PAUL’S SCHLAPPEN MOP In California, they flyfish for steelhead a little differently. Their rivers, fish, tackle, and techniques are different, and so are their flies. We seem to like very big, very bright attracter flies with lots of action. Down south they tend to fish less flashy, much smaller patterns, often imitative of local food organisms. Paul comes up from the Bay Area to fish with me almost every winter-steelhead season. He also spends a lot of time on his home rivers. He’s a good enough angler to understand that local traditions develop for a reason, and that his little Russian River patterns may not be appropriate for the Skagit or the Bogey. But he had trouble getting behind some of our monster marabous, so he developed a pattern that makes nods to both traditions. He came up with a fly that’s easy to tie, a bright attracter but vaguely buggy and adaptable to local color traditions, with good action and a meaty profile, but manageably sized. He has fished the pattern to good effect on a number of rivers in both Washington and California. The name Schlappen Mop reflects the fly’s materials, appearance, and ability to clean up. It can be fished on a deep swing; weighted, it can be dead drifted through slots; or as in California, it can be slowly retrieved on an intermediate line through still, tidewater pools. MATERIALS HOOK: Heavy wire salmon/steelhead hook, size 6 to 1/0 THREAD: 8/0 red uni-thread RIB: Holographic of silver tinsel BODY, REAR 3/4: Floss, hot orange, pink, purple, blue, black, etc. BODY, FRONT 1/4: Chenille, color to contrast floss HACKLE: Webby schlappen, color to match floss HEAD: 8/0 red uni-thread, neat TYING STEPS 1. Tie in the tinsel and the floss just behind the eye. Tie back along the top of the hook shank, to just even with the hook point. 2. Wrap the floss forward about 3/4 of the hook length, back, then forward again; tie off. Rib with three or four turns of tinsel, tie off and trim. 3. Tie in a length of chenille and form a meaty, round ball, leaving room for the hackle and head. Tie off and trim. 4. Tie in a long, webby, wide schlappen feather by the butt, curve back. 5. Wrap the schlappen five or six turns, stroking the feather back after each turn. Tie off and trim. 6. Wrap a small neat head, whip finish and cement the head to complete Paul’s Schlappen Mop.