The Black Marabou Muddler
By Steve Kantner
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Marabou Muddler is one of the most effective patterns to drop from a set of vise jaws. A descendant of Don Gapen’s famed Muddler Minnow, a fly designed to imitate river sculpins, it calls to mind other prey, too, as evidenced by its widespread appeal.
The wing material undulates enticingly, and due to its clipped deer hair head, it nit only suspends, but can be stripped to push a wake at the surface—a potent provocateur in getting fish to strike. It creates the effect of a freshwater “mollie” scurrying across the surface, as described in this issue’s feature, “Ditchcraft,” and passes for many other prey species in salt or fresh water; it can be tied in any color, or on any size or style hook. Just keep the latter light, if you specifically want a “waker.”
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Hook: No. 2 – 8 Mustad 9671 3X long, 2X strong or similar
Thread: Black flat-waxed nylon or Flymaster Plus
Head: Black deer body (spinning) hair
Body: Gold Flashabou or other Mylar substitute
Tail: Fluff from the base of a red hackle quill or a tiny tag of red wool yarn
Wing: Two black marabou blood plumes; a deerhair or squirrel tail under-wing is optional
Flash: Angel Hair or fine, flexible Mylar; braided Mylar body wrap is optional
Author’s Note: Why do I use a “trout” hook for this fly? Because the flat-forged Mustad goes in like a needle and can be re-sharpened quickly. It resists straightening or breaking, as few of its “designer” equivalents do.