Published Jul 14. 2007 - 16 years ago
Updated or edited Apr 3. 2023

Tie a muddler

One evening when I was tying flies with a couple of friends, one of them, Nils, asked me to tie a muddler, just as a demo. I did. Luckily the other friend, Henning, was quick and caught these great pictures of the process.

I was tying...

One evening when I was tying flies with a couple of friends, one of them, Nils, asked me to tie a muddler, just as a demo. And so I did. Luckily the other friend, Henning, was quick on the camera and caught these great pictures of the process.

The pictures actually came out so good that we decided to boil them down to a small article on tying a muddler. The process is not that difficult to do, but actually pretty difficult to describe in words. Pictures do a much better job.

This is just a generic muddler, but I will list the pattern in the end of this article anyway.
A notice on the deer hair, though: get good hair - the best you can find, and ask for hair for muddlers or deer hair bugs. Make sure it has as little underfur as possible, and get some natural (undyed) first. Dyed hair can be fine, but chances are the dying process has ruined its ability to flare and spin. Some dyed hair is great. Some is useless for this purpose.

And now: the picture sequence.

Ready for the deer hair

Stacked deer hair

Changing hands

The first two turns


The result

Flat underside

Second bunch

Press back

Whip finish

Ready to trim


Behind the head

Front checkup

Removing stray hairs

Smooth the head


Happy muddler face

Happy Muddler
Pattern type: 
Wet fly
Martin Joergensen
A generic muddler suitable for trout, bass, perch and a number of other species - probably even bonefish in a tight spot.
Kamasan B175, #4
Brown 6/0
Silver fox
Silver fox underfur
Silver fox and a little golden flash
Natural deer hair
Skill level/difficulty: 
A little difficult

Don't miss all the muddler articles.


bookmarked, gonna tr...

bookmarked, gonna try this out tommorow after i get some good deer hair! been trying a muddler for so long with crappy deer hair so ima get some good stuff, and the pictures help a bunch! ive always let my deer hair spin around the hook and it never looked good at all

very good will try a...

very good will try and tie a mudlar from your pics.thanks john.from the UK.

Martin Joergensen's picture

Dale, Most muddle...


Most muddlers are excellent sculpin imitations, and this one will be fine for your purpose. But you might also consider a more elongated and maybe weighted pattern such as the FMJNM, the Zuddler or a tube tied muddler or a pattern such as The Bow River Bugger. Another option is a large zonker streamer, which is a bit easier to tie.


ok i have a question...

ok i have a question i live in montana in the usa... and i am going to float the yellowstone river where the shields river dumps into the yellowstone and in that are there are scuplins galor and in the fall when brown trout go up to the shields river to spawn and they eat scuplins and scuplins so i was wondering what patterns you would reckamend

Make my day! Last ni...

Make my day! Last night was my first real attempt at tying a Muddler and only had some natural bucktail. After a few false starts I ended up with a "2 clumper" that actually resembled a muddler with room for improvement but it was for sure a keeper.
I fish small creeks in Middle Tn for smallmouth (and Bass in general) and have been tying a lot of Closure Minnows. I went to a favorite Greenie creek this afternoon just to get out. It gives up some of both Large and Smallies. With not much happening with my Closures I tied on my Muddler. Within 30 minutes I had released 6 Largemouth 13"-15". They took it off the top with great vigor.
I didn't know what to expect and really thought that it would sink like a rock (not sure why) but it floated better than I ever imagined. (Are they suppose to float?)
Im sure I'll be tying a bunch of these and thanks for the great tying instructions. Once I saw it spin it comes together pretty quick. I can imagine lots of variation coming. Had a blast.

Martin Joergensen's picture

David, Fret not. ...


Fret not. The muddler thing will come, and suddenly they're as easy as anything. And yes, the trout do love them.


this one almost had ...

this one almost had me beat but lots o deer later got it now i hope the trout like it ..

Martin Joergensen's picture

Daniel, I tie mud...


I tie muddlers for volume. The fatter the better - almost...


I like to tie my mud...

I like to tie my muddlers with a much smaller head and longer, sparser body to pulsate when retrieved.

Very good :)...

Very good :)

very nice and very e...

very nice and very effective in little streams or spring creek, for little and distrustful and astute rainbows.Size 10 to 12 long shank hook, weighted with few turns of lead 15 mm.


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