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Marabou Muddler Streamer Step-by-Step:
In November of 2022, Don Gapen’s classic Muddler Minnow was featured in a Step-by-Step tutorial on this blog. A fly heralded as a dry fly, nymph, and streamer all-in-one, Gapen’s versatile creation has unsurprisingly spawned many variations over the years. One such variant, the Marabou Muddler Streamer has been long utilized as a leech imitation in stillwater systems. However, this pattern also plays a role in the boxes of those who fish south Florida’s Tamiami Trail.
Featured prominently in Steve Kantner’s various texts on south Florida fishing, the Marabou Muddler serves a similar role to Mike Connor’s Glades Minnow. Both flies, small in stature, are perfect mimics for the abundant mosquitofish and mollies found throughout the western Everglades. A primary source of forage in these brackish waters, large predators key in on these tiny baits; the marabou muddler’s deer hair head aiding in this process as it wakes just below the surface.
Tied here in black on a size 4 saltwater hook, this fly is perfect for use in the dark, snook-filled, waters of the western Everglades.
|Gamakatsu SS15 (#2-8)||140-Denier (Black)||Streamer Hackle (Red)|
|Flashabou (Gold)||Marabou (Black)||Deer Hair (Black)|
|UV Resin or Head Cement||Double-sided Razorblade|
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Marabou Muddler Streamer Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:
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Tips and Tricks
- Color Selection – While the profile of a black Marabou Muddler is an ideal representation of the various mosquitofish and mollies found along the Tamiami Trail, brighter options (chartreuse or yellow) should not be overlooked as search patterns. Though neither looks particularly natural, they show up well in the tannin-stained waters of the western Trail and may elicit strikes when more natural imitations fail.
- Keeping it Sparse – Spend a few minutes watching mosquitofish next time you see some. They’ll often be close to the surface; creating a wake when fleeing a predator or startled. To recreate this effect with your muddler, consider tying a few with sparser marabou wings. Thicker wings tend to absorb more water, pulling the fly deeper below the surface. Thinner wings have the opposite effect, allowing the buoyant deer hair head to wake just below the surface.
- Razorblade or Scissors – While I used a double-sided razor in the above example, simple deer hair flies such as the muddler can also be created with scissors. The outcome may not look quite as clean, but, as long the hair is trimmed evenly, it should still swim true. So…don’t worry about rushing out to purchase double-sided razors before you start this tie. Just take your time, and scissors should do the trick.
Proof of Concept
While I’ll be back on the Trail before the month is through, I couldn’t resist tossing this pattern in the pond out back. Though a cold front had slowed the recent bite, the bluegill shown was still eager to sample my black marabou muddler.
Species Caught on the Marabou Muddler Streamer to Date:
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