Fly Tying: Special K





Raymond Kucharski


The phone rang, I picked up and heard “Ray, this is Pete … what was that orange fly you gave me a month ago”? Pete went on to tell me that he just came off the river and after a hitless hour and a half decided to try something completely different. He looked in his streamer box and saw the strange orange fly I had given him. On his first cast he caught a brookie, on his second cast a 20” rainbow inhaled the orange fly and broke off with his only orange fly. He told me he was heartbroken. “What was that fly” Pete pleaded.


That orange fly was something I created almost a half century ago. If memory serves me correctly, the fly was inspired by a classic bass fly called the Brown Bomber. The fly caught my eye because it had very little brown; it was mostly orange. Classic bass flies have large silhouettes and it was that silhouette that attracted me. The proportions of my creation were significantly different from traditional trout bucktail streamer flies but slimmer than classic bass flies. I tied the fly with a tongue-in-cheek attitude and flippantly called my fly The Orange Muddler.


To my surprise the fly caught trout, it not only caught trout, it caught a lot of trout. The fly caught land-locked salmon, brook, rainbow, brown trout as well as, largemouth and smallmouth bass and every type of pan-fish. It did exceptionally well in ponds that held crawfish. The fly became my “Go-To-Fly” when nothing else seemed to work. Time to rethink the name.


The fly I gave Pete was my own “Special K”. Over the years I have given the fly to many fishermen who had similar experiences. If you tie flies, tie up a couple but be warned don’t go out with only one.


Special K recipe:

Hook: Streamer style hook

Thread: Orange

Tag: Brass wire

Tail: Orange calf tail

   As long as hook shank

Body: Orange floss

Rib: Brass wire

Throat: Orange calf tail

   To end of hook, 30° stand off

Wing: Brown calf tail

   To end of hook, 30° stand off

Collar: Yellow hackle



ã 2009-100


said on Monday, January 27th, 2014

Ray, This is geat.  I'm glad to see that you were able to connect and put this blog up.

Seeing this reminded me of how much I enjoyed your book "ON THE WATERS - The Joys of Fly-Fishing" which I see is now available at Amazon.

 - Dave

said on Monday, January 27th, 2014

This is awesome, Ray! Thanks so much...

said on Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Thanks for sharing. I'm going to have to tie a few of these up this weekend.

said on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Ray, Thanks for sharing..... its next up on my bench for sure.




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