Muddler Minnow

$ 1.49 $ 0.74

Currently Available in 2 Styles and sizes

  • Classic in size 6
  • White Maribou in size 4

History of the Muddler Minnow

Originating in 1937, the Muddler Minnow was designed by a man named Don Gapen in Anoka, Minnesota. Gapen was the son of Jesse and Sue Gapen who owned a local resort on what is now known as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. When the family expanded their business to Ontario near the Nipigon River, Don Gapen saw the opportunity to develop a new fly. Gapen wanted to catch brook trout out in the Nipigon, and so tied his very own artificial fly which was later named the Muddler Minnow. This fly was specifically designed to imitate the slimy sculpin, a freshwater species of fish commonly found in North America and eastern Siberia.
The Muddler Minnow proved to be an effective means of fishing and was later popularized by Dan Bailey who was a fisherman and fish tier. The Muddler Minnow was further developed by other people to come up with countless designs and flies that offer the same effectiveness out in the water.

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More About the Muddler

Many days of tough fishing have been saved by variations of the muddler minnow. If the aren’t interested in dry flies or nymphs, perhaps they will give this small streamer pattern a closer look. The muddler is effective in rivers and lakes for trout. You can tie this fly with lead wire wrapped around the body to achieve a little more depth, or in shallow streams the standard weightless model can be effective.

Muddlers are tied to simulate minnows and smaller fish, but they particularly do a great job of representing the sculpin fish. These small fish are found in most trout streams and make a great easy meal for trout.

The Muddler Minnow was originally designed to look messy in order to attract fish. While most contemporary fly tiers would prefer to tie their flies with relative neatness, Gapen was one of the few who advocated untrimmed and wild looking minnow flies. The original Don Gapen minnows were made from spun deer hair, lacked a collar, and did not conform to the usual bullet shape. All in all, they looked like a clump of hair that stuck out in every direction.
The same could be said about the rest of the fly. It made use of a relatively large turkey tail made of what seemed like gold tinsel which was wrapped around the hook shank neglecting all neatness and order. The wing covers a large area of the body, making use of a combination of squirrel and turkey. To finish, the entire design is topped off with a large head made of thread and varnish.

Despite its strange design, the Muddler Minnow is a unique, timeless, and effective fly that will give you one of the best fishing experiences. Don Gapen is widely known in the realm of fishing for his great and innovative contribution to fly tying which has reinvented the way people appreciate fly fishing even to this day.

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Additional information

Hook Size

4, Size 6 Classic Muddler