Want to have fun catching the biggest fish? Tie on a mouse pattern
The behaviour of a terrified, drowning rodent is erratic and unpredictable, so you really can’t fish a mouse incorrectly. The typical presentation is down and across stream, but feel free to break every rule of dry-fly fishing by wiggling it, retrieving it or letting it drag. That said, you can also cast up and across, or even dead-drift a mouse, if that seems like the best way to get it through a prime holding spot. And don’t bother with follow-up casts. A mouse is a big, obvious fly that provokes reaction strikes, so trout usually hit it on the first look, or not at all.
Strikes on a mouse fly tend toward the dramatic, but—just like when you’re fishing a bass bug—it’s important not to set the hook until you feel the fish, or you’re reasonably certain it’s got the fly. A mouse fly is a mouthful, and the fish may need a second or two to fully clamp down on it. Also, it’s not uncommon for fish to miss the fly, then take another whack at it on the same drift. Like other extreme fly presentations, a mouse won’t catch the most fish, but the ones you hook are guaranteed to be memorable.