Andrij Horodysky- professor, world traveling fly fisherman, and bad ass fly tier
By Andrij Horodysky, PhD
The Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, the Chupacabra, and the mop fly – as mythical as the City of Atlantis. Spoken of vaguely in hushed tones in shady back corners of certain fly shops, and derided by purists glancing at these elusive creations, the East Coast’s mop flies are making their mark on the competitive circuit. There is simply no denying the surgical effectiveness of mop-style flies.
The fly’s name derives from the body – chenille dreadlocks cut from dustmops. Modern interpretations have a wider array of materials to choose from – chenille microfiber bath mats, slipper-dusters, and car detailing mitts.
The Mop Fly concept was originated by Jim Estes (River’s Edge Outfitters, NC) in the late 2000s and the original is tied on a scudlike barbless hook with no dubbing. Simple and effective, though perhaps short on bin appeal. The Mop Fly concept has been adapted by others, much like the San Juan worm concept.
Horodysky’s Mopsicle is a state-of-the-art fusion of the pattern’s heritage with modern materials to create an irresistible trout-pounding morsel. The Mopsicle combines an Umpqua 403BLJ barbless jig hook chassis with more modern chenille microfiber mop body materials, and capitalizes on the designer’s passion for light-bending prismatic optical triggers. The result – improved catchability along with reduced snagging potential.
Attractor-colored Mopsicles (Chartreuse and Pink) draw curious aggressive fish that cannot resist the bright profile and soft and chewy texture. In fact, fish have raced 20 feet to engulf the Mopsicle, only to sit there and chew on it like a puppy on a his favorite toy until they get their steel surprise. In natural colors (Grey, Tan), the Mopsicle imitates cranefly (Tipula sp) larvae, which can exceed an inch or more in length. These large aquatic maggots are full of protein and low in undigestible hard parts. Optimal meals – great energetic bang-for-buck for a trout.
Key Mopsicle characteristics:
- Durable microfiber chenille body provides shape and silhouette, irresistibly chewy mouthfeel typical of soft bodied prey. When wet, the body appears faintly segmented.
- Prismatic thorax veil and contrasting collar provide key strike triggers and impressions of translucence, feigning movement. The Mopsicle’s Designer has a PhD in fish sensory and energetic ecology and researches gamefish vision.
- Tungsten bead and fly profile allow fly to get down quickly and stay there
- Umpqua competition barbless jig hook ensures snagfree positioning, confident hooksets, and quick and stress-free releases of landed fish. Best in the business.
Simply – fished with a Euro approach, this fly slays. Squeeze out the airbubbles underwater and the Mopsicle (STRONGLY recommended) will ride horizontally through the benthic boundary layer. Grease the tail end, and the Mopsicle stands on its head, adopting a more angled or vertical profile. You find yourself doubting that you can pull yet another trout out of the run you’ve been pounding for the last 20 min. The Mopsicle is a trout population survey – on a hook.