The venerable Muddler Minnow has been one of the world’s most popular streamers for more than 80 years. In the early days of his channel, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions showed us how to tie Don Gapen’s original, created in 1936 on Ontario’s Nipigon River. There have been many variations tied over the years, incorporating different materials, more weight, and various accessories, such as flash and legs.
In this great video, Tim ties a heavily weighted slinky version of the Muddler, featuring a tungsten cone and plenty of lead-free wire. The bunny tail and rubber legs offer plenty of lifelike motion, and two kinds of flash material add to the pattern’s appeal. Even better, you don’t have to spin any deer hair to make the head. This is a great fly for swinging with a trout-Spey rod or simply stripping like a standard streamer.
Conehead Bunny Muddler
Hook: 4X-long streamer hook (here, a Mustad 9672), sizes 2 and 4.
Head: Nickel-color tungsten cone, large.
Weight: Lead-free round wire, .020.
Adhesive #1: Superglue, here Fly Tyers Z-Ment.
Thread: White G.S.P., 130-denier.
Adhesive #2: Superglue, here Fly Tyers Z-Ment.
Flash: Pearl Krystal Flash.
Tail/back: Black Zonked Rabbit strip.
Adhesive #3: Head cement, here Sally Hansen Hard-as-Nails.
Body: Silver Sparkle Braid.
Beard: Red Krystal Flash.
Legs: Black/Red Flake Crazy Legs.
Adhesive #4: Superglue, here Fly Tyers Z-Ment.
Collar: Natural Muddler or deer-body hair, cleaned and stacked.
Adhesive #5: Head cement, here Sally Hansen Hard-as-Nails.
Tools: Double-edge razor blade