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The Mop Fly

Written by Ian Anderson

 

Background

The Mop fly has been around for a few years now.  The material first started showing up on mops, literally, about five or six years ago (as I remember it).  It was no sooner on the market for cleaning your floors than someone started tying flies with it.  If you do a search on “mop flies” you will be amazed at the variations of this simple fly.  As well, the vast array of colors available in this material.

Many of the patterns I have seen have the bead right behind the eye of the hook but I have placed mine further back on the hook shank.  The reason for this is because I do not want the fly to “jig” in the water.  I want the fly to sink slowly and uniformly and even flutter as it falls through the water column.  Placing the bead in the center of the fly and surrounded by materials accomplishes this, at the very least it does not jig up and down as much.  For me, this provides a more lifelike action to the fly.

Because the mop material is rather large the resulting flies can be on the large size for nymphing to trout.  However, any trout that wants to eat is not against a larger bite when they can get one.  So, these flies are on a larger hook but do work when nymphed through deeper runs and cloudy water.  Not to mention they are fantastic at catching panfish.

Below is Step by Step instructions for those who like this format better than videos. I have detailed all the steps and there is a high resolution image for each step (simply click on the image to the right). If you prefer a video format there is a embedded video at the bottom of the page.

Materials

Hook: Tiemco 105, #6
Thread: Wapsi UTC Ultra Thread 70 Denier, Black
Body: Chenille Mop material, Tan
Bead: 3/16″ Tugnsten bead, Matte Black
Dubbing: Black, SLF or Black Lifecycle Dubbing
Hackle: Hen Neck Hackle, Black

 

Instructions

1) Place the bead on the hook and the hook in the vise. The Mop Fly - Step 1
2) Start the thread for the body on the hook in the middle of the hook shank. The Mop Fly - Step 2
3) Cut a piece of mop material from the backing and pull out enough material from the core threads so the resulting body is about a hook length long. The Mop Fly - Step 3
4) Trim off the excess thread from the mop material so there is about 1/16″ (2mm) of the core fibers sticking out of the body. The Mop Fly - Step 4
5) Tie in the body material on the hook shank so that when the core fibers are lashed down back to the body the body material begins just behind the hook point. The Mop Fly - Step 5
6) Secure the tying thread with a four or five turn whip finish and remove the tying thread.  Add a drop of head cement to the thread wraps and push the bead on top of the thread wraps and against the body material. The Mop Fly - Step 6
7) Re-attach the tying thread to the hook just in front of the bead. The Mop Fly - Step 7
8) Make a three inch dubbing noodle, medium size, and start wrapping right in front of the bead. The Mop Fly - Step 8
9) Make certain you wrap the dubbing right in front of the bead so that it piles up on itself.  Do not let it advance up the hook shank as this will reduce the room you have for wrapping in the hackle. The Mop Fly - Step 9
10) Use a dubbing brush or your bodkin to pick out fibers of the wrapped dubbing so that the dubbing “blends” with the bead.  Sweep these fibers backward. The Mop Fly - Step 10
11) Tie in your hen hackle by the tip.  You want to use the longer fibers closer to the bottom of the feather instead of the shorter ones near the tip of the feather. The Mop Fly - Step 11
12) Wrap the hackle four or five turns to make a nice collar and tie off the hackle. The Mop Fly - Step 12
13) Sweep the hackle fibers and remaining hackle feather backward and make the head of the fly right behind the eye of the hook.  The head does not need to be large, it only needs to force the hackle fibers in a backward direction.  Use a four or five turn whip fishing to secure the thread and cut away the thread.  Apply a drop of head cement and break off the remaining piece of the hackle feather. The Mop Fly - Step 13
14) Your Mop fly is complete.. The Mop Fly - Step 14

If you prefer, there is a video on tying this fly.  I recommend you watch the video even if you prefer the step-bystep directions as the video can clarify some of the steps.

 

I have tied this fly in Brown, Orange, Tan and Chartreuse.  You can find the mop materials in all sorts of colors so you really are not limited to just these colors.  Experiment on your own and you might find a great pattern for your waters.

 

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If you are interested, there are four different colors of Mop flies for sale here on Dressed Irons (while supplies last).

Feel free to leave a comment or question below.

Always Remember…It’s Fly Tying… If You’re Not Having Fun, You’re Doin’ it Wrong!