Since my early beginnings with fly fishing and fly tying i have been attracted to top water patterns. Unfortunately the conditions here in Ireland don't always make the pike go for flies presented on the surface, but if the fly is an inch or two under , for some reasons they will hit it without any problems. I still don't know why they like to attack flies that are just under the surface compared to something sitting on top but that the way it is, so we have to adapt to keep on catching.
I developed The drowning rodent to swim on the surface and to be able to sink very slowly as well if needed. If you get the ratio of natural hairs and synthetics right, this fly will "struggle" to sink.Giving the perfect imitation of a rodent in distress. And thats the key of the success of this fly. Over the years spent on the water, i was lucky to see many different pike behaviours, and one in particular was pike hitting rodents that were either crossing a river or young ones having their first bath.
There is many different mouse patterns out there, but all of them are made of 100% deer hair compacted to float and swim on top. I tried them with some success, but it wasn't the results i was hoping for. So i decided to sit behind my vice and work on a new type of mice fly. One that will float and sink a bit as well, giving the impression of a rodent in difficulty, struggling to keep himself afloat.
|I am lucky to have access to full pelts of wild deer.|
The belly of the fly is made of funky fibres, packed and trimmed to allow to soak up water and act as a keel. The top half is made of deer hair , i don't use belly hair but the hair from the sides or the back of the deer as they are a little less buoyant.These are compacted but not like a diver, just a gentle squeeze while you're adding the layers is enough. Practice with a few ties and you will find the perfect mix. While casting the fly , the funky fibres will shed water fast, allowing for the fly to sit perfectly on top when it will land. A few strips to move some water and give a chance for a nearby pike to locate the fly, and pause, let the water fill the belly and it will feel heavier, strip and it will dive a bit, pause and it will rise very slowly back to the surface. All with a very enticing wiggle from the articulation of the three parts and the wiggle tail. The attacks are always furious, no half measure there. And usually its sorts out the bigger fish (compare to a smaller mice or a Dahlberg diver).
The legs give extra movement as well.I cut these from thin shammy leather. Cut them long as they need to flap a bit on the side of the tie. I add a pair of moustaches made out of coated wire.Tie two downwards so they will act as a simple weed guard as well.
As usual, here's a video of the tie. Please, like and subscribe to my YouTube channel as this support will keep me making more videos in the future.