The Bloody Muddler is a steelhead fly originated by Leroy Hyatt. Mr. Hyatt is known for his fly tying on the PBS show Fly Tying: The Angler’s Art. It was an excellent show and you can watch many of the episodes online. Also check out YouTube for Leroy Hyatt videos.
Leroy is from Idaho and has been a figure in “inland” steelhead fishing for many years. The Bloody Muddler and the Steelhead Muddler were just two of his dry/damp steelhead revisions he popularized for use on the Clearwater, Grande Ronde and other upper Columbia tributaries. This information comes from the book Trey Combs’ Steelhead Fly Fishing.
Remember that muddlers are not species specific, so don’t be afraid to tie this fly on for brown trout or smallmouth bass. Leroy even mentions catching several smallies while fishing for steelhead with the Bloody Muddler.
Eric Koons is a fly tyer residing on the west coast and he ties an awesome Bloody Muddler. Since it seems to be rather difficult to track down detailed information on the Internet about Leroy Hyatt, Eric helped with some information and tied the Bloody Muddler that is pictured in this post. To my surprise, Eric is excited about the launch of FrankenFly and I will be posting other patterns and techniques from him in the future. Below is Eric’s Bloody Muddler recipe and tying instructions. Enjoy!
Hook: Light wire salmon/steelhead. Mustad 90240, TMC 7989, Partridge Wilson, etc
Thread: Black, brown, or tan
Tail: White calf tail
Body: Gold tinsel chenille or flat mylar tinsel
Wing 1: Red calf tail to bend of hook
Wing 2: Grizzly hackle tips, facing (not flared) longer than red calf tail
Head: Spun deer trimmed “muddler” style
Tying Instructions: Use a standard wire hook if you wish. Use whatever thread you’re comfortable spinning hair with. Leave head large enough to provide a substantial wake.
Presentation Tips: Technically a damp, waking fly, though it could certainly be fished wet.