Sunday Classic / Hidey Ho!

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Mr Hanky strikes again! photo by Louis Cahill

Mr Hanky, Jeff Hickman’s killer mouse pattern, strikes again.  Mouse flies are a blast to fish but the technique can be tough to master.  Here are a few tips.The timing of the hook set is crucial.  It’s a very slow set, but set too slow and the fish is gone.  When you first start fishing a mouse, wait to feel the fish and then come tight slow and firm.  You’ll miss some fish.  Don’t let that put you off the program.  With each fish speed up your hook set.  Pretty soon you’ll get the feel for it.  I find it much easier to start too slow and speed up, and in mouse fishing too slow feels like doing nothing at all.

Swim for your life. photo by Louis Cahill

When mousing it’s imperative that you beat the bank.  Put the fly within eight inches of the bank and it looks like the little guy just slipped in.  That’s what the mean old trout is waiting for.

The proper action for a mouse is the subject of some debate and I’m sure Kent will share his less orthodox and wildly successful method.  But for me, I keep the rod high and swing the fly while wiggling the rod right to left, giving the fly a paddling motion.  A slow strip keeps it moving the right speed.

The best place to learn mousing is in Alaska.  The number of mouse takes is so much higher there that you get the feel a lot faster.  To date, my best day of mousing was on the Arolik River on a trip to Alaska West.  Don’t go to Alaska without spending a day mouse fishing.

Aside from being an awesome mouse imitation and having amazing action, Mr Hanky’s trailing hook really improves the hook-up ratio and because it rides point up avoids hooking the fish in the tongue and reduces fish mortality.  Fishing hats off to Jeff.  This is a great fly

Yours Truly

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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One thought on “Sunday Classic / Hidey Ho!

  1. I’ve thought about using them before on a Southern WV stream full of angry browns and bows. Great tips that I’ll have to remember when I pull one out for the first time on a trout stream.

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