Beginner’s Fly Tying: Feb. 18, 2019

By Don Fine

This month’s Beginner’s Fly Tying session will be held on Monday, February 18th at 7:00 PM. Don Fine will lead the tying session that evening as the group ties the “Marabou Muddler”, which is a more productive version of the classic Muddler Minnow. For those not familiar with either fly, the Muddler Minnow was first developed by Don Gapen of Anoka, Minnesota in 1937, to imitate the slimy sculpin. Gapen was the son of resort operators Jesse and Sue Gapen who ran the Gateway Lodge Resort on Hungry Jack Lake in what is now the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in the 1920s. This fly, which makes just about every fly rodders short list of favorite patterns, is a standard for catching large trout. The reason is simple: big fish eat little fish. And the Muddler Minnow is an excellent imitation of a small baitfish. Small versions of the Muddler are a darn good imitation terrestrial insect (i.e. Grasshoppers & Moths).

As with many flies, newer versions of the classic Muddler followed. One of these was the Marabou Muddler; the chief difference being the material used to tie the wing. On a regular Muddler, sections of turkey wing, turkey tail, or some other feather are used to tie the wing. While this wing contributes to the baitfish silhouette of the fly, it doesn’t add to the action of the pattern. The wing of the Marabou Muddler, however, gives this fly lots of pulsating, life-like action. In fact, most Bucktail and Hackle-winged Streamers can be improved by tying those flies with Marabou Wings.

As has been customary in past months the PVFF will provide all tying materials to tie this fly and if you do not have your own fly tying equipment, a set will be provided for use that evening.
We will again meet in Room 207 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 703 West Patrick Street, Frederick.