Lee Spencer Moose Hair Muddler "Burt Toast"

When I first read "American Muddler" by John Larison in the Spring 2013 issue of the Drake, I was blown away by one of the characters.  This guy who spends the better part of each year camped out in front the "Dynamite Hole"  a pool on Steamboat Creek (one of the North Umpqua's spawning tributaries) where wild steelhead stack up and become vulnerable to poachers.

If that wasn't enough, the guy also fishes with a simple muddler that he cuts the hook point off of!
I find this sort reflective approach to fishing (or really anything) amazingly cool.

Come to find out, this wasn't just some character dreamed up by Larison, that embodied  a particular spirit of Pacific Northwest steelehading, this was an actual guy, Lee Spencer.  His efforts at guarding the "Dynamite Hole" are supported by the North Umpqua foundation (northumpqua.org).

The Moose Hair Muddler is just a simple antron yarn body with a single clump of moose body hair for both a collar and head. Rather than trimming the head Spencer say to wet the fly and then burn the head to shape with a lighter...the tips are hit with a lighter to reduce the wings size and likely cauterize the fibers, increasing bouncy.  I gave this a shot, but I was only able to get the sort of muddler head I like on two out of maybe 5 or so flies that I tried.

This muddler pattern really clicks with me, I've tied up a few more using angora goat dubbing for the body and scissor trimmed moose hair for the head.  This is going to become my go to muddler pattern.  I've taken them swimming once so far and had a really great response from my local smallmouth.

Moose Hair Muddler Recipe
Lawrence Journal World Article
Lee Spencer: USA Today Article

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