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Mummichog / Killifish (Anonymous)

Mummichog / Killifish

I don't recall specifically where it was that I found this pattern, but I recall buying it at a sportsmen's show somewhere in Connecticut or Massachusetts back in 1996 or so.

Though I don't know who the tier was, it seems clear that he or she intended to imitate a fish known as a mummichog or killifish, which is a baitfish commonly found in brackish, estuarine habitats here in the United States. These small baitfish grow to about 5 inches long,and generally have a brown or olive coloration broken by a series of dark banded markings. They are a strikingly beautiful fish when seen up close.

Any angler who has waded the marsh at low tide has seen these "mummies" or "killies" swimming in the tidal pools left behind after the tide has receded. Mummichogs feed in the tidal pools, and in the flooded marsh at the higher stages of the tide. When the tide begins to fall, stripers, weakfish, and other predatory fish wait in ambush at the mouths of the smaller creeks, waiting for a variety of prey to be flushed out with the falling tide. One of the most common tidbits that fish waiting at the creek mouths will find on the falling tide are the small and presumably tasty mummichogs!

Having at least one or two flies that imitate mummichogs is a good idea if you fish marshes or tidal creeks. If you don't have a very specific imitation like this one, a brown or olive muddler-style streamer about 3 inches long or so works quite well when gamefish are chasing mummies at the surface. When stripers and other fish are holding deeper, a "sculpin" style fly tied with lead eyes and a wool head, fished dead-drift along the bottom of tidal creeks on the falling tide can work wonders when fishing in areas where mummichogs are present.

One of the best time to see study mummichogs is when they gather in large schools under the full moon, presumably to spawn. This is also the best time to see the largest specimens of these baitfish. Be sure to keep an eye out for mummies the next time you're fishing a marsh or back bay; many anglers have learned what a pleasant surprise it is stop to take a closer look at these interesting little baitfish.

Our thanks and praise to the anonymous tier who created this fly! - Chris Windram

Mummichog / Killifish (Anonymous)

Mummichog / Killifish

TOTAL LENGTH: approximately 4 Inches (10 cm).
THREAD: Unknown.
HOOK: Eagle Claw 254SS 1/0.
TAIL: White and olive Fly Fur (Polarfiber) with a bit of olive Icelandic Sheep Streamer Hair on top.
FLASH: Sparkleflash or Polarflash in a green pearl color.
HEAD/BODY: a short length of E-Z Body or Corsair Tubing, coated with silicone.
EYES: Gold prismatic adhesive eyes.

Note: It would appear that the tier who made this fly used the E-Z Body or Corsair tubing (which was slipped over the head of the fly after the fly fur tail or wing was completed, then tied down and coated with silicone), in an effort to more closely imitate the mummichog, which has quite a fat little head when compared to silversides, sand eels, etc.

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This page originally posted December, 2002

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