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Fly Recipes Fly Tying Trout

Fly Tying Craven Mole Fly

by Charlie Craven   |  January 10th, 2013 1

The Mole Fly doesn’t have the bells and whistles of more complicated flies, but this midge and Baetis emerger pattern is simple to tie, and fools fish on difficult waters. Photo Charlie Craven

When I think of the Mole Fly, I can’t help but remember the adage that you can’t judge a book by its cover. An inarguably simple pattern, the Mole Fly doesn’t sell itself or strike a sense of confidence in most onlookers. But I have said many times that if I were limited to one fly to cast to trout rising to Baetis or midges, the Mole Fly would get my immediate nod.

I wish I could say that the Mole Fly came about after many seasons of trial and error, but must admit that it was born simply as a late-night exercise to fill my depleted guide boxes. It didn’t strike me as “The One” at the time, but a few drifts over picky fish proved that this fly was special.

I attribute the success of the Mole Fly to how it sits in the water, with the hook eye parallel to the surface and the purpose-built, sodden beaver fur body hanging in the film with the CDC wing perched atop.

Placing a fly pattern, or a natural for that matter, in this position exposes it as a crippled emerger, with the nymphal body hanging low, and the adult just beginning to emerge onto the surface. Fish know that these bugs are trapped and therefore easy prey, and seem to not only eat them with relish, but actively seek them out.

In the days since its inception, the Mole Fly has made short work of more picky fish than I care to admit. I half-jokingly call this fly “No Fun” as it works so well there is hardly a doubt in my mind that it will get eaten. Those are strong words, and I truly mean it when I say that my friends and I all have put this fly to use with great effect on some of the toughest trout in the world.

(Continued after gallery)

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