Trees, rocks, big fish – they don’t care you spent half an hour on that perfectly tied fly.
I know because I’ve pleaded with them to give me back my precious flies before. Deaf ears!
I’ve been on a quest the last several years to identify simple flies that use simple, inexpensive materials, and take less than 3 minutes to tie. And I have a bunch of them.
The Mottlebou Mop.
Forget the Squirmy. Forget the egg flies. The Mop Fly is the most sinful fly of all time.
You’ve seen them – you’ve seen the chenille fingers coming off an array of products these days, from dust mops to car washing aids to teddy bears to throw pillows. You can clip these off their backing and have a killer fly if you lash those fingers to a hook.
This staging of the Mop Fly is especially deadly. Spirit River started selling the Mottlebou product a while back. I came to know it from Dave Hise who owns Casters Fly Shop who uses it for his Something’ Ugly Sculpin flies.
I keep a box full of mop flies tied in yellow, cream, tan, two shades of pink, and three shades of green. For a while, I was only fishing the “caddis green.” I asked an older fisherman what he thought they fly imitated that got fish going so much and he said “just an old green caddis worm.” Worked for me… but as the material started appearing in many different applications and demands from various industries required many different colors… the opportunities for this fly exploded!
Tie it straight to a hook with no collar or experiment all day and night with collar material and rubber legs and even scud back!
Fly tying materials
Hook: Here I’m using a #10 barbless scud hook.
Bead: Nymph-Head® Evolution™ Caddis tungsten beadhead, black – but try any variety of Nymph-Head® Evolution™, Heavy Metal™, or FlyColor™ beads in appropriate sizes; match colors to match the pheasant tail you’re using.
Thread: I’m using white 210D—but make sure you match the thread to the mop you’re using.
Body: Cream mop finger – but greens, pinks, oranges, tans, purples…they all work!
Collar: Mottlebou in a dubbing loop.
Fly tying instructions
Load and cement the bead with a thread base and a drop of Zap-A-Gap.
Take the thread reward to the bend of the hook.
Lash the chenille finger to the hook.
Just behind the bead, create a dubbing loop and spin up some mottlebou and create a collar.
Clean up and whip finish.
Add water and hold on!
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Be sure to read John's recent post, They're at your feet, dude! 6 reasons to make shorter casts when wade fishing.
About John Zimmerman:
With Taylor Sharp (pictured left), John Zimmerman (right) is co-owner of Upper Creek Angler and co-founder and Chairman of the Board of directors of Casting for Hope. Upper Creek Angler is a guide and custom-built fly-rod service based in Morganton, NC. Casting for Hope is a regional nonprofit that serves women and families in Western North Carolina following a diagnosis of ovarian or other gynecological cancer through financial assistance and retreat programs. Casting for Hope’s flagship fundraiser is the only official Trout Legend Gold-Level fly-fishing competition on the east coast and one of just three in the United States. Watch the brief video below to learn more about Casting for Hope and the work John, Taylor, and their team are doing in WNC for women and families affected by ovarian and other gynecological cancers.