Few flies are as versatile as the Muddler Minnow, nor is
any fly as prolific as a caddis, they are found almost
One day while tying a bunch of Elk Hair Caddis, and in the
process of tying in the deer hair wing, which this pattern
requires, I intentionally, by accident stumbled upon this
little trick. I say intentionally by accident because I had
never seen this trick before and it just sort of happened
with no apparent forethought on my part.
Instead of just leaving the bunch of deer hair overhang the
front of the hook, which I always did previously, for some
reason I picked up my scissors and trimmed it using the eye
as a guide, before I tied it in!
This had the effect that when the time came to trim the hair
in order to form the head of the fly, I did not have to spend
any time what so ever being careful not to cut the wing material.
A substantial savings on a bunch of flies.
I later tried the same technique on Muddlers and other patterns
which call for deer hair heads. It has saved me no only a lot of
time over the years, but the quality of my flies has also improved
as I have not cut a single wing fiber since employing this method.
I have shown the scissors position here sans wing so that their
position can be clearly seen.
Now, place your wing on and trim using the eye as your guide.
Tie in the wing, going through the flared stubs toward the eye
and tie off as usual.
Now, with the stubs clearly separate from the wing itself, with
a snip of the scissors trim it to final length on your caddis.
Of course your Muddler will take a few more snips, but the process
will go faster and neater since you do not have to search to find
where the butts end and the collar begins.
Put a drop of cement on your finish wrap and go fishing!
You'll spend more time fishing and less time tying.
See you on the stream!
If you have any tips or techniques, send them along, most of this
material has been stolen from somebody, might as well steal your ideas
too!~ George E. Emanuel
(Chat Room Host Muddler)