Welcome to Just Old Flies

Welcome to 'just old flies,' a section of methods and flies that used-to-be. These flies were tied with the only materials available. Long before the advent of 'modern' tying materials, they were created and improved upon at a far slower pace than todays modern counterparts; limited by materials available and the tiers imagination.

Once long gone, there existed a 'fraternity' of anglers who felt an obligation to use only the 'standard' patterns of the day. We hope to bring a bit of nostalgia to these pages and to you. And sometimes what you find here will not always be about fishing. Perhaps you will enjoy them. Perhaps you will fish the flies. Perhaps?

Dry Muddler

Compiled by Deanna Birkholm

This is Bruce Staples dressing, but the original description of a dry Muddler Minnow was in Joe Brook's classic 1963 Outdoor Life article, "The World's Greatest Fly." Here he describes using a Dry Muddler on Montana's Big Hole River to entice the largest brown trout he had seen, only to have the lunker break his leader. Bruce uses the pattern in the same manner Joe describes, but says he has equal luck presenting it totally dry.

Quoting Bruce, "It's my favorite pattern."

Dry Muddler

    Popularized by: Joe Brooks, 1960s.

    Hook: Mustad 9672, or equivalent, size 2-12.

    Thread: Grey 2/0.

    Tail: Turkey quill segment.

    Rib: Flat gold tinsel.

    Body: Orange floss.

    Underwing: White over brown calf tail.

    Wing: Turkey quill segments mounted on sides of shank.

    Head and collar: Spun deer hair.

Credits: Photo, recipe and quoted text from Trout Country Flies, by Bruce Staples, Published by Frank Amato Publications.

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