The Modern Muddler

Fly of the Month by J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Brandon Bailes, Athens, AL. Brandon's passion is exploring and fishing small streams. Find Brandon on Instagram .

The Modern Muddler Minnow is a fly I’ve been using on smallmouth and trout in smaller water. The bend in the hook and head profile creates an erratic swimming action that attracts fish in all water conditions. The fly really shines when you are fishing low or smaller waters where fish can spook easy. But it lands softly and has a lot of movement once it gets subsurface, unlike many small streamers that are just profile-oriented and don’t have as much swimming action.

modern muddler

Tying Bailes' Modern Muddler Minnow


Hook- Ahrex TP650 size 2
Thread- UTC 140 for the body and Veevus GSP 200D for the collar/head
Tail- Peacock Sword
Body- Flashabou , coated with Solarez UV Bone Dry
Wing Support- Bucktail
Over Wing- Peacock Sword
Head- Deer Belly Hair , coated with RaidZap UV Thin

Tying Steps

1. Begin the Modern Muddler Minnow by tying in a tapered clump of peacock sword at the rear of the hook shank. The length of the sword should be the same as the length of the hook shank.

step 1

2. Tie in 3-4 strands of Flashabou and palmer forward and tie off.

step 2

3. Coat the flashabou body with UV resin and cure. This is done instead of adding a rib for durability.

step 3

4. Next tie in a sparse clump of bucktail on top of the hook shank. The length should be just short of the tail.

step 4

5. Add a generous clump of peacock sword on top of the bucktail support ( a tad shorter) and whip finish the UTC 140.

step 5

6. Now tie on the Veevus 200D thread and tie in a “half pencil size” of stacked & aligned deer hair with the hair tips. This will serve as the collar of the fly and the butts should be trimmed tight to the hook shank.

step 6

7. After the collar is tied in, stack on similar size clumps of deer hair on the top and bottom of the shank until you reach the hook eye.

step 7

8. Using a piece of the thin plastic with a slit cut in to it, work your thread to the front of the plastic and whip finish.

step 8

9. Finally, begin to trim the head with scissors and a razor blade. Be mindful of the hook bend and take your time, removing small amounts of hair at a time. Once you have achieved the overall shape you can round the edges and then apply uv thin resin to the top and bottom of the head.




A gorgeous fly!

If it’s possible, a video could provide so much useful information. The commentary on a video also is often quite valuable.




I think this fly is not only beautiful, but smart. Bailey thought this out. It is a smart fly and looks effective.

Andy Turner

Andy Turner

Does it have a tendency to flip over? What about skating on the surface?

Jay Kaneshige

Jay Kaneshige

Very cool … If a Muddler and Alexandria had a baby!… ughhh… showing my age again?!

Mike Gieringer

Mike Gieringer

Very Nice variation of Muddler Minnow — Thank you for the step by step.

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