Is A 5 Weight Fly Rod Too Light For Smallmouth Fishing the Muddler Fly

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Fishing the Muddler Fly

Always have a good selection of these in your box.

There are many hundreds of different fly patterns for a fly fisherman to choose from and it can sometimes be difficult for an inexperienced angler to decide which pattern to use. You can ask ten fly anglers which pattern to use at a particular location and you will probably get ten different answers. Well, it mostly comes down to experience and personal preference. However, there are some fly patterns that are very versatile and this article is about one of my personal favorites.

The Muddler is an extremely versatile fly pattern and can be used on or under the surface with equal effectiveness. It’s a great fly pattern for all expertise and will still catch fish even if it’s not tied very well. It can be used for fishing almost all freshwater and marine species. It is equally effective on rivers, lakes, streams and in the sea. You can use it to catch trout, Arctic char, Atlantic and Pacific salmon, smallmouth and largemouth bass, pike, walleye, panfish, tarpon and just about anything else that swims. It can be bought or tied in an almost unlimited range of colors and variations. A few are Black Muddler, White Muddler, Spuddler, Yellow Marabu, Muddler Hopper, Searcy Muddler, Keel Muddler, Missoulian Spook and so on. A true muddler’s head should always be made of deer hair, and as such is very buoyant. Its buoyancy keeps the Muddler off the bottom so it can be fished at all depths by adding different amounts of weight.

Here are a few ways to hunt a Muddler.

1. Take it off across the water and you’ll be producing some wild shots. Trout in particular will follow it for quite a long distance. Natural colors can be very effective in low light conditions.

2. Fish her slowly along the bottom and trick her into thinking she’s a dragonfly. Alternate between slow and jerky retrieves.

3. For sea trout, use a square cast and floating line. In slow water this results in the floating fly creating a wake in the surface film and the fish find it irresistible.

4. When surface fishing, retrieve in a figure eight pattern with many pauses. A fish will almost always take a fly during a break.

5. You can also try different techniques when the Muddler is on the surface. Jerk and strip a few times, then stop and wait. Jerk a few times and then wait a few seconds. It will almost always attract fish.

Try smaller sizes in the spring and larger sizes in the early morning and late evening in the summer. Fish seem to mistake these flies for almost anything they like to eat. So go try them out.

These are just a few ideas for fishing with Muddlers. The possibilities are endless. Experiment with them. In my opinion these are some of the most useful fly patterns available and will often work when nothing else will.

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