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The Gapen Company
17910 87Th Street
The Gapen Company has provided fishing expertise to the angler going into the Canadian wilderness, since 1939.
Dan Gapen, Sr., was only 14 when he began guiding for fishing and hunting guests at his parents lodge on the famous Nipigon River. His family ...
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About Us | Gapen Fishing Tackle Company | Muddler Fly | Bait Walker | Fishing Books | IM6 Graphite Fishing Rod | Wilderness Rod
The Gapen Company has been a family-owned business since 1936 when the Original Muddler Fly was created by Don Gapen.
Since then we have been producing quality fishing tackle and pioneering innovation in the tackle industry.
You may have heard of the Ugly-Bug, the Bait-Walker, or even the Walk-N-Lizard.
Its golden flanks were dotted with ...
Its golden flanks were dotted with black and red spots as big as the end of a pencil, and as I watched the heavy trout slowly fin its way back to the deep run, I gave a quiet thanks to Don Gapen, the inventor of the Muddler Minnow.
He created the fly for the clear waters of Ontario's Nipigon River where it has caught countless trophy brook trout, but Gapen's elegant fly isn't just for brook or brown trout.
The Muddler Minnow-and its many variations-works wonders on rainbows in Alaska, steelhead in the Great Lakes and on the West Coast, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and even some saltwater gamefish.
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Muddler Minnow created in 1937 by Don Gapen
I cannot end this without a ...
I cannot end this without a tribute to the great, long-gone tyers of the past: Keith Fulsher, who was one of the first to use bucktails in his flies, tying his heads of reversed bucktail; the great Sam Slaymaker, creator of the the bucktail "Little Trout" series; Ray Bergman; Don Gapen, creator of the Muddler Minnow; Frank Hornburg, whose namesake fly is still sold today; E.H. "Polly" Rosborough, the great western innovator; Austin Hogan; native American Chief Needahbeh; the legendary Carrie G. Stevens of Maine; and Livingston, Montana's Dan Bailey.
Above, Don Gapen, creator of the Original Muddler Fly in 1936, shows off a 10-pound 4-ounce brooktrout caught on his beloved fly in the river he treasured, the Nipigon.
To the right the Original Muddler Fly as it was tied by Don Gapen.
In 1936 Don Gapen moved north to Nipigon, Ontario, Canada, at the end of Hwy 61.
The road was gravel.
Here the Gapens purchased Chalet Bungalow Lodge, a 65 capacity American plan resort once owned by the Canadian Railway.
At Nipigon, famous for its world record brook trout, Don and his family spent their summers and winters creating a resort for fishermen who flocked there to catch the record size brook trout, lake trout, northern pike, whitefish, sturgeon and the bountiful supply of walleye.
It was here that Don Gapen
created the world famous Muddler Fly and it was here that his son Dan Gapen began an outdoor career and education.