Fishing | Fly tying

Fly tying: A Kinder, Gentler Mop fly

A crane fly larvae.

Confession: I’ve never fished a “mop” fly, but I’ve seen Tim Flagler’s gawdy versions before and honestly couldn’t figure out a practical use for such horrific creations.

Until now.

As Tim demonstrates in this week’s video, the Kinder, Gentler Mop is a ringer for a crane fly larvae, a common bug on trout streams—the adult resembles a mosquito on steroids and can be a bit terrifying, even though they don’t bite. The larvae, though, are elongated and fleshy and present a big meal to trout searching the mud and gravel for food.

Additionally, as you’ll see above, this fly is painfully simple to tie. For that reason alone, it’s not a bad idea to have a few in the box, just in case you see larvae in the water, under rocks or up against streamside vegetation.

You never know, right?

— Chris Hunt