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Throwing Mice after Dark

Discussion in 'FlyTyingForums.com, Fly Tying, Trout Fishing' started by billya, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. billya

    billya

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    I have not had much luck with Mice after dark but is usually a last ditch effort after a hatch. But now I am going up to specifically toss Mice/ frog patterns.

    My question is if I am floating in a boat what is the best Angle to cast, Retrieve, Area to fish to, Fast Water, Slack water, Inside Bends, Deep Slow pools?

    Any help would be great. Thanks
     
    itchn2fish likes this.
  2. Smallmouth Chaser

    Smallmouth Chaser

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    I am still experimenting but I cast them downstream on an angle like streamers, mend the line and let the mouse cut a wake across the stream. The closer to a 90 degree wake to the bank the better, in my experience.

    I have done best fishing mice around cover and over submerged weed mats. My river has large sections of 2 to 4 foot water that has a ton of weed growth. I have caught a lot of fish putting the mouse wake threw the openings in the weeds. I am not much of fly tier but I wish someone would tie a mouse with a foam core covered by deer hair with the hook point riding up to make the fly more weedless.

    As for water speed, I like slower to moderate current for mice. I haven't tried them in faster sections of water.

    I have also caught smallmouth bass on mice over wood and rock structure, during the day. I saw a real mouse try to swim across the river and get pounded, so I gave it a try and have caught them the last couple hours of light.

    The last thing I have learned is that bigger mouse flies seem to work better. Some shops are selling mouse flies that much to small (probably easier to cast but not very realistic).

    Thanks for the post, I need to hit the river soon after dark and throw some mice.
     
    itchn2fish likes this.

  3. busket

    busket

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    If mousing from a boat, the most crucial aspect to get right is to make sure your rower is getting a workout. Rower should be more or less constantly back rowing as you are fishing a cast out. This helps the fisherman in the bow achieve a nice wake on the fly without necessitating a lot of stripping. The rower and the caster should be in a rhythm; the rower holding the boat as the cast is made and continuing to hold as the fly wakes out to mid river on the swing, then letting the boat drop down to the next piece of holding water. Basically the rower is fishing.
     
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  4. quack head

    quack head

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    Stay home no one likes you up here. It's a myth anyway.
     
  5. plugger

    plugger Premium Member

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    Mice are OK but if they mention gerbils RUN!
     
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  6. jjc155

    jjc155

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    45deg angle as close to the bank as possible, especially under over hanging branches/trees under cut banks and let it wake away from the bank towards the middle of the stream and hold on. I really don't "retrieve" per se and let the current do the work causing the "v" wake behind the mouse/frog.

    I've caught BIG (18, 19 and 20's) smallies, pike on mice and frogs and browns on mice.

    Have fun and experiment for your water to see what works.

    J-
     
    itchn2fish likes this.
  7. kzoofisher

    kzoofisher

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    1. If the fish have been up on a hatch it will take them a while to switch to mice.

    2. Small water is better. Boatable water can be good but your fly will spend a lot of time out in unproductive water. Wading friendly water has fish in 100% of your cast.

    3. Fish miss the flies in the dark. Sometimes you set right away, sometimes you wait, sometimes they hook themselves, sometimes you throw back to a fish three or four times before he hooks up or quits.

    4. You have three flies, all the same pattern and color. Two of them can't catch trees and one gets blown up all the time. Switch flies often if nothing is happening.

    5. Dark nights are better except when bright nights are good. I will time my walk to avoid a high moon if possible, partly because I think the dark is better and partly because when it is bright I try too hard to hit openings I think I can see.

    6. Wade quietly but don't worry too much about turning on a light to extract a fly. Unless you sweep a white light over the water the fish don't see jack. I've caught some darn nice fish ten yards below a spot that I just lit up the shore to get my fly back.

    7. Generally throw at a 45, adjust to work some current or avoid sweepers. Mend for a drag free drift, drag, pull and rest, pulse with the rod tip. All work at different times. I always start with a plain drag and let the conflicting currents move the fly faster or slower. I throw left and take a step, right and take a step. This puts me in all types of water and I will sharpen my focus if the fish are all coming from one type though that's rare. Length of line doesn't need to change much in small water. Sometimes it opens up or necks down and I pull off or reel in 5'. Generally 15'-18' of line and 7 1/2' feet of leader works great on the stretches I fish. Most hits come in the middle of the drift.

    8. Keep the line on the reel. A pile of slack in the water is a recipe for frustration in the dark. Cast, drift, pick up at the bottom and cast again without a false cast. All the better if the fly hits the water with a little splat, lets 'em know something just fell in.

    9. The fish are where they want to be, could be anywhere. Its dark and they feel as safe in in 1' on a wide flat as they do under a tree. One thing to remember is they have pretty high fidelity to a spot. If you missed a fish just in front of the log jam above the skunk hole last week be ready this week, he's probably still there.
     
    ongo, jampg, MinnowChaser and 10 others like this.
  8. Benzie Rover

    Benzie Rover

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    Spot on kzoo. Only $.02 I wld add is regarding pt. 9 above - some nights, particularly darks ones, the bigger Browns will be lying on the inside of the bend in 8"-12" of water - often right where u wld stand if you were bank fishing drifting that hole for steelies. You'll be shocked with how skinny of water some of those hogs will hunt in during the night. None the less, I still get about 5 hits/hookup - it's fun to have the explosion, but you can pull ur hair out some nights with all he misses/refusals.
     
  9. Gamechanger

    Gamechanger Premium Member

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    Kzoofisher,

    Great post! For those who haven't fished after dark, or are just getting started doing it, that list should be printed out and carried in you vest or pack, and reviewed every venture until it becomes second nature.

    Heck, Joe Humpheys, who I consider the best night fisherman for trout there ever was, couldn't have summarized it better.
     
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  10. shotgunner

    shotgunner

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    Jim Bashline.. ;-)
     
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  11. Steve

    Steve Staff Member Admin

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    Great pointers Zoo, thanks for posting.
     
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  12. StaticSilveraydo

    StaticSilveraydo

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    I took the advice of this thread, along with some advice from people I've met along the river banks. Took me 3 times mousing to finally land a fish. Didn't have time to fish for very long the first 2 times, but had about 7 hours the other night finally. Was just as exciting as the first time I caught a trout. Not even all that big of a fish, but one hell of an accomplishment for me!

    Caught on the Upper Manistee
     

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  13. Gamechanger

    Gamechanger Premium Member

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    Congratulations! I'm betting that brownie isn't the only thing hooked now. ;)
     
  14. StaticSilveraydo

    StaticSilveraydo

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    I was hooked before I even caught it! As a third shift worker on a 12 hour rotating schedule I've found my new favorite thing to do on my off days!
     
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  15. BassFisher91

    BassFisher91

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    To add...I hit the darkest spots of the water, especially if it's a clear night with a bright moon. I think bright/full moons put fish down. I don't necessarily hit cover like you would streamer fishing in the daylight. Since it's dark out, the fish will come off of that cover a little. I also prefer a shorter leader, 7.5ft is perfect for me.