Fly Tying- a Looooong Mouse

by Andreas Andersson via KanalGratis.Se

deerhairmouseif you’re the fast-food type that needs quick tutorials and quick ties you might want to look away. on the other hand, if you want what’s very probably the most awesomest deer hair mouse tutorial, hang on.

43 minutes long, you’ll need patience, time and about fourteen deer hair hides to make one of these beasts but its such a great video so full of tying tips and tricks and that all makes it more than worth the time. enjoy !

no Muddling around here, buddy.

in one of (if not THE) best-ever tying tutorial i’ve had the pleasure of observing, here’s a brilliant gem on a classic fly from Tightline Productions

as Tim Flagler mentions at the beginning of the video, tying a Muddler Minnow can seem a bit daunting and complex which unfortunately puts off a lot of people from giving them a go. more importantly this is unfortunate (for the fly fisher at least) because tying it correctly means learning some non-negligable skills (that can of course be transferred over to other patterns) and it’s such a great and versatile fly. heck, this fly is so good and well known that it’s even on a stamp !

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some interesting stuff from Peter Gathercole‘s book ‘The fly-tying bible: 100 deadly trout and salmon flies in step-by-step photographs’ 2003:
History
The Muddler Minnow was spawned, so to speak, by Don Gapen of Anoka, Minnesota in 1937, to imitate the slimy sculpin. Gapen developed this fly to catch Nipigon strain brook trout in Ontario, Canada. The Muddler, as it is informally known by anglers, was popularized by Montana, USA fisherman and fly tier Dan Bailey. It is now a popular pattern worldwide and is likely found in nearly every angler’s fly box, in one form or another. Due to its universal appeal to game fish, the muddler minnow will remain as an integral tool in sport fishing.
Imitations
The versatility of the Muddler Minnow stems from this pattern’s ability to mimic a variety of aquatic and terrestrial forage, ranging from sculpins, to leeches, to grasshoppers, crickets, spent mayflies, emerging green drakes, stonefly nymphs, mice, tadpoles, dace, shiners, chubs, and other “minnows,” along with a host of other creatures.
Construction
There are limitless material and colour variations, however the essence of the Muddler Minnow is a spun deer hair head. While each Muddler may differ in colour or profile, all true Muddlers have a fore-end or body of spun deer hair that is clipped close to the shank to provide a buoyant head. Typically there is an underwing of squirrel hair and a wing of mottled secondary turkey feather. Often the fly body is made of gold/silver Mylar or tinsel wrapped around the hook shank. Marabou may be tied in as a substitute wing for colour and lifelike movement through the water. The head may be weighted or unweighted, according to the style of fishing, the target species and the intended imitation. The muddler has served for the basis of several patterns, including the Spuddler, Muddler Hopper, Mizzoulian Spook, Searcy Muddler, Keel Muddler, and so on, but even in its simplest and original form, it remains a very effective fly.

technique-wise, of special interest in the video below are two elements a lot of tiers have difficulties with: paired wings and of course the spinning/stacking/trimming of deer hair but if you’re one them (us… ) rejoice ! because the explanations and demonstrations are as good as it gets, or in other words: it’s feckin’ awesome and well worth viewing over and over. expect a few ‘aha’ moments.

enough said, here’s the making of the beast. enjoy !

ps- now that you’ve seen a really nice one, a little chewed but no worse for wear after maybe a dozen trout here’s my first attempt from years back.

i’ll have to work on this pattern a bit…
mf's 1st muddler

ethel the streaker

having had a handful of these great flies tied by great buddy and fantabulous tier Niklas Dahlin (and caught quite a few nice fish) this is a highly recommended fly to have. while running around naked can certainly be sort of fun, this kind of streaking is a blast because we don’t have to worry about drag-free drifts as the objective is to on the contrary, pull the fly across the current or lake and takes are usually explosive and we’ll often see the fish run after it, sometimes from far away, further upping the adrenaline levels compared to most other forms of fly fishing. cool !
now, i’ll gladly admit that working with deer hair has always left a hmmm… feeling, one of finding substitute materials which can lead to great working flies but not advancing and expanding my tying technique. having saved this one a while ago to pull out as a winter project, i thought i’d share it here as well as i know i’m not the only one with deer-hair-yuk tendencies.

as always, Davie demonstrates his perfect technique and explains this tie remarkably. of notice as well is his explanation on dubbing without wax as with most materials it’s completely unnecessary and even hinders the process.
for a lot of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the caddis season is well over which will leave us (me !) plenty of time to get this fly down pat before tying one on but then, they also make excellent indicator flies for fishing heavier winter nymphs. enjoy !