Tying the Muddler Minnow
Unquestionably the most famous of all streamers, and the model for many others.
Hook: Mustad R73NP-BR # 10-4
Thread: Dyneema (waxed)
Tail: Mottled turkey
Body: Flat gold tinsel
Rib: Copper wire
Underwing: Grey squirrel tail
Wing: Mottled turkey
Collar/Head: Spun and clipped natural deer hair
A few notes regarding the original Muddler pattern:
The hook used by its originator Don Gapen was a Mustad 38941 3X Long streamer, this was one of the long flies. When tying slip wings its important to use waxed thread. The Dyneema I use in most my patterns is too smooth for for wet fly style wings and has to be waxed in order not to slip.
The original recipe is as above but excluding the copper wire rib. The rib is a later addition. The original was tied with metal tinsel that required no protection from the small sharp teeth of trout but later as plastic tinsel became the norm the wire rib was added to protect the tinsel and add additional strength. When spinning large bunches of deer hair I recommend, if you are using regular tying thread a minimum denier of 3/0 waxed is necessary to have sufficient strength to apply enough tension to achieve optimal flare in the deer hair. When tying spun and clipped deer hair patterns your choice of hair is paramount. See my earlier posts regarding tying with deer hair and spinning deer hair.
If I was unfortunate enough to be be given the choice of having only one fly to fish for all species both in fresh and salt water, I would have no problem! The Muddler minnow would without doubt be my number one choice. The pattern I tie here is as close to the original as I can get.