• 3-minute fly: Tie the Mottlebou Mop Fly.
  • Post author
    John Zimmerman
  • fly tyingfreshwaternymphingvideo

3-minute fly: Tie the Mottlebou Mop Fly.

Mottlebou Mop fly tying instructions

3-minute fly is a 6-part series by John Zimmerman of Casting For Hope and Upper Creek Angler.

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

Step 1

Mottlebou Mop fly tying instructions step 1

Load and cement the bead with a thread base and a drop of Zap-A-Gap.

Step 2

Mottlebou Mop fly tying instructions step 2

Take the thread reward to the bend of the hook.

Step 3

Mottlebou Mop fly tying instructions step 3

Lash the chenille finger to the hook.

Step 4

Mottlebou Mop fly tying instructions step 4

Just behind the bead, create a dubbing loop and spin up some mottlebou and create a collar.

Step 5

Mottlebou Mop fly tying instructions step 5 

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.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.  

  • Post author
    John Zimmerman
  • fly tyingfreshwaternymphingvideo

Comments on this post (18)

  • Feb 14, 2023

    Where can I find that moddle bou for sale … I can find it anywhere?

    — Jeff DuClos

  • Dec 03, 2020

    send my email to Malcolm Tytell and i will send him some
    Mop flies.
    I am a Veteran to-we take care of each other. Thanks Jim

    — Jim Gibson

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Please sign me up!

    — randall barker

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Please add me to the list.

    — Mike E Myers

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Please adde.to your mailing list

    — Paul Wright

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Cool fly and video, I love that mottlebou stuff. just glad I could mute that music, It drives me crazy!!!

    — Ross

  • Dec 03, 2020

    These Mops and the catgut flys r my #1 flys now. I’m tying in a llittle weight (or a lot) so I don’t have to put a bead on. I like look w/out a bead better.

    This fly, above, is absolutely amazing!
    Thanx for putting it up.


    — Al H

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Add me please…Rick

    — Rick Nelson

  • Dec 03, 2020

    What other materials would provide similar results to the mottlebou? I cannot find it for sale any longer. If you have any ideas where it can be purchased, that would help too.

    — Matthew

  • Dec 03, 2020

    I would like to know if I could purchase a half dozen of the Mottlebou Mop Fly,sounds like a fishcatcher to me.I’m a disabled veteran,I ’m able to fish once in a while,but tying is difficult for me.Appreciate it,hope to here from you

    — Malcolm Tytell

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Please put me on your email list I would like to buy a dozen flies at different colors

    — johnlesniowski

  • Dec 03, 2020

    I would like to buy a dozen of mixed colors if you sell them John Thank you

    — John Lesniowski

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Do you sell or could you tell me where I can purchase the cream color mop fingers?

    — Charles Kelly

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Please add me to your mailing list.

    — Nick Hinko

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Please add me to your mailing list

    — J J Duffey

  • Dec 03, 2020

    Is it a good idea to glue the fly with a ‘wet’ glue so it stays looking like the end image?

    — Mr frosty

  • Dec 03, 2020


    Carp fishing (intentionally so) is on my to-do list. I’ve caught a couple while fishing for trout on mop flies of various lineages though—so they should work!


    — John Zimmerman

  • Dec 03, 2020

    I have been experimenting with various hackles and variations on this fly, love the wet look. Curious if you have used them for carp? may be testing out a few next week..
    Tight Lines,

    — Brian Koz

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