The Muddler is one of the most productive and versatile steelhead flies for swinging or skating flies EVER! The famous Dec Hogan once said, "if you aren't currently fishing Muddlers.... you probably should!" We like to fish these on a floating line and fish these right near the surface so they make a wake or a bulge. The stiff fibers of the spun hair head make noise and a bubble trail that attract fish in ways that other flies don't.
The Muddler is also fished on sinking lines, especially in locations where you may encounter snags near the hang down of the swing or the boulders have a tendency to snag your fly. The muddler tends to hover over snags, boulders, and shallow bars that other flies might snag or give false indications of a bite.