Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Millers Update And THAT Fly

"There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting beat in the process" - Paul O'Neil

10/24 Update - The EB has risen into the 70 cfs range. Check the DFW site this week to see if this river gets stocked. - Ken

10/25 Update - The Swift flow dropped Tuesday to 43CFS and the EB got stocked with browns! More info on that and brookies in the next post - Ken

Another great week on the Millers River with one important change. Before you think that the lower results of Saturday were because the trout suddenly became selective (they didn't) you should look at the fact that the river went UP from 93 CFS on Friday to 160 on Saturday. That will scatter the trout which have been holding close to where they have been stocked. The same thing happened last October on the EB where trout were stocked in a low flow, hung around in schools where they got clobbered and then scattered like the wind right after a 2 inch rainfall. Charlie Shaden actually said that one customer of his who was late to the EB party actually wondered if the river had been stocked and if the catch reports were true. That's after scoring a ZERO after the rains.

Now, we caught fish!!! Top locations were the Bridge Street Pool in Farley and the Erving Center stretch and we used a number of flies and methods to get it done. This reminds me of a trend I've seen in the last few years. Try not to be too orthodox in your fly fishing. I'm seeing more and more fly fishers stuck on one method while attempting to use that method under a number of very different conditions. When I'm on a stream like the Millers or the EB there will be a mix of three or four different presentations to get the results that I want. Also, I see a lot of fly casters repeating the same cast over the same place over and over again. It's a habit that people get into. Cover all of the water.

Ok, it's the Mop Fly and here's my story; I first saw this thing online this past summer and thought that someone should rename it the P.O.S. I hated it because it didn't have the qualities of a well crafted fly (size, proportion, life-like materials and the look of something alive). It looked stupid and the result of a low skilled tier. But then I found a short 3 minute video, by someone named Zimmerman I believe, and that guy changed everything. After tying his mop fly with lots of marabou for the collar,he left the camera range and then returned with a totally sodden fly. That's It, He did it. He changed this POS into a living, breathing creature that looks alive in the water. The trout clobbered it. It looks like a big hellgrammite so why would they not?

Your Bill of Materials:

Go to Walmart or Auto Zone and buy one of those car washing mitts with the "fingers" on it. You'll have material for hundreds of flies for $6.00. I bought grey and run a brown sharoie down the back for that 2-tone look. Don't buy these things in a small pack for fly tying. It's a waste of $$$$.

Get some size 8 or 10 scud hooks and some brown marabou. Get some beads. You know the rest.

This fly works best when bounced deep up and across from you and not swung in the current below you. If the fly is below you and rising up you will get some short strikes and loose some tails in the process.

I've always wanted a good hellgrammite. Now I have one. It works on the Swift too!!!!



Anonymous said...

Hello Ken and everyone, had a great day on the millers in wendell on Thursday despite low flows. Browns mostly with a very nice rainbow tossed in the mix that my brother took.mostly on nymphs. Also lost a very nice fish up stream from the trestle, high sticking in the deeper pockets of water. Glad I gave nymphing another shot as you had advised Ken! The fall colors were great and we saw a very large Bald Eagle as well, couldnt have asked for a better day!

Paul Fay

Millers River Flyfisher said...


I was calling it the moth fly. Looked to me like a moth larvae. They don't hatch in the streams though? I got a mop towel at Walmart. $2.96 no glove. Even cheaper. Was gonna comment on your blog, but I couldn't figure out how. I'm not that good at that stuff. Anyway. Thanks Ken. Keep up your good work. Great stuff. Jack

Anonymous said...

That grey color looks a lot like a hellgrammite! Off to the department store!!!

Bill H.

Josh S. said...

I just read about the mop fly in a newspaper article yesterday, they mentioned it caused a real stir among traditionalists. Definitely tieing a few up.

Hoping the EB comes around, in past years I feel like I spent most of my days on the water there and this year it seems like i've hardly gone.

Hibernation said...

I need to try this. I've wanted to since I first saw it on tightlineproductions earlier in the year - perhaps when you first did Ken. While silly, it just looks like a grubbish thing that fish would nail :)

Millers River Flyfisher said...

It really transforms into something life-like when its wet. Also a smallie fly or even a carp fly!!!


TROUT said...

The fly is in the same category as the squirmy wormy, or other "trash flies".

It always brings up the debate of whether it should be used or not. A lot of people equate it to the "Powerbait" of fly fishing.

I personally don't want fly fishing to get any easier than it already is these days with trash flies, indicators, etc.

At a certain point, you may as well start bringing a casting net with you! :)

Millers River Flyfisher said...


Interesting comment!

I agree that squirmy wormies, SJW, flies encased in plastic and a host of others do not imitate any insects found in our New England trout waters but are merely attractor flies that will initiate a strike due to their unnatural color and motion. My first impression of the mop fly was that it was lodged firmly into the above category and to be forgotten especially since it was tied in day glow colors UNTIL I SAW IT WET. Then it looked like a living insect and in the somber grey color that I tied it REALLY looked like a hellgrammite or a leech or, in smaller sizes, a caddis pupae.

I think that the recoil from this fly is that it uses a rather pedestrian material ( a car washing glove) for it's construction. Do the detractors recoil from beads, synthetic crystal ice fluorescent dubbing and all the other TOTALLY UNNATURAL materials that we seem to use? Of course they don't. The material used in the construction of the mop is a loosely bound chenille. Do we use chenille?

The Mop imitates bigger flies found in big rivers like the Millers. The Millers is home to gazillions of those critters like hellgrammites and the mop is certainly more of an imitation than the stiff, static flies that we have used to imitate those insects.

As anyone who has read this blog over nine years knows I tie flies that represent an insect or class of insects. The Mop solved a problem with the bigger insects that are out there. It is a fly that represents an insect or class of insects as long as it's tied in natural colors. If it isn't then I have no use for it because natural colors, with a marabou collar, work GREAT!

Glad that you don't like indicators.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,

Love your blog and all of the insights you provide. Reading your blog at work helps me get through the day.

Today I saw on the side banner a listing for the The Fly Fishers Guide To The Millers River and apparently it's free too. Is it really free? This sounds a bit too good to be true...

If possible could you forward me along the guide?

Thanks for all you do,


Parachute Adams said...

I agree with Tim. This blog is a gem and a wealth of knowledge. One dry fly featured not long ago, the CDC comparadun, led to a great day for me this fall. How I love fishing dry flies, and miss it with all the leaves in the water now.

Regards, Sam

lenny tamule said...

Was at the swift a few days ago and wanted to mess around cause I was getting a little bored with the place. So, I decided to use a 14 partridge and orange with 4x and caught a handful of bows. Now I have to buy a spool of 3x!


Millers River Flyfisher said...


We caught fish with 4x using size 22 and 24 a month ago. Very easy to land the trout which is a good thing. Maybe we should have a contest for the thickest leader/smallest fly combo!!!!!


TROUT said...

Thanks! I'm just curious of everyone's opinions.

Glad to hear your take on it. This is one man's opinion, so I don't care who uses it, but I'll still call it a trash fly. I agree that beads used to not have a place in fly fishing, and they've come to be a major component of many flies. I use both beads and split shot interchangeably, so I don't mind either. I see beads more as an evolution in fly tying to incorporate split shot into the fly.

As for indicators, I would advise anyone and everyone to learn how to fish without them. It'll be one less thing to buy and carry with you. Those stick on indicators are especially bad. I see them all the time floating freely in the river, on trails leading to the river,and in parking areas.

I've been using 5x on size 16-22 flies and catching fish. It gets them in quickly, which has been the responsible thing to do this summer.

lenny tamule said...

Challenge accepted! Get the wide eye hooks!


Millers River Flyfisher said...

Trout and Lenny,

Read my July 8 2015 post on tippet size and ESPECIALLY the comments section about 28's on 5x. Conventional wisdom takes it on the chin again!!!!!


The Eye on Harvard said...

DFW just posted they stocked brown trout in the "Westfield River" in Chesterfield on 10/25. Is it fair to guess that's the EB downstream of Chesterfield gorge or elsewhere?


Bob O said...

Swift's flow reduction will be a welcome relief to the spawning brookies and browns. I expect this level will continue thru the winter. Will heavy snows bring Spring water over the spillway? Unlikely is my guess.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

TC - Fish before it freezes!

Bob O. - Fall spillway water brings more salmon. Don't see this for a while