Yeah that Muskrat Nymph was one of the two flies that I tied and did well with in PA waters. The other was a black deer hair beetle fished dry also in size 16.I used to make a bug for Letort Spring using dubbed muskrat like Don mentioned and put a strip of plastic from a bread bag over the topside. They passed the test and caught fish. Getting the size to match the stream is important. I used a #16 hook - picked the dubbing out wide - trimmed top and bottom then pulled the plastic forward to create a shell back effect and you just tie it off and trim excess.
You end up with an acceptable bug.
As a student in Joe Humphreys fly fishing class, I was invited to a cook out and fishing afternoon and evening at Joe’s home on Spring Creek. I think there were around 20 of us students. I moved a lot of fish on the Muskrat. Most of the other students didn’t get any action at all.
Joe looked at my fly and said something like “Awfully simple, but works.” He was more surprised that my main fly rod was a 6 foot Fenwick glass. he was fishing the same rod in a 7.5 foot. He referred to mine as a “flea rod.”
That was in the spring of 1972.
The local sporting goods store in State College only sold two nymphs — the Muskrat and the March Brown — at that time.
But the Muskrats they sold were nothing but a round dubbed body in 12 or 16. Even as a rank beginner,I could do somewhat better than that.
I figured you would check in on this conversation Ard. Bet you don’t run into many of these bugs where you are now.
Happy New Year,