How to Tie the Midnight Muddler

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It's time for another Tuesday Tie!  

Continuing with these "nighttime" ties that we started last week with the Midnight SMP, we are going to tie up a Midnight Muddler this week.  It is similar to a Muddler Minnow Variation in the pattern/steps you follow when tying, but the materials are different.  I also leave the head less "trimmed" in order to create more disturbance and a larger profile in the water.  This helps fish to find the fly in low light situations (night, dark days, dark water).  It is a great fly to fish for bass at night, and I have found it especially effective in shallower flowing water, like we find in many of the Hill Country rivers we have around us in Central Texas.  You don't have to be good at spinning and trimming deer hair, so tie some up and go fish!


Ingredients

  • Hook: Use a downturn-eye 4X long hook in a size 4
  • Thread: Heavier thread, I am using black for this pattern
  • Tail: Bucktail in Black (bottom of tail); Black Jig Skirt Legs (middle of tail); Peacock Herl died purple (top of tail)
  • Body: Purple died Peacock Herl (vary color for other patterns)
  • Rib: Thin Wire in Purple (Vary for Colors)
  • Under Wing: Bucktail in Black (bottom of tail); Glow in the Dark Flashabou (white)
  • Top Wing: Peacock Herl died purple (vary colors)
  • Head: Natural Deer Body Hair (black with some white)

Steps

  1. Place the hook in a vice and lay a base of thread from 1/2 of the way down the hook to the bend.
  2. Wrap in the bucktail tail.  It should extend about 1 hook length past the hook.
  3. Wrap two rubber legs (doubled over) right on top of the bucktail, trim the forward facing pieces to just behind the eye of the hook.
  4. Wrap on about 4 pieces of peacock herl, right on top of the legs.
  5. Flip your fly over and wrap in your wire ribbing with the rib sticking out the back (toward the tail.) Leave your thread at the same 1/2 point you started at earlier.
  6. Wrap on extended strands of peacock herl for the body and tie it off where the thread ends.
  7. Wrap your wire rib, from the back of the hook up to the 1/2 point.  Make even wraps that wrap opposite the direction you wrapped the tinsel.  Tie it off, and break it off.
  8. Take a selection of bucktail, clean out the shorter hairs, and tie it in on top of where you stopped the other materials.  These fibers should extend to about the length of the tail.  You can use a drop of super glue if you need to.
  9. Take a couple strands of glow-in-the-dark flashabuou, and tie them in on top of your bucktail.  These strands should be the same length as the bucktail.
  10. Then take about 7 pieces of peacock herl and tie them on top of the marabou wing.  The length of these should be just longer than the rest of the wing.
  11. Now, take a pinch of deer hair in black, 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Take another, but slightly smaller, bunch of deer hair, about the same size, a clean it out as well.  This time, stack the cut ends of the hair.
  15. 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. 
  16. Pull the fibers back and make a few wraps to create another thread dam.
  17. 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.
  18. Repeat this with a third, slightly smaller, bunch of black deer hair.
  19. Then spin an even small bunch of WHITE deer hair at the front of your fly.  Lightly push it back and make a couple wraps to hold it in place.
  20. Whip finish, and cut off your thread.  Use head cement to secure it in place.
  21. Once all the head cement has dried, pull the deer hair fibers forward lightly.
  22. 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 leave these flies with a scraggily, but balanced head.  I want the head of this fly to push a bunch of water around.
  23. Once you have trimmed your muddler's head to the right shape, you are done!
  24. Go fish your fly!
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Comments

  1. You had me at "don't have to be good at spinning and trimming deer hair"...

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    Replies
    1. Lol. Yep. You can pretty much suck at it and still create an effective fly! That makes this a great fly to learn on, because you can "practice" without wasting a ton of material.

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