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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Of Mice And Men

Fly fishing with a mouse pattern goes beyond the norm, it's not just your average fly - It's a living creature on the end of your line. My first introduction to the game was by my friend Don. Don had exclusive rights to some ponds next to the Blue river outside of Silverthorne, CO. After seeing a picture of him holding a 32" brown trout while fishing a mouse in the middle of the night I was all ears. We went to the ponds after the sun had set and rigged our rods with deer hair mouse patterns he had tied and tippets to 0x. I asked Don "When do you know when to set hook"? "It's as black as sin out"! His reply was "When you hear the suck of the take and the gulp of the swallow". That night I managed 3 browns 17-22", not the monster I was looking for but the game was so much fun I could have cared less.

When tying mouse patterns I have chosen Gary Lafontaine's creature pattern exclusively. It will never sink, and has plenty of movement that looks "alive"! To tie this small mammal I start with a #6 Mustad Stinger hook and epoxy on a foam cylinder that is made for popper patterns. Now I take a cross cut zonker strip in a natural color and tie it to the rear of the hook, leaving a tail behind the bend, clipping of all the hair from the tail. Next I coat the cylinder foam body with Barge cement and let it sit until tacky - once this occurs I now wind the zonker strip towards the head. I let it dry, paint the head, add eyes, and clear coat it with some Loons hard head formula. The result is the most realistic and buoyant mouse pattern out there. Though I have come up short in Northern California with results, It is dynamite In the Patagonia region of Chile, the Madison River in Montana, and all of Alaska! If you dare fish the mouse you must keep cool, keep a keen ear, and a steady hand when the "gulp" happens.
Below is a trailer from the DVD "Once in a Blue Moon". The infamous mouse run that results in a monstrous brown trout feeding frenzy in southern New Zealand. You can purchase the DVD from

Fly Fishing - Once in a Blue Moon 60sec promo from On the Fly on Vimeo.

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