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17. Fishing mouse patterns during the day. (17 of 20)

In some rivers, trout will smash mouse patterns, even in the middle of the day. Mouse flies are not just for fishing after dark.
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Video Transcript:

- [Tom] Some of the most exciting trout fishing is with mice because all the action happens on the surface. And mice are not only for fishing after dark. In some places, under the right conditions, trout will smash mouse patterns in the middle of the day. A mouse is a big piece of protein, and mice trigger the hunter-killer instinct of big trout.
It's worth it for a trout to move 10 feet for a mouse because the energy expended in chasing a mouse is worth it. There are lots of mouse patterns available, and they all work well. Some are more difficult to cast than others, especially with a standard trout rod. You don't need a giant mouse pattern to be effective, and color doesn't seem to be that important as long as the fly looks alive when it swims and creates a disturbance that attracts trout from a distance.
Many mouse patterns are meant to catch fishermen instead of trout. I doubt if trout will refuse your fly if it doesn't have the right color, ears, or whiskers. But they sure are fun to tie and fish. You need a floating line, a relatively stiff, short leader, like a regular knotless trout leader, cut back to about 6 feet, and ending in a minimum of 1x or 0x which is about 12 to 15 pounds break strength.
Cast your fly to a likely spot, sometimes right up on the bank. Try a twitch-and-pause retrieve or a slow-steady retrieve. Sometimes just swinging the fly in the current, especially in the tails of pools can be effective. Oh, broke off.
- [Man] It broke off? So, I did something really stupid there, I just broke off a fish, and what happened was, had caught a nice fish couple casts before, hooked another fish, put a little pressure on it, and the tippet snapped in the middle of the tippet.
They're big fish. There's a lot of rocks, and they're pretty abrasive. I wasn't smart enough to check my leader after that fish. And what you want to do is after you catch a big fish, look at your knot and then look at your leader, look for signs of abrasion, make sure that your leader is still sound. You'll get a lot of short strikes on mice. Fish may try to drown a mouse, so resist the impulse to strike by raising your rod tip.
Just keep stripping, and if you don't connect, keep moving the fly, as a trout may come back for a second pass. Keep stripping until you feel the solid weight of a fish. When you're on a new river, just trying to find out if any large trout are present, a mouse fly is an exciting way to at least locate them. So, we're here in a different river today.
It's the outlet of a lake and as you can see, it's wider, shallower, but there's a central current out here where it's deeper, where we think the trout are. Not knowing anything else, I'm going to start out with a mouse fly, see what happens. ♪ [music] ♪ So, this is the biggest brook trout of my life.
I can tell you that for sure because I've never caught one over 15 inches before.
Wow! Okay. Wow! Oh my God! Look at those colors. ♪
[music] ♪