For me there are two big fish flies that I just dont go trout fishing without, Wooly bugger and Muddler minnow.
Wooly Muggler streamer pattern recipe
Hook: Mustad S74S NP-ZS # 6-4
Tail: Marabou and crystal hair
Hackle: Webby tapered saddle hackle
Wing : Marabou
Head & Collar: Spun and clipped deer hair
This is a combination pattern that I made a few years ago for sunk line fishing in lakes and deep pools. This pattern has both the great attractor qualities of both flies. The flowing pulsating marabou and the bubbling buoyant spun deer hair head. If you are fishing in a river with regular dry flies or nymphs, where the average size of fish is around 300 g, you can be quite surprised when fishing with large flies by taking much bigger fish that normally dont show themselves. Natural selection takes a favorable view of effective and adaptable feeding, a proficient predatory fish when feeding will maximize energy intake and minimize energy consumption by taking easy large meals instead of many small insects when the opportunity arrises. Its important when choosing deer hair for spinning that you use the densest hair from the winter coat. In order to get the hair to spin evenly you should also remove ALL the under hair/wool from the deer hair before tying in, if you dont the under wool will bind the hair together and restrict it from being evenly distributed around the hook shank when spun.
You can of course tie this in any colour or colour combination you wish!
How to tie Wooly Muggler streamer
Secure your hook in the vice as shown. If you intend fishing in fresh water only you can use a regular brown streamer hook or a single salmon.
Cover the whole hook shank with tying thread. Finish where the tying thread hangs between the hook point and barb.
Make a double dubbing loop at the tail of the fly and run your tying thread up the hook shank.
Spin some fine tapered marabou in the dubbing loop and wind on hackle style to form the tail. When buying marabou make sure you pick the plumes that have a fine even taper and finish in a sharp point. This marabou will give you, not only the best looking flies but also the best movment when fished.
Tie in a few strands of crystal hair in the tail.
Take a well tapered saddle hackle for the palmered body hackle and tie in at the hackle point at the tail base.
Dubb a tapered body about 2/3 along the hook shank. Again the choice of dubbing is your own.
Wind in the palmered body hackle over the whole body and tie off.
Make another dubbing loop and spin some more marabou for the wing.
Cut a good bunch of deer hair and remove the under fur. Even the points in a hair stacker and tie in as a regular muddler head, using the deerhair points as a collar as shown.
Tie in another bunch of the deer hair towards the hook eye. Whip finish and remove the tying thread.
Trim the deer hair head down into the correct muddler shape. There you have your finished big fish fly, Muggler Minnow.
6 thoughts on “Wooly Muggler: A big streamer for big fish”
That’s a great marriage of two incredibly effective flies. I can tie them well enough but I can never get my heads looking as great as that. Any tricks you care to pass on?
Thanks. Keep up the fine work. I truly enjoy these posts.
Hi Steve and thanks!
You can check out one of my earlier posts ‘Streaking caddis’ and see how I do the heads, its a neat trick!
Thanks. You really have created a fantastic resource for us all.
Really nice fly, both colors and techniques. The spun marabou will give the fly a nice volume. I will put a ribbing to secure the hackle. Trout has sharp teeth…
Keep up the good work!
It is a great-looking bastard-Bugger/mongrel-Muddler! Steve shouldn’t worry about not getting his spun deer hair heads as neat as yours–unless he’s tying for show. Fish don’t really respect neatness. I’ve had some memorable catches on flies that were coming apart–and they weren’t that neat-looking fresh out of the vise!
Thanks, I agree totally Gary, but if you learn to get it right from the start your tying only gets better.
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