View Full Version : Muddlin Along
Talk Muddler's to me. I hate tying these things. Any shortcuts or tying hints? Anyone use marabou instead of turkey quill? Once tied, how do you like to fish them?
never tied one myself...hate deer/elk hair...
I've had great success with them fishing them differently....
when terrestrials are about, I smack muddler on the water and jerk and drift it at differing intervals...hardest and loudest strikes come on muddlers (IME)
a dead drift works if imitating hoppers or cicadias (hehe, giddy with anticipation Jeffg)
I have great success with podding browns if I try to imitate bait fish or sculpins...using fish down and across through the pods....browns will chase them across the pool if you find the correct rythm
when we gonna hook up at island ford loren?
Check this url on muddler info:
Yeah, it's time to try our Island Ford trip again! It'll probably be a couple of weeks, though for me. Let's email next week and see if we can hook up.
Good site. Thanks.
Done...prob. get Dan to "go" with...'course he doesn't talk until we leave.
The Ole Man
05-25-99, 10:39 AM
Saw some muddlers recently that were tied with a red-squirrel-tail, wing and tail instead of mottled turkey. This is not a grey squirel tail dyed red, this is the red squirrel that has a rusty-brownish-orange tail as a natural color. The Muds looked pretty good. Would save a lot of trouble as opposed to turkey quill-I think http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
The Ole Man is right (once again). The article was in the Jan/Feb 99 issue of American angler. I have tied a few of these and they are pretty easy. I haven't had much luch with them, but I do not fish with too often either. Email me your fax number and I will fax you the article.
Loren- here's more info on muddlers- This is a piece I wrote a while back regarding controlling depth while fly fishing. Unfortunately, it's very long, technical and may be more than you want to hear about muddlers.
CONTROLLING DENSITY AND SINK RATES OF FLY PATTERNS- a disquisition on
fly fishing and fishing muddlers
Standard fly fishing approaches use line density as the primary medium to
control depth of presentation. Non-fly fishers tend to rely on lure
density to control depth and presentation. My premise suggests that fly
fishers that control the density of the fly line, leader and the fly may
reach unprecedented control over their presentation.
Today fly lines come in a variety of sink rates and a fly fisher should
find any density imaginable in a commercial fly line. However, judicious
use of lead core, Cortland's LC13 and level lines may produce home brewed
products that may solve specific problems.
As many fly fishers know, line diameter affects sink rate and line control
quite dramatically. Thinner lines usually sink faster than their more
rotund brethren. Line diameter may be the main reason why some fanatic fly
fishers still consider lead core the ultimate sinking line despite its
numerous handling disadvantages.
Fly fishers are predisposed to consider line characteristics as the
primary means to control depth. I suspect that this is a corollary of the
process of fly fishing where line manipulation controls the cast and the
presentation. Manipulating line to control presentation is inherently
natural and efficient.
Recently, several companies, in particular Airflo, have been selling
braided leaders of varying densities that fine-tune presentations and
allow options not previously available to the fly fisher. In many cases
because of the thiner diameter, these leaders are more efficient than the
standard sink tip lines or mini-heads that have been used in the past.
With the advent of dog nobblers, boobies, jigs, clousers and other
options, fly fishers have begun to consider fly density as a component in
a properly presented approach to control depth. New approaches, new
materials and relaxed legislation have contributed to more efficient
methods to plumb any and all depths of the water column.
In the past, hook weight was the primary determinant of density control
for flies. Owing to particular regulations, additional methods of
weighting were particularly discouraged by the prevailing dogma.
Consequently, the only way to weight a fly or change the density was to
select particular hooks for specific situations in attempts to control the
depth of the presentation. This method is quite limited since hook
diameters are quite uniform and only appear in a limited range.
In a given size, the experimenting fly fisher might only find 3 or 4 hook
weights that were available commercially. Hardly the range that could
provide a means to control density minutely.
The next logical approach is the addition of varying amounts of weight to
reach the desired presentation. This approach can be very efective, but
has some underlying problems.
The concentration of weight at the working end has two primary drawbacks.
The first is that the weight makes casting an ordeal that requires the
modification of the timing and the motion of the casting stroke. Fly
casting this concentrated weight can become hazardous to the caster,
observers and the equipment. The second is that the angler has little
control of the weighted fly's tendency to continue to drop until it hits
the bottom. Consequently, hangups are inevitable unless the retrieve is
timed perfectly to avoid them. In an unknown terrain, the probabilities
are against the angler and fly loss will be high.
To avoid this second problem, non-fly fishers have been experimenting with
lures that are buoyant, neutrally buoyant and slightly negatively buoyant.
It is interesting to note that most custom modifications by the buyer are
designed to control the sink rate or presentation depth of the lure.
Fly fishers usually construct their flies and so can modify them at
will to meet varying presentations. Despite this ability to custom their
wares, fly anglers have been slow to tinker with patterns to modify sink
One strategy that has become common in controlling a presentation at a
particular depth is to use buoyant flies on sinking lines. English anglers
have been using boobies and americans have been using dahlbergs or poppers
in this manner to fish at a preselected depth above the bottom. Leader
length determines at what depth the fly will travel. This approach is
particularly effective in silty and vegetated substrates, since the fly
will not be obscured by the bottom or the cover and is still within range
of the fish. In addition, the buoyant nature of the fly allows a certain
protection against hangups.
Although fly fishers are adept at combing the bottom and the surface of
the water, fish live in a three dimensional world and may be found
anywhere on the water column. Occasionally, fish will suspend and are
notoriously difficult to entice to strike.
One could use the floating fly and sinking line and select a leader length
that will allow the fly to travel on or near the same plane as the
suspended fish. This is only effective if the fish are suspended near the
bottom. Long leaders tend to be unwieldly in this situation and leader
length will affect control of presentation.
Another approach is to count down with a sinking fly. Unfortunately, most
flies that sink are too heavy and tend to drop during the presentation,
thus mitigating any presentation control gained. In addition, these flies
are so negatively buoyant that the presentation has to be rather quick to
avoid the tendency of the fly to drop down the water column. If the fish
areaggresive, a fast presentation may elicit a strike. However, suspended
fish tend to be less willing feeders and a slower presentation that
remaions in the strike zone longer has a better chance of success.
How does one control presentation to suspended fish? By controlling the
density of the fly in relation to the water column, one can control the
presentation. Line density and leader density are used to control the sink
rate to the level of the fish and fly density is used to control the depth
and manner of presentation. Leader length also acts as a control on
micro-adjustments of depth control.
Using the muddler minnow, I will describe a method to minutely control
depth of presentation. The muddler minnow is an excellent fly to use
because the deer hair collar provides an inherently buoyant material that
can be used to control the final density of the fly. Weighting the fly,
choice of hook, choice of materials and the size of the deer hair collar
will determine the final density of the fly.
The tyer is trying to generate a series of patterns that vary in density.
The first will be buoyant by being less dense than water, the second will
be neutrally buoyant by being as dense as water and the last will be
slightly negatively buoyant by being just a shade more dense than water.
With this three flies, the right fly line and leader system, and patience,
a fly fisher should be able to comb any portion of the water column with
How does one achieve these expectations? By tying a muddler with an
oversize collar, the fly fisher can then trim to the proper pre-selected
The procedure is rather simple. A muddler is tied as needed with any
recipe that has proven successful. The only exception is to trim the head
marginally to produce a rather full collar.
The fly is then placed in a container of water and allowed to soak for
awhile until it reaches maximum saturation. Once the fly has soaked long
enough in the water, it is trimmed to match the density required.
A buoyant fly will float even when well saturated. A neutrally buoyant fly
will remain at the depth where it is placed and will not move up or down
the column. The negatively buoyant fly will sink very slowly down the
One must take into account the water temperature as the density of water
will vary with temperature. So it is probably a sound idea to approximate
the temperature that the pattern will be fished. Minute differences
probably won't make much of a difference unless one is trying for a
neutral density fly. Since water density varies with temperature, a fly
can be created to be neutrally buoyant at a particular temperature.
A possible application of this phenomenon would be to create a fly that
is neutrally buoyant at a temperature that matches the thermocline of a
particular lake. If one knows the temperature of a thermocline that
has fish suspend above it, a fly can be created to fish and suspend at
that particular depth. It can be fished at that particular plane at any
retrieve speed or even when not retrieved, at least until the line
starts its upward climb.
This method allows the construction of flies that provide absolute control
of presentation in a three-dimensional world.
The Ole Man
05-25-99, 04:18 PM
We only want to tie a Muddler Minnow. We don't want to go to the moon.
Dittos OLE MAN, and my buddies up here think I'm over the edge.
05-25-99, 08:06 PM
You one well informed dude! You post on bro. Can't possibly remember it all but pick up something from each post.
Ich -------always learning
My apologies to anyone that I may have offended with my last post. I did not intend any offense but merely wanted to present a neat technique to fish the very versatile muddler. I do think it was, however, in the scope of the question asked.
Regrets form the "mudler freak" http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
05-26-99, 08:31 AM
Davida, No offence taken!! Just picking on you a little. I'm the same way with my dryfly fishing. I've read Hatches II many many times and know most of the latin names for the hatches I fish. All in all your thoroughness(sp) was refreshing. Just having some fun with you.
My Appologies http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/redface.gif
Tying muddlers- I never used turkey quill on my muddlers. I use fish fuzz or marabou for the wing. Although lately, I've been tying them "flashdancer style" with a very sparse flashabou wing.
For the tail- I use a bright clump of marabou or crystal flash.
For the head- I try to tie the head as sparsely as I can and still get adequate definition. Since deer hair tends to be buoyant, the less the better. I also think that it fishes better if the head is cut ragged. This is especially true with the flashdancer style.
The pattern is very versatile and can be used to imitate everything from insects (hoppers, crickets,dragonflies,etc.) to fish by varying the materials, the amounts and the tying strategies.
The Ole Man
05-26-99, 11:20 AM
I just couldn't resist that. Prior to my retirement as an engineer with a major airline, we -the 4 or 5 guys in my engineering group-had a co-worker who had a Doctorate in Aeronautical Engineering. Regardless of how elemental or simplistic a problem was, he always wanted to apply a full blown, time consuming, ultra-high tech investigation prior to any action or decision. A corollary would be calling out the swat team to issue a parking ticket. The phrase we frequently used on him to try to bring him back to a sensible level was "Hey Hal, we just want to fly to Dallas, we don't want to go to the moon". Your post reminded me of those days and my response was almost automatic. If I insulted you, my apologies-but it was fun. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
No insult- I was debating on whether to post it or not, but it got close to fishing time and I sent it without trying to edit it down. I guess I was a little sensitive about the length. If the posts are overkill, please feel free to e-mail. Some of the information is hard to gather, or was for me, and I'd like to spare others some of the tortuous paths of learning about fly fishing or fishing, in general. After all, it's about having fun onstream.
I do take fly fishing pretty seriously, although I'm pretty laid back when actually fishing. If that makes any sense http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
Davida, I for one enjoy your lengthy posts...I too am laid back on the water...quiet confidence mixed with peace of mind (the former because I too am a maniacal pursuer of the art we practice--well practiced, well performed, and the latter because a piece of mind is all I retain).
The brevity of many of our posts, while quite humorous, leave me wanting more and cause much of the friction alluded to on the other forum.
Your finger crippling messages answer questions before they are asked. I don't find you long winded or inkhorny....frankly I'd like to fish with ya and not talk--as long as you post as you have in the past.
I'm one of those treading "the tortuous paths of learning about fly fishing." http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif Thanks for the info. I printed it out to study.
davida post away man, I would much rather have too much information than too little.
http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif Careful guys, you run Davida off and we lose most of our R&D department!
Got the article, thanks. Been slowing down at roadkill looking for fox squirrels (NOT). May have to break out $2 and buy a tail.
By the way, I ran across an old book on fly tying at a used book store that had a whole chapter devoted to roadkill. Can you believe that?
Many long-time tyers have decided to forego the use of roadkill, however, tempting it may be. Without knowing the circumstamces of the death of the animal, there's a possibility of contagion from a nasty disease. Yeah, I know it got killed while crossing the road. But, the question should be: is there an underlying epidemiological reason why it got killed? With rabies reasonably prevalent, it's probably more prudent to forego roadkills. At least in my case, I don't think the risk is worth the couple of dollars I would save, not to mention the bother. It also ensures familial harmony if you don't store your found "goodies" in the freezer while awaiting processing.
If this doesn't dissuade one from collecting, then at least use a pair of latex, or similar gloves, and follow sanitary procedures during processing.
In my fly tying book, I read about the history of fly tying. It talked about how in england when the sportsmen were not fishing they were hunting pheasant and fox and other animals, one for meat and second for fly tying materials. Neat to say the least. J. Byrd.
Turns out I was wrong (same thing happended last year). I stopped by the used book store and re-examined the book. There is no chapter on road kill - just a section on road hunting. I scan too fast.
Yeah, this board has consistently (for the year or so I've been on) discouraged road kill for the reasons given by Davida.
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