The Muddler Minnow has for many years possessed a supernatural fish-catching ability for all sorts of species. My love affair with the Muddler has introduced me to scads of big-shouldered river dwelling trout over several decades, swinging that thing on a sink tip or dry line. It is a “go to” streamer in the choppy broken water and bubbly riffled heads of summer and fall when the rivers are skinny and trout seek a heavy oxygen supply in these water types. One of the things I sometimes dislike about a traditional Muddler however; is that it ain’t easy to sink.
When I first laid eyes on Tom Murray’s Rolled Muddler I thought to myself, now that’s the stuff. A proper Rolled Muddler is a sparse tie with subtle flash and lots of natural materials that conspire to create something that appears both entirely edible but not too distractingly out of the ordinary. Add a bead head and you’ve got a fly that’ll both sink like a stone and dart erratically in the current. The Rolled Muddler is a favorite pattern for sea run cutthroat in the fall in rivers, and also fits the bill for clear water coho salmon tied in natural, olive, chartreuse or blue colors. Sometimes I’ll even trail a Rolled Muddler behind a larger streamer like a Zonker or Flash Fry for bull trout and pick up nice trout and char that probably noticed the big lead fly but may have been just a bit too cagey to take it down.
I always carry a good supply of Rolled Muddlers in my box in the late summer and fall and they seldom let me down. It’s a pretty easy fly to tie and woth experimenting with different color combos. If you’re intimidated by trimming spun deer hair heads, pick up a pair of Dr. Slick curved scissors from us as noted in the video. They’ll make a world of difference!
Gold Bead Rolled Muddler
Hook: #8 Gamakatsu S11-4L2H
Bead: 7/64″ Gold Tungsten Bead
Thread: Red 70 Denier Ultra Thread
Tail: Natural Mallard Flank
Body: #12 Gold Uni Mylar Tinsel
Wing: Gold Krystal Flash, Pearl Lateral Scale, Natural Mallard Flank, Deer Hair
Head: Spun Natural Deer Hair
Confluence Beer Pairing:
Brandon gives the thumbs up to Stone’s Throw Brewery’s Mosaic Pale Ale for this month’s beer of the month. Stone’s Throw has a cozy neighborhood space in the heart of Fairhaven and was kind enough to host a recent Fish Trivia night for North Sound Women on the Fly, where Brandon purportedly first sampled Mosaic Pale. Grab a growler, filler’ up and enjoy while whipping up a few more Rolled Muddlers.