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Lateral view of a Female Hexagenia limbata (Ephemeridae) (Hex) Mayfly Dun from the Namekagon River in Wisconsin
Hex Mayflies
Hexagenia limbata

The famous nocturnal Hex hatch of the Midwest (and a few other lucky locations) stirs to the surface mythically large brown trout that only touch streamers for the rest of the year.

Dorsal view of a Skwala (Perlodidae) (Large Springfly) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This Skwala nymph still has a couple months left to go before hatching, but it's still a good representative of its species, which was extremely abundant in my sample for a stonefly of this size. It's obvious why the Yakima is known for its Skwala hatch.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

GldstrmSam
GldstrmSam's profile picture
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
GldstrmSam on Nov 25, 2011November 25th, 2011, 2:14 pm EST
Hi Everyone I was wandering how effective this would be for trout and/or grayling. http://www.flyanglersonline.com/flytying/fotw2/050304fotw.php


Thanks,

Sam
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
Troutnut
Troutnut's profile picture
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Nov 25, 2011November 25th, 2011, 9:55 pm EST
I could see it working pretty well for trout. I don't think grayling feed on mice much, if ever -- even a very large grayling's mouth is pretty small for that, at least here around Fairbanks. Maybe some of the monsters from the record-setting rivers on the west coast of AK could take mice regularly.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
GldstrmSam
GldstrmSam's profile picture
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
GldstrmSam on Nov 26, 2011November 26th, 2011, 10:27 am EST
Thanks Troutnut,

They're so simple to tie. That probably I'll tie a couple today.

Sam
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Nov 26, 2011November 26th, 2011, 12:00 pm EST
Sam,

The technique of wrapping rabbit hide strips is very popular for leeches and such. The stuff comes in a variety of colors, including some very bright ones for use on popular steelhead flies. The stuff slims down pretty thin when wet and there is no way to keep it fluffy and floating. Think marabou... Though the color is right, its recomended use for "mouse" imitations is misleading.

There really is no substitute for spun deer hair to obtain the desired look, bulk, and floatability. Mike Mercer and others have done some interesting things incorporating foam with deer, and you can sling a fur strip underneath to add some movement. This is my version of a hair mouse that has done a lot of damage over the years, especially pike if you have any lakes nearby. Pike get overlooked a lot up there, but few things in angling are more exciting than a 15 pounder exploding on this number! In the past I tied it with a spun head trimmed to shape (even little ears and stuff), but the overlapping foam, while not as realistic retains it's floatability even longer. I think the key is the hedgehog look of the deer hair. I added a belly fur strip and some extra whiskers to distract the fish from the foam a little and it seems to work.

Just for grins a few weeks back, I tied one on and flipped it near a log during some down time between hatches. A big boy rolled on it that I never felt, but did it cause some excitement in the boat! We were laughing like little kids for 10 minutes or more.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
GldstrmSam
GldstrmSam's profile picture
Fairbanks, Alaska

Posts: 212
GldstrmSam on Nov 26, 2011November 26th, 2011, 2:06 pm EST
Hi Entoman,

Thanks! Did you use pipe-cleaner for the tail?

Sam
There is no greater fan of fly fishing than the worm. ~Patrick F. McManus
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Nov 26, 2011November 26th, 2011, 2:38 pm EST
No, It's vernille. It's a fine-grained texture chenille and very soft and pliable, especially when it gets wet.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Gutcutter
Gutcutter's profile picture
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Gutcutter on Nov 27, 2011November 27th, 2011, 2:05 am EST
Kurt
That is a beauty! And the whiskers are a nice touch.
I've tied them with all deerhair before, but the foam "face" is slick.
Nicely done, and I'm gonna copy it!
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Nov 27, 2011November 27th, 2011, 12:57 pm EST
Thanks, Tony.

Yeah, the foam really helps with the flotation after the fly gets used a little. Sometimes it's even more effective when the fly gets waterlogged and only held on the surface by the head with the body angling down a little.

The eyes are an affectation but the whiskers are there (and exaggerated) for a pair of important practical reasons. First - It helps the wake to emanate more from the front (like a mammals feet paddling in front of its nose). Second - It's another feature distracting from the foam by breaking up the stark outline. Kinda like a good duck blind - you want it to break up the outline but still be able to see through it.:).

For big Northern Pike (and I assume Muskies as well), I like to tie them articulated and with a 10" piece of 30 lb. Fluorocarbon installed underneath the front half (the same piece that forms the loop). It's a killer!!

I know you will put your own cool spin to it, but the only things I wouldn't change are:
1. Hook - TMC 8089 Trust me, you wouldn't be happy with the hooking performance of hooks like TMC 5263 or similar streamer hooks that most guys use.
2. Foam disk size - the size of the head has to be properly proportioned. For example, on a size 10 (these hooks are sized weird), I'll use a 40 caliber disk for the bottom piece and a 44 for the upper.
3. Rubber legs - They definitely add magnetic appeal, but big bundles of anatomically correct knotted ones don't seem to be as attractive to the fish nor are they as durable.
4. Tails - I haven't found better than the Vernille. Leather looks as good but gets too heavy when soaked. Artificial Chamois this thin is too delicate.

A few key tips: Glue the the disks in place before trying to tie them in. The edges of both should come right up to the hook eye or tying them in will make too big a nose. Don't use epoxy, it's too heavy. I like gorilla glue, but aquaSeal would probably work just as well.

The fly is very tough! This photo is of a retired one. I don't know how many toothy critters it caught, but it was a hell of a lot!
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Nov 27, 2011November 27th, 2011, 3:23 pm EST

Great lookin fly Kurt. Do you consider a mouse pattern, for trout anyway, to fish far better in low light even after dark? I imagine the pike you have had success fishing for were day light caught, but trout? I've tied some Morrish Mice. Don't know if you are familiar with that pattern, but they do sit low in the water like a mouse would. Haven't had any success with them, but I don't give them much of a chance either. Got this notion mice may be an Alaskan fly, and in the lower 48 you need to fish them after dark.
Entoman
Entoman's profile picture
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Entoman on Nov 27, 2011November 27th, 2011, 3:59 pm EST
Thanks Sayfu -

Yeah, you are right about it being mostly a pike fly or an Alaskan/Russian rainbow fly. In the lower 48 I would think of it as a pike/bass/night brown trout fly as well. Although, the fish that rolled on it a few weeks back was a big spring creek rainbow in the middle of the day. I don't do much night fishing for browns (it's illegal on CA trout streams), but if I did this would be a good one to try.

You never know what trout will do, and sometimes it's the weird stuff you remember. Like the time big rainbows tortured me during a morning trico hatch only to fall easy to a Joe's Hopper dragging and skipping in the current down below me. The trick was they would only come up while I was looking in a flybox or something.:) Or the day when the big fish wanted their Salmonfly dries sunk and hanging below me without any action; Only the tiddlers would take it dead drift and floating...:)

Regards,

Kurt
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Sayfu
Posts: 560
Sayfu on Nov 27, 2011November 27th, 2011, 4:59 pm EST
I think on big factor in favor of Alaska is all the VOLS that scurry around on the tundra. I spent two seasons in Bristol Bay, and those guys were prevalent a lot, and subject to going in the River.
Strmanglr
Strmanglr's profile picture
Posts: 156
Strmanglr on Nov 28, 2011November 28th, 2011, 6:24 am EST
Nice mouse!

Never forget, on perhaps only my second or third outing with a friend fishing for trout, he catches a 21" brown, with a mouse still in it's mouth.
PaulRoberts
PaulRoberts's profile picture
Colorado

Posts: 1776
PaulRoberts on Nov 30, 2011November 30th, 2011, 7:46 am EST
Doesn't even have to look like a mouse. A buddy of mine had a "mouse" fly he used for night fishing. It was spun deer hair trimmed very flat top and bottom so it cast better on a mid-weight trout rig, but still had a nice profile overhead. I called it a "Potato Chip". Oh, yeah, it didn't even have
a tail. Really almost anything of appropriate size pulling a wake can bring up fish, ESP at night.

Not many places will trout feed on mice enough to recognize them. Alaskan lemmings are a known exception. But, large trout and other predatory fish aren't averse to trying something knew, and they love things that create a wake.

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