low light browns and the mole

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”

RAIN. A LOT OF IT in the past two days. The rivers were starting to drop but now they are pumped-up again. High fast water. Most rivers can’t be crossed.

brown trout on klinkhammer bwo size 18

When the forecast calls for heavy skies and rain I always try to head to one of my favorite rivers, especially if it’s not going to be too windy. My best brown trout of the year usually come in these conditions. They show-up in low light as long as there are insects around. You just have to be there and watch the water, even high water.

high water into shore grasses and willows

On both days I got drenched and my soaked camera started malfunctioning. It’s waterproof but old and has many cracks in it and the battery/SD card door doesn’t always close properly. Water got inside. On the way home I was able to dry the SD card on the car dashboard with the heat on high. I managed to save it. The camera, however, I could not. Time for a new one.

brown trout

There were mayflies around: olives and a few pmd’s. I prospected the slow shallows with a beetle pattern early in the day. Then I fished a size 18 Mole fly when I started seeing some surface disturbances. It’s a simple shuttlecock style pattern by Charlie Craven, a professional fly tyer. He ties his with a CDC wing. Due to the heavy rain I tied mine with polypropylene and some with deer hair, or a combination of both.

A blogger/angler I follow (Jim) often fishes the Mole pattern and that’s were I first took notice of it. I pay attention to his fly selections as he visits some of the most challenging tailwater rivers and spring creeks anywhere and consistently catches impressive trout on dry flies. Check him out at: http://jims-wanderings.blogspot.com

simple mole fly size 18

When my casts were on target trout ate the Mole fly without hesitation.

brown on size 18 mole fly

Here are some photos. Some are blurry due to the conditions.

rainbow on size 18 mole fly
cuttbow on mole fly size 18
mole gathering and beetle…all that I fished in two days
brown on mole fly

6 thoughts on “low light browns and the mole

  1. Love how you persisted in the high water. Quality fish, as usual! Moles, “Hangers,” Buzzers, Shuttlecocks. Whatever we call ’em, with slight variations, the design has been around a very long time and is proven worldwide. Charlie’s is a good color for most bugs and the darker wing has good visibility in most light.

  2. Yes, all good names for the fly style. I’ll add Klinks…I already fished similar patterns often with a trailing shuck. I like Charlie’s body color and especially the name. I tied some in rust, dark brown and olive. Continued success on your outings. Hope the rain and storms settle down both sides of border.

  3. The mole fly is a good one, I tie them with a variety of body materials, in natural mole and Beaver. I like the idea of adding a sparse deer hair wing. I will need to tie some of those. I usually go to polypropylene wings in black or white.

  4. I have been fishing beetles for many years. In the last two years I switched to long 14+’ leaders but had trouble getting that good smack down. So, I added 12 to 16 wraps of 0.015 lead wire on my #8 beetle and it produces a near perfect lateral line igniting “plop”. Prospecting along the bank I have had good sized trout attack it with a preceding wake to forward me immediately after the ” plop”. The lead weighting also causes the beetle to sit a little deeper in the film producing a more realistic posture. For your consideration. The onlyblog on the net that instills a combination of awe and serious jealousy. You’re the real deal!

    • Rick: Hey, thanks so much for tip re: weighted beetle. Will tie some up and try them out. The ” plop” usually attracts attention. On a few low clear streams I’ve fished it scares them (nz). But usually it is great. Again thanks for tip and kind comments. Tight lines.

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