Mouse Patterns

Rob Zelk

I swing, therefore i am.
I'm wanting to try fishing mouse patterns for some meat eating trout. Does anyone have advice on a good durable pattern that floats well, and also advice on tactics that have worked when fishing the fly and leader information. I'm assuming late summer-early fall is the best time since thats when i see the most mice running around, but has anyone tried fishing them out of peak season? Oh yeah, one more thing, i've read a few articles about the life cycle of mice and they all have said something about a peak in mice population happening every seven years, does this apply to pacific northwest mice? Thanks a bunch. Oh yeah this is off the main subject but has anyone caught dolly/bulltrout on surface patterns before?

Rob Zelk
Dollies on dries, yes... Big and bushy. This last summer the mouse (AKA:mingus) was one of my "go to" patterns, the smaller trout would come completely out of the water trying to attack it, while the big dogs would slurp it subtley, if visibly at all. Most of the time the fly would just dissapear, and I would maybe see a red streak. My pattern was a strip of bunny hyde
(for cut down)for a tail and spun deer or elk for the body. Trim the bottom flat and shape the top however you like. From what I noticed it is fished best just before and right at dusk. Try it, you will find some exciting fishing!


Workin in a sweet mullet
I saw on DD's website that he has some kind of surface technique for char. He didnt go into it, just hinted at it.


Banned or Parked
I've been working on a new mouse pattern that swims and acts more like a real mouse than the deer hair mice that dominate this style of fly. It's still in the experimental stages, but I'm looking forward to getting some serious time on the water with it this coming season. Once I have it tweaked to my liking, I'll share it with the world.


Active Member
Local char will come to the dry, but its all about timing, timing, timing. :)

You will catch more char lower in the water column.
Over here (Libby) I get bulls on big surface stuff, make a foam minnow and a tube fly with some foam, is not as effective in shear numbers as going deep, but boy is it fun!!

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Actually, I use a mixture of deer and/or moose. Depending on color I want. I use rabbit strip in natural for the tail. And maybe a bit of rubber bands for front/rear legs. But what I do is stack the hair (not spin) like waller wakers are supposed to be tied. I don't go fancy on top (since the fish won't be seeing the top). I've actually had steelhead rise to a mouse pattern teased on the surface (have caught summerruns this way quite a few times). But after I stack the fur on, I do a very lax job trimming hair. I don't go to exact. Just a rough outline.

Now, onto fishing. I try to use a snagless hook (use a piece of mono to make a hook guard like bass guys use). This will help in my technique. I like to bounce the mouse so it just lands on the opposing bank (where I think the steelhead will be holding). Then pop the fly back onto the water, as if it had fallen in. Then, I strip the fly so it looks like it's trying to flee the water. Strip and pause. Will provoke strikes in some fish.

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
It's a technique where you only flair the hair on one half of the hook. When you spin, you get a 360 degree flair of the hair. With stacking, you flair only on the top/bottom/side (depends where you want the hair to lie). With this technique, you don't have to do any trimming under the hook, since no hair sits down that low. You only have to trim the shape on top of the hook. If you can find any of Lani Waller's articles, I do believe he explains how he does it. When I first started tying his wakers, I found out exactly how he made them. He uses this technique. I started using this on patterns I only wanted the hair on top of the hook. Plus, with this technique you can make multicolored frogs, etc.
Here's an example. A waller waker stacked on hook.

Here's what the underside looks like before I trim the body. Notice that you see no hairs below the hook. All the hair is stacked on top of the body.

Hope that explains it. I've always been told that's stacking the hair (not spinning).