feed voraciously on sculpins. Sculpins are bottom-hugging minnows that live under stones in well-aerated water. Therefore, fish the muddler in these areas and you will catch baitfish feeding species like trout, salmon and bass.

Wade into a river just below a riffle area and cast across and slightly downstream. Give your muddler time to sink. Strip the line to make your fly swim along the bottom six inches every four seconds. Make about five casts to one area and make each one about four feet longer than the last. If you do not have any success, wade about three yards downstream and start the sequence again. This overlapping presentation allows the fly to be seen by nearly all the fish in front of you If you see minnows splashing in the shallows, predatory bass or trout are probably chasing them. Trout and bass often cruise around gravel bars and grass beds on overcast days at dawn and dusk. Cast your muddler about three feet in front of the live minnows. Attempt to strip your muddler through the middle of the school in the hope of presenting it in front of the oncoming trout.

Favorite Muddler Patterns:
Muddler Minnow - Muddler Gold - Muddler Silver - Muddler Polar - Muddler Marabou

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