Born on the Umpqua River, the Moose Hair Muddler is a simple pattern we credit to Lee Spencer who fishes it without a point on the hook. Moose hair is only used in a few traditional patterns. Like the hair of others in the deer family, it is hollow, but also brittle and hard to spin.

Moose hair, according to Spencer, stands up to wave action better and might be more durable in a skating fly — and that is how this fly is fished. Cast down and across then hold the rod tip high enough to keep most of the line off the water while the fly scribes a waking arc on the surface.

Tie this one on a No. 2-8 up-eye steelhead hook. Use strong tying thread. For the body, employ purple, orange or chartreuse Antron. To create the head and wing, clip moose body hair close to the hide and strip out the underwool. Spin and/or tie down a sparse profile, as, Spencer says, a sparse tie skates better than a tight-packed head.

—Gary Lewis, for The Bulletin

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