On the Fly: Armand’s Mud/Deceiver - The Fisherman

On the Fly: Armand’s Mud/Deceiver

2018 11 Armands Mud Deceiver Fly Main
The author landed this striper on the fly that he originally created back in the 1970s.

A great all-around fly for both fresh and saltwater applications.

In 1969 at the Boston Sportsman Show I met Lefty Kreh while tying flies for United Fly Tyers. In the club Roundtable magazine, I first read about Lefty’s Deceiver. I really liked the fly so I tied a few for fishing in freshwater for largemouth bass, one of my favorite fish to target on the fly. It was a very effective pattern, but I started having problems because most of the ponds in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are shallow water compared to the large reservoirs, and I was getting a lot of weeds.

In my early years fly fishing I loved Don Gapen’s Muddler Minnow. I tied muddlers in size 10 for brown trout in the Palmer River and size 2/0 for saltwater fish. I thought, “Why not tie a Muddler/Deceiver hybrid?” For freshwater I originally added a 30-pound mono weed guard, and now I use one strand of 50-pound mono. This keeps the fly free from the weeds.

While working at Blount Marine shipyard in Warren, RI. I arrived at work 45 minutes early so I could try a Mud/Deceiver tied on a stainless hook. I settled on an Eagle Claw model 66SS size 2/0 (no longer made). Standing on the pier I cast into the channel with my 8-1/2-foot Shakespeare glass fly rod rated for 8- and 9-weight Cortland 444 fly line. I kept casting for the channel when someone said to me, “Why do you keep pulling that fly out of the striper’s mouth? Instead, why don’t you just drop the fly straight down along side of the piling?” I did that and I saw this big striper come up, but another fish much smaller beat him to the bug. Success!

2018 11 Armands Mud Deceiver Two Flies
Two finished flies. You can customize the colors and hook size to match your applications and bait species.

I wrote about the Mud/Deceiver in the United Fly Tyer’s Roundtable magazine in 1973, receiving good reviews from people who said I should change the name to Armand’s Mud/Deceiver. In the Orvis Newsletter of 1980, Leigh Perkins, President of Orvis, wrote an article about the fly/bug, saying it was the best bug catching freshwater bass and the most fun he had in 30 years of fishing. I was disappointed that they changed the name to Florida Muddler, but at least they gave me credit for creating the bug.

I am a lifelong member of Rhody Fly Rodders who has fished many years in the whitewater of the surf in Newport and Little Compton, Rhode Island. Many times I cast the bug in the white water and get a thrill seeing a striped bass nailing the bug. I fished the waters of Mt. Hope Bay and the Taunton River for bluefish. My best bluefish on the bug was an 18-pound fish landed off Rockport, MA after the hurricane passed in 1988.

On the freshwater scene this is my best bug for largemouth bass fishing in the evening, besting fish to 6 pounds on it.

You are invited to tie Armand’s Mud/Deceiver, a serious fly/bug for big fish, almost fifty years and still going strong. It’s sure to produce in both fresh and saltwater environments, simply adjust the hook and materials to match your needs.

Thread: Black UTC G.S.P. 100 denier
Hook: Mustad 34007 size 1 to 2/0, Daiichi 2220 size 1(for freshwater)
Tail: 4 white saddle hackles
Body: Original silver Mylar piping, Bill’s Bodi braid pearl
Throat: Original white bucktail sparse
Wing: Yellow bucktail, on top blue bucktail
Head: Clipped deer body hair trimmed
Eye: 3/8” 3D secure with GOOP
Weed-guard: 50-pound Ande mono (for freshwater tie only)

2018 11 Armands Mud Deceiver STEP 11

Begin mid-hook and wind the thread towards the bend and coat with Zap-A-Gap.

2018 11 Armands Mud Deceiver STEP 22

Tie in four hackles, two cave-in back to back, and three strands of hair extensions on each side. Tie in Bill’s Bodi pearl braid, coat thread with Zap-A-Gap and wind braid to mid position.

2018 11 Armands Mud Deceiver STEP 33

Tie in some sparse white bucktail for a throat. On top close to the shank, add sparse yellow, blue or lavender bucktail.

2018 11 Armands Mud Deceiver STEP 44

Hold a 1/4-inch bunch of deer body hair parallel to the shank and tie in.

2018 11 Armands Mud Deceiver STEP 55

With a steady pull on the thread, tie in two half-hitches and keep packing the hair. Trim with scissors and finish with Zap-A-Gap.

2018 11 Armands Mud Deceiver STEP 66

Add two 5/16-inch 3D eyes, coat the back of the eye with Goop and you are ready to fish once dry.



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