Pulled this from the archives. Felt it seemed appropriate considering the year of the muddler and all. There's a bunch of close-ups of the deer hair work for people that don't tie these kinds of flies much where they live. Feel free to change the colors around for your local fishery. I like this combo and also do an all black version with copper flash and blade and an olive version with gold flash/blade. Both browns and smallmouth seem to like this version. This fly is a twist on the classic marabou muddler, and has a great profile for sculpins and other fatter headed baitfish. If you get offended by attaching metal to a metal hook, you can always swap the blade for some flashabou.
Here's a blade-tail version next to a black flash-tail version
Materials – Long shank streamer hook size #1 through #4 depending on brand/model, but roughly an inch and a half to 2 inches long. This is a Daiichi 2271 Dee/streamer hook in a size 2.
Thread – For the rear part of the fly, I use some hot orange 3/0 or 6/0. For the front and collar I use something strong, like 150- 200 denier GSP. A lighter denier of GSP will probably be strong enough, but will oftentimes cut your hair if you’re not careful.
Tail – Mini spinnerbait blade, like whats used on a “Beetle-Spin” lure. You can get these online or through a large conventional tackle store.
Connection – some heavy braided line, I think in the example I used 20lb powerpro.
Body – small chenille with small or medium braided mylar tubing
Wing – Marabou. I used cream with yellow on top, but lots of combos will work, like white with olive top, all black, black/red, or even brown mottlebou amongst others.
Sides – a pair of grizzly feathers, one on each side.
Head – Collar is deer and the front part of the head is carabou, but all deer should work fine.
Put a long shank hook in the vice. Start your hot orange thread and go to the bend. On this hook I wrap back to about the middle between the barb and the hook point. Weight the hook now if you plan on weighting the hook. I usually tie mine unweighted and keep some tungsten cones in my vest to slide onto the line if I need more depth/faster sinkrate.
Slide some braid through the spinnerbait blade and tie the line onto the hook.
Trim excess and tie down.
Tie in some small chenille, I had some excess pink, so I used that. Color doesn’t matter much with solid tinsels like gold or silver. Pearl tinsel is translucent and using different color chenille can produce nice effects underneath that.
Wrap the chenille forward to about a hook gap away from the eye. Tie down, trim excess.
Wind the thread back to just past the hook point.
Slide the mylar tubing onto the hook. Catch it with the thread.
Trim the excess tubing off the front of the hook.
Build up a little thread with the hot orange and then whip finish.
Apply a little glue just in case. This was just some Sally Hansens.
Trim and clean the excess mylar at the rear and front of the hook.
Start the heavy thread and tie down the mylar.
Tie in your marabou wing a little less then 1 and a half hook shanks.
Tie in the upper marabou color.
Wet 2 grizzly feathers and tie them down well on either side. Trim excess.
Trim a large amount of deer, (Maybe almost 2 pencils thick worth) clean out underfur and stack the tips in a hair stacker. Measure the wing to extend a little more then a hook gap back from where you tied in the wing.
Slide the hair over the front of the hook, so the hook eye is in the very middle, wind the thread around loosely 1 or 2 wraps, then increase tension to flare. Add another turn or 2 under heavy tension.
Pass the thread in front of the deer and push the hair back. Get another large group of hair, either soft, spongy deer or carabou. This time use a little more then the collar. Same as last procedure, but don’t worry about measuring the tips. One or 2 soft wraps, then increase tension to flare.
Repeat last step, with slightly smaller clump.
Fly should look like a crazy hairball your cat barfed up…
Pull the hair back out of the way and whip finish.
Get a nice, sharp double sided razor. Trim the hair flat, and close to the underside of the hook.
For the top, flex the blade to make a half oval shape.
Slide the blade across the top at a slightly upwards angle.
Sometimes you can do it in one pass, (I got lucky on this one) but usually try to cut small amounts at a time. Especially don’t push it when you’re first starting out. You can’t put the hair back on there if you cut too much off.
Trim any errant fibers, clean up the head.
At this point the fly is pretty much done, apply some head cement to the front and let a little bleed into the hair for some increased durability.
Give her a test drive and let me know how things work out,