October 17, 2016

Trout On A Mouse: Boulder Mountains

 It's been a goal of mine for a very long time to catch a trout on a mouse. It seems kind of silly how long I've been pursuing this goal and I'm a bit embarrassed how much I've tried without success. I did quite well catching bass on a mouse when I fished my grandpa's farm pond years ago. And I've had a fair number of blow-ups without hook-ups. But I can finally check this off my bucket list after a lot of persistence and probably more patience on Sam's part during our last trip to The Boulders (report soon to come from me and/or Sam).
I was so excited with this accomplishment I thought I would post a step-by-step of my improved "Post Boulders Mouse". It's a rip off (aren't all patterns kind of rip-offs of others) of Fly Fish Food's "Mousey McMouseface" with my own little twist. Without going into much detail, this was the only mouse to elicit blow ups this last trip (and I had a ton!) but something wasn't right with the hooks I used and where I put them. This is my 2.0 model and hope to give these a test-run soon...

 Post-Boulder's Mouse
Hook: Allen MP003BL back #10 & MP002 middle #4; articulation shank or make your own =front "hook"
Thread: GSP or Kevlar
Tail: Small piece of zonker strip, suede leather strip, furled cordage
Body: Rainy's "Evazote foam" & Zonker strips 
 Small piece of zonker tied hair side down; I colored the hide with brown marker after I tied it in.
 About a 5 inch strip of suede leather strip tied over shank of the hook. I pull back the leather and whip finish at the eye of the hook.
 I start the thread on the next (middle) hook and take it out to furl the cord between tail hook and middle hook.
 I secure about 10-12 inches of cord (I used a piece of the inside of para cord; braid or backing would be better) into my vise and color it with a marker. I "thread" the tail hook onto the cordage and begin to twist clockwise as much as I can. I then slide the tail hook to the middle of twisted cord and then double over the cord and twist the double-over cord counter clockwise as much as I can (making sure not to let go of tag end of doubled over cord). Clear as mud?
 I carefully remove the tail assembly and secure the middle hook back into the vise. I attach the furled cord to the middle hook similar to how one would attach articulation wire in an articulated streamer.

Given the multiple steps of this fly, I ensure durability by using CA glue on most tie in points. I' had never tried this exact glue before this, but I've had success with "instant nail glue" as it's thin and cures quickly; I got this from the dollar store. 

 I tie in the back legs onto the middle hook (1/2 a "squirmy wormie worm"). I then tie the leather strip onto the middle hook but forgot that step in the next picture. I fixed this mistake before going on further...

 Tie on the strip of foam (just wider than the gap of the hook) initially folding down around the shank of the hook.
 Once secured, pinch the foam the opposite way so it folds up and secure the rest of the way to the back of the middle hook.
 I like to dub some glue on the underside of the foam  once it's tied in (notice I fixed my mistake of forgetting to secure the leather strip)
 Tie in a zonker strip and palmer it around the hook all the way to the eye (with just enough room to tie in the foam)
"Part" the hair on top back because it's not going to do you any good hidden under the foam.

 Pull the foam forward and tie off. I trim the "head" on the foam quite close to the tie down area and glue the "head" back onto itself to allow for more movement between the middle and front "hook".
 I use the largest gauge stainless steel wire I could get (I bought this from Bass Pro Shops) to make articulated shanks. I think this is leader material (that's the section I bought it in) but either way it does the job. You obviously can use pre-made articulation shanks too.

Using a few pairs of pliers (mainly a set of round nose) i bend, twist, and swear until i can get a shank close to the right shape. I'd give a better tutorial on how to do this, but it mostly involves luck and being cheap.
Hook the shank into the eye of the middle hook and place a healthy thread base down and a coating of glue.
Tie in another strip of foam and zonker. Wrap the zonker up about half way and tie off.
Tie in another set of legs and then resume wrapping the zonker strip the remaining length of the shank.
Tie the foam over the front section leaving about a shank's length of foam out the front.
Cut a V-notch about halfway back on the foam extending beyond the front.
Fold the extra foam back. Tie the now formed head with the ears extending back and the bulb in front of the tie down spot. I apply glue in the crease of the tie down area before and after tying the head.
Trim the legs to size.

Give it a final inspection and go mate it with fish lips. Here's my youngest son Cooper giving me some pointers.

1 comment: