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Old 09-11-2013, 11:27 AM
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Default Do you fish mice patterns?

I have always been intrigued with the thought of a big trout charging up from the depths to attack a mouse making a v-wake along the bank. The true predatory instinct of large brown trout and rainbows is why so many fly fisherman become addicted to streamer fishing. But if you can trigger that same response, catch the largest of trout, and do it on the surface why wouldn't you?!

William posted an article about a 19 inch rainbow with 20 little shrews in its gut. So it got me thinking about fishing mammal patterns again. Because for the all intrigue and curiosity, I've never done it. It's a mystery to me. I've always thought it had to be at night, is that true?

I'd like to hear from those of you that do fish with mice/small mammal flies. I have a fishing trip coming up to the Big Hole River, an area known for holding large brown trout. I'd like to give this a try.

Fill me in!
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Do you fish mice patterns?

They work on smallmouth!

Click the image to open in full size.

No experience trying for trout with them.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:59 PM
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Default Re: Do you fish mice patterns?

i've fished them for trout, at night. It's been successful but I don't usually get to do it. Did watch a frog swim across a slow trout stream once, and saw a trout slam it. Fun stuff.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Do you fish mice patterns?

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They work on smallmouth!

Click the image to open in full size.

No experience trying for trout with them.
When I lived in Healdsburg, CA the townhouse develpment had an acre viewing pond/fountain and someone had stocked it with bass. I'd go out after dark with a fly rod, 'mouse' and a Colman Lantern (so you could see where you were walking) and cast off the bank.

You couldn't see a damned thing save for a circle of light around your feet. Strip retrieve and WHAM! None of the fish were all that big (1-3 pounds) but there were a few that appeared to be considerable further up the food chain.

Three of the younger boys were casting spoons (mid-afternoon) and one hooked a regular size fish and 'something' came up under it and stripped it right off the hook. Even fairly young boys have some very 'colourful language' at the tip of their tongues.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: Do you fish mice patterns?

Thought I'd follow-up. The way I've done it is at night. I scout spots during the day. Undercut banks, pools with submerged structure, etc. Figure out where I'll stand and cast, look for room to back-cast since it is hard to see at night. I've done it a bit in Colorado and also some back in Michigan on the Au Sable, actually my dentist turned me on to it when we talked about the Hex hatch. I know some folks do it on the Pere Marquette but I've never done it.

Here is a pic of a brown I caught here in Colorado. Not huge, but fun

Click the image to open in full size.

It was in a beaver pond near Breckenridge. We fished the area during the day and noticed some medium to large trout in the logs at the bottom of the pool but couldn't get them to strike. Cast the mouse near the banks, near overhanging branches and even out in the middle and got a lot of strikes. Just have to listen to hook-up or if there is a moon sometimes you can see your fly. Bats get interested in the fly which can lead to fun bat fighting, though I haven't experienced it personally.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Do you fish mice patterns?

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Originally Posted by williamhj View Post
i've fished them for trout, at night. It's been successful but I don't usually get to do it. Did watch a frog swim across a slow trout stream once, and saw a trout slam it. Fun stuff.
I havent seen anything like that... there is some killer vids on youtube of monster trout gobbling up a mouse fly. I gotta try that sometime.

The only unexpected thing ive seen a trout eat off the surface was last week when I dropped 2 flies in the water that were stuck together :banghead: I tried to grab them but missed... 15 ft down stream and they were toast.
That wasnt a good moment for me...
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Do you fish mice patterns?

I fish mice about 4 or 5 times a year, almost exclusively at night. I have fished them a couple times during the day for browns, but those were overcast days. I figured they might be shallow due to the cloud cover.

Full moons are great for micing, as you can sometimes see the strikes, which will be more violent than any strike you've ever seen by a factor of ten.

Basic retrieves include: dead drift (moving water), long slow strips, and 'walking the dog.'

'Walking the dog,' is actually from bass fishing with cigar baits. Tie the mouse on with a loop knot, cast, and strip in 2 to 3 inches strips, trying to 'pop' the mouse. This is done in sets of three or four: stripstripstrip pause stripstripstripstrip pause, etc. Done correctly the mouse's nose will twitch back and forth during the retrieve, moving a lot of water (dinner bell) and create a lifelike movement for your fly. Just remember you're trying to imitate a confused mouse; start your retrieve with a twitch then pause a couple twitches long pause, then start a 'normal' retrieve.

Peace.

P.S. I should say that tapered leaders are not required; 5-6 ft. of 15 lb. mono will do. Also, when it comes to gear, go big. Mice are very wind resistant. I used a 5 wt. for years and always wore out my shoulder and arm trying to cast further than 30 ft. Now I use either a stout 6 that's really a 6/7, or an 8 wt.

Another note: I heartily agree with a previous poster concerning scouting your water during the day before night fishing. And not only for checking your casting lanes and game planning. Night fishing unfamiliar water, especially moving water is just asking for trouble. I've done it, and the least of your worries is tripping and filling your waders with icy water, or breaking a rod. I've smacked my skull on rocks and logs, slipped into deep water up to my chin, gotten stuck in miresome mud, etc. Scout your water in daylight and always fish with a partner at night. Oh, and don't forget the headlight and some superglue for minor cuts and such.
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Last edited by rangerrich99; 09-11-2013 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:50 PM
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Default Re: Do you fish mice patterns?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerrich99 View Post
I fish mice about 4 or 5 times a year, almost exclusively at night. I have fished them a couple times during the day for browns, but those were overcast days. I figured they might be shallow due to the cloud cover.

Full moons are great for micing, as you can sometimes see the strikes, which will be more violent than any strike you've ever seen by a factor of ten.

Basic retrieves include: dead drift (moving water), long slow strips, and 'walking the dog.'

'Walking the dog,' is actually from bass fishing with cigar baits. Tie the mouse on with a loop knot, cast, and strip in 2 to 3 inches strips, trying to 'pop' the mouse. This is done in sets of three or four: stripstripstrip pause stripstripstripstrip pause, etc. Done correctly the mouse's nose will twitch back and forth during the retrieve, moving a lot of water (dinner bell) and create a lifelike movement for your fly. Just remember you're trying to imitate a confused mouse; start your retrieve with a twitch then pause a couple twitches long pause, then start a 'normal' retrieve.

Peace.
This post has postponed my drive to catch a carp on the fly... I gotta try this mouse thing
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:50 AM
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Default Re: Do you fish mice patterns?

I fish them at night for trout. Usually the browns and rainbows will eat them. I will fish them early morning and evening for bass and catfish.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Do you fish mice patterns?

Darn you all!!! I hardly have any gear since I'm starting out and now want to get several mouse flies. . Where would be the best place to buy said fly? Thanks.
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