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I met the Rolled Muddler in BC while fishing for Pacific salmon
The Rolled Muddler
is originally from British Columbia and a fly that was designed by Tom Murray and is sometimes referred to as Murray's Rolled Muddler. The fly was originally meant for fishing for cutthroats along saltwater beaches and in the estuaries. In other words a BC coastal fly!
In BC it's
also popular for stream and river fishing for Pacific salmon, mainly coho, and I met it (and fished it) for the first time back in 2004 and have personally caught a couple of species of Canadian salmon on this pattern. I met it first when fishing with BC guide Erik Skaaning, who handed me this pattern when we were fishing for coho in a quiet backwater to the Harrison, a short but beautiful tributary to the Fraser. We had a very fun afternoon with medium size coho that were slowly milling around in this clear and almost still part of the river. Among the successful flies was the Rolled Muddler.
During my latest trip to BC and the Vancouver area, I also fished the Rolled Muddler for coho, and although it did catch more pinks than cohos, it certainly worked.
There are several variations
of this fly to be found. The one major variation is whether or not the fly is tied with a bead. Another variation is of course the color, which varies a lot. The fly can be found in natural colors as well as dull blue and olive and even in bright yellow, chartreuse or orange. Some are also tied so fat and bulky that they remind me more of a standard Muddler Minnow. The Rolled Muddler should be tied as a slim and lightly dressed fly. That seems to be the general conception, and the one I adhere to.
I have fished and will tie the natural one with a bead. That's what I have had success with, and what I prefer.
As you can see on the image to the right, I usually tie my muddlers quite fat. Not so the Rolled Muddler! The Rolled Muddler is a slender fly with a fairly skinny wing and a small and streamlined head. My muddlers also float or fish in the surface. The Rolled Muddler sinks and jigs on the retrieve.
Given my well documented
muddler mania, I'd love to add yet another muddler to my box, and this one has everything I like: very fish-like, simple and it even has a bead for weight - love at first sight. It's time to introduce the Rolled Muddler to the Danish seatrout.
This one has everything I like: very fish-like, simple and it even has a bead for weight - love at first sight
Of course I had to do a FMJRM - Full Metal Jacket Rolled Muddler - using a brass cone in stead of a round bead, and using the technique I used for the first time 15-20 years ago when I began to tie the FMJNM - Full Metal Jacket Nutria Muddler. I won't say in any way that I developed this technique, but when I did it back then, I hadn't seen anybody else do it before.
These days there are plenty cone headed muddlers in almost any fly catalog, and just looking on this site, you will find the 8 year old article on the Zuddler, an excellent steelhead pattern developed by by Joe Emery and John Rode.
The Rolled Muddler lends itself very well to the cone head style, and I will most likely tie most of my RM's as FMJRM's. I use Bidoz 3.5 or 4mm brass cones for these flies - perfect in size and weight for the smaller hooks.