Fly tying and the Muddler Boogeyman – How to tie those scary flies

14 Mar

Certain times in our lives we face the fear of the unknown. Some sort of undeniable boogeyman that stunts our progress and scares us into submission.

I swim regularly in a masters club. I am not one of those people who swam competitively their entire child hood and then re-entered the pool as an adult. No I am an honest to god newbie when it comes to competitive swimming. I could swim a length or two when I started. I would go to lane swim sessions and put in some small distance each week. Improvement was slow and I really wouldn’t even try to swim more than a hundred metres at a time.

The lifeguards were nice and answered my questions. The most help the lifeguards recommended was one of their Red Cross courses Swim Basics for Adults Levels 1, 2,and Adult Swim Strokes.

The courses were great and I took all three, each with higher expectations than the previous course, such as swim 50 metres breast stroke, then 100m then 200m for the last course. Each time pushing me into uncomfortable territory, and each time proving to me that I was much more capable than I believed I was.  Actually everyone in the courses could complete the distances, some took longer than others, and some looked more elegant, but everyone finished the lengths.

muddler minnow tightline productions

A great Muddler Minnow from Tightline Productions.

How do these lessons apply to fly fishing? Well recently I wanted to improve my Muddler Minnows. I have been buying these because I have always struggled with this pattern. Mostly having to do with the wings and trimming the head. The wings twist or don’t sit right and the heads aren’t the ‘right’ shape or symmetrical.

It is only once I know what makes me uncomfortable that I can work on it. So I applied the same principles to fly tying as my coaches do for swimming. Figure out what I need to improve. Make a plan and prove to myself that I can do it.

As for the muddlers I sat down and tied six in a row. They turned out OK. Truth is each one came out a bit better. Will I use them? Probably. Will I be tying more? Definitely, now that I am not scared of the Muddler boogeyman.

Interested in improving your Muddler Minnows? Check out these links for Muddler tutorials.

Tightline Productions – Video

The FeatherBender – Photo Tutorial

 

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4 Responses to “Fly tying and the Muddler Boogeyman – How to tie those scary flies”

  1. just after words March 14, 2013 at 9:17 PM #

    have to show this to my wife, she ties flies.

  2. stevegalea6953 March 16, 2013 at 5:45 PM #

    Very nice post, I’ve been tying muddlers for years and I learned two things from the video — using a bent half blade and a kid’s crazy straw. I love picking up these little tricks. Thanks.

    • hydroflynamic March 16, 2013 at 6:51 PM #

      No Problem. The bent razor blade is the easiest way to trim deer hair. Those guys at Tightline Productions do a great job of not only showing the steps but the little tricks as well.

      • stevegalea6953 March 16, 2013 at 6:53 PM #

        Everything is easy once you know it.

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