Muddler Minnow is a versatile tool used for fly fishing and fly tying. This streamer fly is designed with features that are essential for catching trout. It has the ability to float thus imitating a grasshopper when greased while assuming the shape of a juicy sculpin when used in the deep waters. When skated during the night, this artificial fly appears like a mouse. All these forms assumed by a floating muddler through the water are imitation of animals that attract the target species towards the fly tying fishing tool.
The materials used to develop a muddler fly make every fishing expedition a great success. Its materials include;
Body. This fly has a versatile body which is wrapped with a Mylar or tinsel. The tinsel may be derived from gold or silver material. Tinsel is wrapped around the hook shank of the muddler to form a complete body.
Head. Muddler fly is designed with a characteristic spun deer hair head that extends from the body. The head becomes the fore-end of this fly tying tool, attached next to the hook shank of the body. Traditionally, the head of the muddler was being made using deer’s hair. However, this has significantly changed as materials such as spun wool, chenille and dubbing are being used to develop the head of modern fly.
Wing. This artificial fly has an under-wing and an over-wing which are feathery in nature. The under-wing is developed using a gray squirrel hair while the over-wing is derived from a dappled brown turkey feather. The wing enables the muddler to stay afloat when used in deep pools.
Tail. The tail of the muddler appears like a continuation of the wing material. Just like the wing, the tail is derived from a dappled brown turkey feather. The tail is essential for smooth movement of the muddler through the water.
Thread. In order to have a fully assembled muddler fly tying equipment, it is important to have a nylon thread brown in color size 6/0. The thread becomes part of the materials required as it holds different parts of the muddler in place.
How to tie a muddler minnow step by step
Getting your muddler fly ready for a fishing expedition is simple. Ensure that you have all the required materials as discussed above then follow the steps below systematically, in order to tie the minnow fly successfully.
Step 1. Craft the tail and attach it to the streamer hook. In this case, place the streamer hook in the vice with its shank being horizontal. Run the nylon thread along the hook shank ensuring that it hangs vertically. Cut two equal wing-like slips from the mottled turkey feather. Attach the two slips on the hook shank in a back to back position using the nylon thread. Here, make the thread to run loosely around the slips of the small wing like slips and later pulling the thread to tighten it. The nylon thread is strong enough to hold the tail in place.
Step 2. Develop an even thickness of tinsel body of the muddler using a wire made of copper. At this point, introduce a copper wire tying it below the tail using the nylon thread. Then, cover the hook shank with even amount of thread by running it around the hook shank. Prepare the flat tinsel and attach it just behind the eye of the hook using the thread. Tinsel should fit evenly right from behind the eye of the hook to the tail. Ensure that the rib of the copper wire is positioned parallel to the tinsel material.
Step 3. Prepare the wings and tie them in place. Here, get the dappled brown turkey feather. In order to give it a fine finishing, eliminate the fur and other shorter hair. Then, trim the length of the wing hair to be equal to that of the tail. To hold the ends of the wing hair in place, use few varnish drops on the hair bunch. Wait for the varnish to dry completely before tying the wing hair on the hook shank using the nylon thread.
Step 4. Make the head of the muddler using the deer hair. If the natural deer hair is not available, remember that you can make use of wool like the one from a winter coat. Get a big bunch of hair in order to make the right size of the head. Give the head a fine finish by eliminating fur and shorter hairs present. Tie the bunch of deer hair with the extreme ends facing the tail. Run the thread around the bunch and tightening it to allow the hair ends to flare, forming the collar. To develop the head, run the thread tightly around the end of the hair bunch towards the eye of the hook.
How to fish a muddler minnow
Once you have correctly wired the muddler fly, using it becomes extremely easy. It is important to note that the muddler can be used dry or doped. Here are several ways of fishing with a muddler minnow;
Use of jerky retrieval. Soak the muddler fly into the water till when it starts sinking gradually. Once you have achieved the targeted depth, pull the rod in a jerky manner creating movements that mimic a rising dragonfly.
Searching mode. Immerse the muddler fly into rain-X to enhance its floating ability. Once dry, dope it up and then skitter the muddler fly on a surface with vegetation.
Sunk fly approach. This is a deep sink method using a dry and well doped muddler fly. The fly is immersed into a deep sink line whose leader length is determined by the vegetation subsurface height as the muddler should swim slightly above the vegetation.
Muddler fly patterns
There are varying muddler patterns for you to choose from that include;
- Searcy Muddler
- Keel Muddler
- Muddler Hopper
- Mizzoulian Spook
Muddler fly is affordable and readily available in the local selling points and online market. In Amazon and eBay the cost of muddler is between $2.97 and $11.62. The cost is determined by the size of individual muddler Minnow fly.