By Dan Fallon
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.
In my 60plus year,s
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 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