Fly Fishing Mouse Magic
Hook: Long Streamer size to fit natural order in your world.
Thread: Thick black.
Tail: Thin cut leather at least 3 inches for strong wake!
Body options: I have used Deer hair, Elk, Fox, Wolf, and various road killed animals. Spin and trim to order.
Head: Black thread or painted to simulate a nose.
Eyes: Optional as the little beasts moving profile on the water really negates the eye detail.
Ears: Ears will increase the hit ratio and create a realistic profile even if the mouse is worked quickly.
Power of Terrestrials!
In my 60 plus years carrying fly rods from San Francisco to Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, South America, Alaska, and most of the Untied States chasing everything that swims in the game fish genre.
A deep respect has developed after watching creatures from robust Alaskan Rainbows and Salmon along with Bass, many species of Carp and almost every fresh water fish imaginable hit with serious intent field mice! Yes, working fat Grasshoppers on the fabled California Fall River or skating Black Ants and big ugly dark Stoneflies in Yosemite National Park. Watching both Rainbows and Brookies slam the hell out of these bugs.
In my fly gear an assortment of mice each different size and color to match wherever I roam. Over the years I have been taught by Mouse Masters how to tie small mice and more important exactly how to present, cast, move, and truly understand the last moments in these ubiquitous mammals lives...
Two years ago I had the honor of going to Mouse Finishing School with my talented young Alaskan Guide Mat Amundson who is without question the Master at sophisticated exact natural presentation techniques that solidified my life long respect and use of the Mouse when all else fails after beating waters senseless! My hands start looking for the Mouse Box.
One will quickly notice the awkward size and shape and weight will effect casting accuracy. That is the fun of this mouse addiction fellow fly fishers. After you practice and learn how to throw easy high loops that will allow the mouse to fall naturally off stream, creek edges and bounce gently almost sliding down rock faces or dropping out of low lying bushes. It is your skill at replicating how the mouse ended up in the water feverishly attempting to get back to his or her safe hole in the ground?
Learning to work and build Mice is not easy
Those fly fishers who have like I have closely watched and studied the many worlds within worlds upon Creeks, Rivers, Ponds, Streams will do best in learning how to work mice. These quick moving land animals find themselves in moving water purely by accident. A slip off a low tree branch or a steep rock face can’t be held onto or pure fear while being pursued and suddenly they quickly swim with a tale making a wake.
Your job is to move the mouse in snake like gyrations to and throe simulating panic and fear. When you begin to understand the plight of water bound mice, a bell will sound in your fly brain! Oh, yeah its just like all the other flies you tie and throw, it has to look and act natural. I tie the Wolf Mouse a utility multi use beast that floats well and is quite small. The perfectly tied fat round mouse is Mr. Amundson’s fine work.
When you begin studying and tying your first mouse the steep learning curve becomes apparent Pilgrim! First taking small amounts of hair into a Stacker or using just your fingers one must twist and push the hair toward the eye of the hook over and over until enough is stacked tightly to begin carefully trimming and sculpting. My tiny Mice all end up with hair running toward the tale naturally as it looks great moving in the water.
Tails have to be both long enough and thin enough to leave a natural wake moving in water. I use a bit of crazy glue here and there to make them bullet proof and able to be used over and over. Most new Mice tiers get frustrated with the meticulous stacking and trimming. Then one has to practice casting, presenting. The pay off fellow fly maniacs. Usually only older, bigger game fish slam surface running Mice. Your first smack and they do smash the mice with vengeance will hook you my friends...
By Dan Fallon 2014 ©