Tying a Muddler Minnow Variation

Tuesday Tie, Tying the Muddler Minnow, Muddler Minnow, Marabou Muddler, Tying the Marabou Muddler, Fly Tying, Pat Kellner, Texas Freshwater Fly Fishing, TFFF, Fly Fishing Texas, Texas Fly Fishing, Tuesday Tie
Muddler Minnow Variation

It's time for another Tuesday Tie!  

Today we are tying my favorite variation of the Muddler Minnow.  You hair-spinning and trimming experts out there, no need to laugh, I know I am not great at it, but these Muddlers still catch tons of fish!  Its a classic fly pattern that is great for targeting Bass, Trout, and many other species.  I usually tie these up in one of three color variations, Olive, Black, or a Beige which is what it tied up here.  Hope you learn something, and I hope you enjoy!  Be sure to check back every Tuesday for another Tuesday Tie with TFFF!


  • Hook: Use a straight-eye 3X or 4X long hook, I am using a size #6 Daiichi 1750 (I tie anything between a size 6 and a size 12)
  • Thread: Heavier thread, I am using Brown for this pattern
  • Tail: Marabou in Tan (Vary for different color combinations) 
  • Body: Gold Mylar Tinsel (vary color for other patterns)
  • Rib: Thin Wire in Brown (Vary for Colors)
  • Under Wing: Gray Squirrel Tail
  • Wing: Marabou in Tan (Vary for different color combinations) 
  • Top Wing: Peacock Herl 
  • Head: Natural Deer Body Hair (Vary for color combinations)


  1. Place the hook in a vice and lay a base of thread from 1/3 of the way down the hook to the bend.
  2. Wrap in the Marabou tail.  It should extend about 1/2 hook length past the hook.
  3. Wrap in your wire ribbing with the rib sticking out the back (toward the tail.) Leave your thread at the same 1/3 point you started at earlier.
  4. Wrap on your tinsel for the body.  Have the tinsel tied in "upside down" and facing backwards.  This helps the first couple wraps lay down a little better.
  5. Wrap the tinsel (gold side facing out) down to the tail, laying it down right next to the other wrap.  Wrap the tinsel (still gold side out) back up to your thread.  Coming back up, I overlap 1/2 of the tinsel each time I wrap.  Tie it off at the 1/3 point where the thread is.
  6. Wrap your wire rib, from the back of the hook up to the 1/3 point.  Make even wraps that wrap opposite the direction you wrapped the tinsel.  Tie it off, and break it off.
  7. Take a small selection of squirrel tail hairs, clean out the shorter hairs, and tie it in on top of where you stopped the other materials, for your underwing.  These fibers should extend to about the half way point on the tail.  Take your time.  Squirrel tail is slick and hard to wrap.  You can use a drop of super glue if you need to.
  8. Take a selection of tan marabou and wrap it in on top of the squirrel tail.  This marabou wing should be the same length as the squirrel tail (stopping half way down the tail.)
  9. Then take 4 pieces of peacock herl and tie them on top of the marabou wing.  The length of these should be just short of the marabou wing.
  10. Now, take a pinch of deer belly hair, about the thickness of a pencil, clean out the shorter hairs and underfur, and stack it so that the ends stop at about the same point.  This does not have to be prefect, but get them close.
  11. Lay the deer hair down on the hook just in front of the wing you tied on, with the stacked ends of the hair facing backwards.  Take one loose wrap around the bunch, and then take a second wrap that is tighter.  On the second wrap, let go of the hair fibers and let them "spin" around the shank of the hook.  Take a third tighter wrap, spinning the hair even more, and then two more wraps to secure the hair in place.
  12. Pull that bunch of hair backwards, and make a few wraps with your thread to build a thread dam in front of the bunch you tied in.
  13. Take another bunch of deer hair, about the same size, a clean it out as well.  This time, stack the cut ends of the hair.
  14. Using the same wrapping/spinning method as in step 11, spin this bunch of hair on with the cut ends facing backwards (opposite the first bunch) just in front of the other. 
  15. Pull the fibers back and make a few wraps to create another thread dam.
  16. Lightly pack this bunch of fiber in by pushing them back into a tighter bunch.  Make a few more wraps to build up the thread dam to hold them in place.
  17. Whip finish, and cut off your thread.  Use head cement to secure it in place.
  18. Once all the head cement has dried, pull the deer hair fibers forward lightly.
  19. Take a razor blade and but the hair fibers going backwards from the eye of the hook.  Leave the hair ends at the back at full length.  BE CAREFULL.  Don't take off too much, you can always come back and cut more. Continue shaving the hair into the shape you want your head.  I usually try to create a cone shape with my heads.
  20. Once you have trimmed your muddler's head to the right shape, you are done!
  21. Go fish your fly!
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  1. Great looking fly. Should catch a lot of fish. Tan matches some of our Darters here in Missouri.


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