Fishing the Muddler Fly.
Always keep a good
selection of these in your fly box.
There are many hundreds
of different fly patterns for the Fly Fisherman to choose
from and for the inexperienced angler it can sometimes be
difficult to decide which pattern to use. You can ask ten
fly fishermen which pattern to use at a particular spot and
you’ll likely get ten different answers. Well, mostly it
comes down to experience and personal preference. However
there are some fly patterns which are very versatile and
this article is about one of my personal favourites.
The Muddler is an extremely versatile fly
pattern and can be used on, or beneath the surface with
equal effectiveness. It is a great fly pattern for all
ranges of expertise and will still catch fish even if not
tied particularly well. It can be used
when fishing for almost any freshwater or saltwater species.
It is just as effective on rivers, lakes, streams and in the
sea. You can use it to catch Trout, Arctic char, Atlantic
and Pacific Salmon, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Pike,
Crappie, Panfish, Tarpon, and almost anything else that
swims. It can be bought or tied in an almost limitless range
of colors and variations. A few being the Black Muddler, the
White Muddler, the Spuddler, the Yellow Marabou, the Muddler
Hopper, the Searcy Muddler, the Keel Muddler, the Missoulian
Spook and so on. A true Muddler’s head should always be
made of deer hair and as such is very buoyant. Its
buoyancy keeps the Muddler off the bottom, so it can be
fished at all depths by adding different amounts of weight.
Here are some ways to
fish the Muddler.
Strip it across the water and
you’ll produce some ferocious takes. Trout especially will
follow it for quite a distance. Natural colors can be very
effective in bad light conditions.
slowly along the bottom and fool the fish into thinking it’s
a dragonfly nymph. Alternate between a slow and jerky
3. For sea trout use a
square cast and a floating line. Over slow water this
results in the buoyant fly creating a wake in the surface
film, and the fish find this irresistible.
4. When fishing on the
surface retrieve in a figure of eight pattern with lots of
pauses. The fish will almost always take the fly during a
5. Also, you can try
different techniques when the Muddler is on the surface.
Twitch and strip it several times then pause and wait. Give
it a couple of jerks and then wait a few seconds. It will
almost always attract the fish.
Try smaller sizes in the
spring and larger ones on summer early mornings and late
evenings. The fish seem to confuse these flies with almost
anything they like to eat. So go give them a try.
This is just a few ideas
of fishing with Muddlers. The possibilities are endless.
Experiment with them. In my opinion they are some of the
most useful fly patterns available and they will often work
when nothing else will.