Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Not Exactly Chalk Streams & Tweed Jackets

I’m gonna come right out and say it: I really like the idea of catching a trout on a fly that imitates a rodent.

Sure there are other reasons to tie and fish mouse patterns—big fish eat mice, the take itself seems like it could be pretty exciting, its fall and brown trout are pissed. All these are good reasons and they certainly contributed to why I tried my hand at tying a mouse pattern and why I plan to fish the thing this weekend. But deep in the guts of the issue is one simple fact: it’s a mouse.

Fly Fisherman (ironic subtitle for a magazine featuring articles about huge trout eating rodents: “The Quiet Sport,”although I think they quit using that) recently had a pretty good discussion of mouse fishing and compared the general types of patterns. I went with the Morrish Mouse rather than the patterns that include ears and eyeballs similar to those found on stuffed animals. Those eyeballs look ridiculous to me, and I imagine that I can generally make an idiot of myself just fine without feeling like I am casting my daughter’s teddy bear.

Like everyone else, I’ve caught trout on lots of flies that imitated bugs. And I’ve caught trout on flies that imitated fish, minnows and sculpins. And, like most anglers, I’ve caught fish on flies that don’t seem to imitate anything at all (Gary Lafontaine’s Mohawk comes to mind…I love that fly).

But I’ve never caught a trout on a fly that imitates something researchers use as a laboratory test animal, or that my daughter might consider for a pet (although a goldfish fly does sound interesting). And I’ve never caught fish on a fly that imitates a mammal, at least not one that I can think of. So I tied up some Morrish-style mouse patterns (and purchased one to use as a model) and I am hoping to tempt a big brown into trying to kill it and eat it.

I suppose it is the little boy in me that wants to see a fish eat a rodent. At least that’s the kind of thing I can imagine the eight-year-old version of myself getting pretty excited about. Its probably not particularly healthy to get too excited about such things, lest you begin to enjoy animals trying to mame each other and end up in Tijuana betting on roosters. Or worse, in jail for holding illegal dogfights with all the money you made as an NFL quarterback.

Still, I really want to catch a trout on a mouse.

And, if I am successful with the mouse (which seems like a pretty big ‘if’), I may move on to some other species, like birds or reptiles. I could probably tie a parakeet fly, and don’t they tie frogs for bass? How big would a trout have to be to eat a squirrel?

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