Published Jan 1. 2002 - 14 years ago

Muddler mania

It should be no secret that I'm a great fan of muddlers. These functional, characteristic and very beautiful flies that I connect directly with my favorite kind of fishing: night fishing for sea trout in the ocean. The technique used for tying them has always fascinated me, and although I do tie a lot of them, I still have a lot to learn in respect to spinning deer hair.

Small Polar Muddler

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It should be no secret that I'm a great fan of muddlers. These functional, characteristic and very beautiful flies that I connect directly with my favorite kind of fishing: night fishing for sea trout in the ocean. The technique used for tying them has always fascinated me, and although I do tie a lot of them, I still have a lot to learn in respect to spinning deer hair.

Click for pattern
Full Metal Jacket Nutria Muddler

My first fly
My view might be strongly biased by the fact that my first fly ever was a muddler. It was not exactly a beautiful and functional muddler - actually not even a beautiful and functional fly - but it wound up in my then very skinny fly box. I remember struggeling with the deer hair of which I had bought a small patch, and not being able to spin it at all. I have since learned the art from none less than Chris Helm and with some practice (a lot of practice, to tell the truth), I now feel more confident with muddlers.

 

  Brown Monster Muddler

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Muddlers are floaters
Because of the deer hair head most muddlers are floating flies. The deer hair is - contrary to the common conception - not hollow. It is more like an air filled sponge and each hair holds a lot of air. This air helps the deer keep warm in the winter, but also helps the deer hair fly to float.
Packing the hair tightly on the hook shank will give your fly a head that floats well. The ability will diminish when you have fished the fly for a while as the hair get water logged. Still the fly will float high - if not in the surface then just under.

    
Salt Water Caddis
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Many flies
I tie and fish muddlers in many shapes. This page just shows a few of them.
  • One of the patterns that I pride myself of having made is the Full Metal Jacket Nutria Muddler. This fly combines the spun muddler head and a brass cone and apart from being quite good looking it is also an excellent fishing fly - mainly used as sculpin imitation for deep fishing.
  • The top of the page shows one of my most productive muddler patterns which is just called The Small Polar Muddler. This pattern is tied on small hooks size 8-12 and is excellent for the exciting pursuit of picky trout in the late summer and early autumn.
  • Pike fishing normally call for big and rude flies. I think it's a pity not to tie good looking flies for pike, but I also se the sense in arguing against it. A fly like the Monster Muddler will not take many pike before it's turned into shreds. Bu never the less these large flies make an excellent floating pike pattern for spring fishing i shallow water.
    The original was tied on stainless hooks and I sent a couple to a friend in Florida. His mail, shown here to the right, tells that the fly can do good for other species too.
  • The Salt Water Caddis is somewhat an oxymoron, but as the fly was inspired by a caddis pattern by the Swedish fly tyer and fisher Kenneth Bergstroem, I found the name suitable. The somewhat sloppy looking shape of this fly comes from trimming the head from behind, thus giving the fly a more cone shaped collar and head. Like the Small Polar Muddler this is a fine sea trout pattern for salt water, but tied in smaller sizes it will probably make a just as good fresh water caddis.
  • Tube flies are commonly used for sea trout and salmon fishing in the Scandinavian streams. I decided to tie a muddler on a tube, and wound up with this creation which is just named the Tube Muddler in my normal dull way. The fly has never fished, but I have had several experienced sea trout fishers look with hungry at the samples in my fly box, so I suspect it would work fine for large stream running sea trout in the dark Danish August nights.
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    Tube Muddler  

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