The Contented Angler
Tying Desk
I love teaching the Muddler in our fly tying classes. I like seeing someone go from “I can’t do that”
to “I can’t believe I did it”.

In my opinion, there are two different Muddlers. There is the “Flyshop Muddler” With this one the
tyer uses two or even three clumps of deerhair to make a very nice and impressive head that is
almost half of the shank length. People like how they look and they sell well. They also float!

Tyers apply their interpretation to the hook and over the years, the “Flyshop Muddler” becomes
acceptable. Open a magazine and you will find many improperly tied Muddlers.

Our Muddler is based on the original. It may not be as impressive as others, but that is not the
intention. This one will fish the way it was intended to. It shouldn’t look good to us, it should look
good to the fish. This one will swim properly and it will catch fish.

There is nothing wrong with experimentation. In fact, we should strive to be creative with fly
tying. The best students I have had are those that quickly broke from the standard patterns and
began experimenting on their own. However, if we are going to use the name “Muddler” we
should be careful to make the fly as the originator intended, especially if we expect the same
The Contented Angler
147 Jefferson Avenue
Lower Burrell, Pa. 15068
the contented angler