The White Marabou Muddler Minnow fly pattern is a good imitation of a small sculpin. Many smallmouth bass rivers have large populations of sculpins.
THE MUDDLER MINNOW STREAMER FLY. Hook size 2 4 6 8 10 12 - $US each
Sculpins creatures are bottom hugging minnows that live under stones in well aerated water. This means that smallmouths living below riffles often feed heavily on sculpins as the offer a substantial meal. Wade into a river just below a riffle and cast across and slightly downstream. Give your streamer time to sink and then strip the line to make your fly swim along the bottom a good six inches every five or so seconds.
If you are hunting for stripers and they are not feeding on top of the water surface then they are feeding down below so change from deerhair bass bugs to streamers like, the White Muddler Minnow fly pattern, Woolly buggers, Matukas, Zonkers or Clouser's minnows. If they are not down below MOVE as they are holding up else where. If you find fish but they are not taking try to match the local bait fish, but just before you change your fly change your technique you use to strip your flies. Strip faster and shorter or slow way down to nearly dead drift. I have found it some times works not to give the bass time to look at your fly by striping very very fast. When I get a hit I stop, strip twice then stop again and await the normal hook up
The rounded deerhair face of a White Muddler Minnow, when it's pulled through the water, doesn't make as much noise as the larger bass bugs, but rather leaves a wake behind it like a small boat. They are especially useful for skitterish smallmouth bass in clear streams and rivers. The subtle disturbance they cause attracts the nearby fish rather than spooking them.
The Muddler Minnow can be used as a surface lure for sea trout night fishing on those warm summer evenings when you can still wear a T-shirt at 1am. Using a floating line and a square cast over slow water results in the buoyant fly creating a wake in the surface film. For some reason this wake traveling gently across the pool can be irresistible to Sea Trout and explosive takes of your Muddler Minnow fly can result. Sea Trout are simply the migratory form of the brown trout. (Steelheads are migratory rainbow trout.). Lures and larger hook size wet flies are ideal for fishing Sea trout. The female sea trout lays her ova in October or November in the gravel river beds of fresh water streams. It is later fertilized by the males. She will lay about seven or eight hundred eggs for each pound of her weight. Only a small percentage will reach the small sea trout stage and even fewer will return to the river to spawn
The eggs hatch out into "alevins" -small fish with the yoke-sacs still attached below their bellies. One of its greatest enemies at this stage is the Dragon fly larva. After a few weeks the fry become what is called "sea trout parr". They stay in freshwater for two to four years and then one spring their color turns to silver and they move down stream as a 'sea trout smolt' to the coastal waters of the estuary where they feed well and grow rapidly without moving from the coast. The smolts grow and become what is called a "finnock or whitling". They return to their native rivers during the summer. Some spawn and some feed on the spilled ova of spawning salmon and sea trout. Finnocks return to the estuaries at various times during the year. From there they enter the saltwater sea.
Adult sea trout return to the river at any time from early summer to early winter. When the adult sea trout has spawned it is known as a 'kelt'. Most remain in freshwater until the spring when they return to the estuaries. Sea trout can live a long time and return year after year to the same rivers and streams of their youth
When fishing for salmon you will often catch sea trout. Sea Trout and Salmon differ subtly in behavior and sometimes different tactics are needed. Unlike salmon they feed after starting their spawning migration. They tend to take flies like the Muddler Minnow decisively and can be quick, even violent. Those that have been in a river for some time are very shy. On the first run into freshwater they may be easy to catch but only after a short while you may only be able to catch them after 10pm at night. At times a surface fished dry fly is effective for sea trout.
I used your white marabour muddler on my local fishery. A river runs through it and there's a lot of small salmon par in the water and the trout go mad for them. I caught three lovely sized Rainbows. - Garry Reeves
Gregor Fulton wrote: "The deer hair in muddlers creates amazing vibes which attract the fish. I love them. My best fish in Iceland was taken on a size 8 black muddler. My guide said I was wasting my time... then bam!"