How to Tie: The Muddler Minnow

In this week’s How to Tie video feature, Tim Flagler from Tightline video is back to show us how to tie the Muddler Minnow.

Learn About This Fly:

Difficulty: Intermediate

This fly was created in 1936 by a man named Don Gapen in Anoka, Minnesota. The purpose of the fly was to imitate the abundant population of sculpin that acted as a large dietary portion of the Nipigon River brook trout population. Many years later, famous angler and fly tier Dan Baily popularized it while fishing the illustrious waterways of Montana.

Since its creation, this fly has been praised by anglers around the world for its versatility and effectiveness. Because of the Muddler Minnow’s size, as well as it’s unique build, this fly can imitate a variance of different prey such as sculpins, nymphs, or even mice! However, no matter what you’re trying to imitate, this fly is a smash hit amongst big fish.

As mentioned by Tim, this fly can be tied in several variations of size and color and still maintain it’s effectiveness. Some anglers may also swear by this fly’s cousin, the Conehead Muddler Minnow, which is simply a slight variation where a cone head “bead” is supplemented to give the fly more weight and shine. When tying this fly, be sure to take the first couple of runs slow, as some of these materials can be frustrating to beginners. However, after a few learning attempts, you’ll be tying up muddlers faster than you can sling them into trees.


  • Hook: 3X-long nymph hook (here a Dai-Riki #710), size 10.
  • Thread 1: Dark Brown, UTC 70 denier.
  • Thread 2: Dark Brown, UTC 140 denier.
  • Tails: Natural mottled turkey-wing quills, matched.
  • Body: Gold Sparkle Braid.
  • Underwing: Gray squirrel tail.
  • Wing: Natural mottled turkey-wing quills, matched.
  • Adhesive: Head cement.
  • Collar and head: Natural brown deer hair.
  • Additional: Double-edge razor blades, Krazy Straw.


Now you know how to tie the Muddler Minnow!

Video and Ingredients courtesy of Tightline Video

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