Thursday, April 20, 2017

Two Tigers and a Whole Lot of Mousin'

I'm enjoying this spring daylight mousing. Sure, I could be fishing a variety of other topwater patterns and catching fish but not only have mice been noticeably more effective than frogs and gurglers, they're bigger and more fun. In other words: screw it they're what I'm fishing for stocked trout from here on out, till they stop working. The question is, why do they work so well? There is no doubt that a place like a fish hatchery would be crawling with rodents, so no doubt the raceway fish have been the death of a lot of brave little mammals looking to get into the feed. That probably plays a roll in their effectiveness. Hatchery fish are also programmed from the moment they are big enough to feed based entirely on a disturbance at the surface. A mouse does plenty of that. In natural colors it also looks a little bit like pellet food. So there's no doubt a stocked trout would be inclined to munch a mouse, whether or not they believe it is a swimming mammal. Wild trout have no clue what they're eating either, so I believe it really boils down to that primal urge to attack the thing splashing around above it's head. Stocked trout just don't have the survival instincts of wild and holdover trout, so they will do it in the daylight just as much as in the dark.

I ran into Rik as I got to the river by complete coincidence. We worked our way down some great pocket water and picked fish up here and there. While I was paying exactly no attention I got a viscous strike. When I saw it I lost my cool a little. Tiger! Second of the year!

I was determined to get the second EC grand slam of the year, and it didn't take long to get a brookie to complete it. I kept working the water and found willing fish to be plentiful and very aggressive.

Mid morning friend and fellow member of the unofficial Salmon River Mousers Club, Conor Desnoyers showed up. Didn't take long for both of us to hook into some more trout. Oddly enough the first I caught while he was there was another tiger! That's the first time I've ever caught two in one day. Heck, I usually only get one or two in a year and this year I've already caught three!

As is often the case when mousing tailouts were very productive. We would often get ten or more takes from one tailout. At one point Conor hooked what we at first thought could have been a giant brown and had to chase it down the fast water. It ended up beeing a fairly large brookie that was fouled on the pectoral fin. That happens often, fish hit the mouse so hard the often land on it and get hooked in odd places.

The chase

"The take"

It was a pretty good day. Nothing particularly big was caught but any trout on a mouse fly is awesome. I did almost nothing but mouse fish, and it payed off with a lot of good fish and some great photos and video.


  1. Three Tigers, WOW! I've never caught one, so far. You have been doing well with mice and why change a good thing.
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

    1. You did catch a tiger a couple years ago.