This is the original Don Gapen pattern that spawned, literally, thousands of flies that now carry the Muddler appellation. First designed to imitate a small bottom-dwelling fish, Muddlers are now tied as general attractor patterns and to imitate anything from caddis flies to grasshoppers. While each Muddler may differ in color and profile, all have the same basis in their construction: the spinning and clipping of deer hair to create a buoyant head or body. Being hollow and easily compressed, deer hair can be flared on the hook to form a ruff. By adding more bunches and compacting them, the hair is made dense enough to be shaped by trimming with scissors or a blade. When tying Muddlers it pays to use a strong thread that allows plenty of pressure to be applied to the hair.
Gray squirrel hair and mottled turkey feather
Flat gold Mylar tinsel
Medium-width oval gold tinsel
Slips of mottled turkey feather
Size 8-12 wet fly or 4-12 3X
Collar and Head:
1 After fixing the hook in the vise, run the tying thread from the eye to a point opposite the barb. Take two opposing slips of mottled turkey feather, place them together so the tips are level, and catch them in as the tail.
2 Catch in 3 inches (7.5cm) of medium-width, oval, gold tinsel, winding the thread, in close turns, three-quarters of the way back to the eye. Catch in 4 inches (10cm) of flat, gold. Mylar tinsel and wind it in touching turns back to the tail.
3 Wind the Mylar back to its catching-in point and secure. Rib the body with even turns of the gold tinsel. Secure and remove the excess of both tinsels. Catch in a slim wing of gray squirrel tail so that the tips are level with those of the tail
4 Select two more opposing slips of mottled turkey wing and place them together, dull sides out. Secure the slips in place over the top of the hair wing, again so that all the tips are level. Trim the waste ends.
5 Cut a good bunch of deer hair from the skin. /? Pull the thread tight. This will cause the hair Place the hair on top of the hook so that the O to flare around the hook, producing a collar and tips lie back along the wing. Wind on two or three the base of the Muddler head. Add further bunches loose turns of tying thread. of deer hair in this way until the eye is reached.
Cast off the thread and trim the head to shape.
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