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New England Streamers
Lindsey Grandison For Gerry Cox. - Sculpin Patterns Feature
By Doug Saball
Submitted By Lindsey Grandison For Gerry Cox.
Background On This Muddler
This fly was sent to us by Gerry Cox of Ithaca, New York. It is an example of the muddler flies that were commericially available in the late 50's. One of the popularizers of the muddler pattern was Dan Bailey who had a shop located at that time in Livingston, Montana. He was instrumental in developing many of the variations that evolved from the original. The fly shops around Yellowstone then offered the muddler as a standard pattern as they do now. As Gerry Cox recounts "In the late 50's, the principal fly shops in West Yellowstone were Bud Lilly's and Pat Barnes'. I probably got the Muddler from Pat Barnes, who had a small crew (including his wife) turning out flies on mechanized rotary vices. It replaced the one (on my allowance, I could only afford one) I lost in a wooded section of the Firehole when a huge brown surged up and took it just after I'd pulled it under on the swing. I can see his head and back to this day!"
This example is true to the classic pattern and is at the larger end of sizes encountered today. The lack of variation in style from this early example to the patterns availabe now probably reflects the effectiveness of the original pattern and the finding that all of the possible variations which have been attempted have not improved substantially on it.
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