Sunday, June 23, 2013

The mini muddler

Mustad 9671 (Fran's favorite hook;#14)
Grey UTC 70 thread
tail - matched turkey tail feathers
gold tinsel body
matched yellow duck quill wings
spun deer hair head 

Couple of tips for tying the mini muddler...  Tie in the matched turkey tail feathers and gold tinsel at the rear of the hook.  Trim the tinsel tag and the turkey up at the front of the hook were you want the body to end.  Tie everything down tight with a nice even thread body for the tinsel.  It makes wrapping the tinsel much easier and even.  When I tie the head, I put a smaller bunch of deer hair under the hook and tie it in and flair it much like an elk hair caddis wing, then add a larger bunch on top, tie it in, flair it, and then take a wrap or two to spin the deer hair.  Don't use too much deer hair for the head.  I like to trim the head with a double edged razor that I bend by applying pressure to the end with my thumb and middle finger.  Tie some up and have some fun with them!

Kirk and I met on Friday to fish a stream I haven't fished since last winter.  The brook was bank full and slighty off color, and when I met Kirk he had fished a bit with no interest.  He remarked that we should try something bright and colorful.  After I drifted the Ausable Bomber through a riffle that always holds fish, I knew he was right.  I traded the Bomber for another one of Fran Better's patterns, a yellow winged mini muddler.  Drifting through the same riffle brought several responses.

The first brown of the afternoon that crushed the muddler drifted on top along and  undercut bank

This little brown launched himself  over a low tree branch!  Eventually, I was able crawl under the tree to get the line free and get him released and on his way
The mini-muddler produced pretty wild browns all afternoon.  The fish took it sub-surface, on top, on the retreieve or dead drifted.  I don't know if the fish thought it was a grasshopper, large caddis or who knows what else.

Kirk standing by an old maple, you don't often see trees this large in the Northeast where most of the forests are filled with younger growth on abandoned farmland or forests harvested in the early 1900's

The last wild brown of the day that took the muddler dead drifted on top

12 comments:

  1. fantastic. Tying some of fran's mini muddlers is on my to do list. I like your slight twist with the yellow.

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    1. LQN - thanks, but the yellow is actually what Fran recommended in his pattern book especially for brook trout. But I guess the browns like it too !

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    2. You're right! haven't seen them with the yellow duck quill before, i like it!

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    3. I would tie a few and try them on the small streams you've been exploring. If you don't tie, drop me an email.

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  2. I may have to add that mini muddler to my box....nice job with the browns.

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    1. This was the first time I've tried them out, I'll be keeping a few with me at all times from now on

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  3. Mark
    I have just discovered the Muddler a few months ago landing bluegills. I found out that this little fly will not only land bluegills but will land some awesome bass as well. I am going to give it a try on the tailrace this week for rainbow. The pattern I am using is similar, but not as colorful. Those are some awesome looking browns you landed there using the Muddler. thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill - the muddler is a very versatile fly. Tie it big and use a sink tip line and you can fish for big territorial browns, load it up with floatant and it become a bass bug/popper or tie it small for wild brown and brookies !

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  4. The muddler works.
    Tinsel bodies are tough to tie. Your point about getting a good flat thread base is very important.

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    1. Alan - Yes they are, using the flat 70DN UTC thread and wrapping the buts of the turkey and excess tinsel forward helps to make sure there is the same amount of material from rear to front.

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  5. Beautiful fly and nice browns! I'll have to tie a few, they look perfect for the small Driftless Area creeks around here...

    Tight Lines,
    Conner

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    1. Conner - this fly has been attracting a lot of interest around here. I'm thinking of experimenting with the wing to make it more durable...either yellow squirrel or calf tail

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