Deer Hair Mouse


Return to Flies With a Story


Flies With a Story #74

"I had heard that the big brook trout up there would eat just about anything...."

The Flytier: Bob Erickson of Huntington, VT

Bob works for the Defense Department and lives in Vermont with his wife and son and a chocolate lab named Baxter. Bob finds plenty of time for fishing and exploring, especially near his camp in Rangeley, Maine, where there is great trout and salmon fishing.

Be sure to see Bob's other stories:
Streamers for Labrador
The Maine Event

Sucker Spawn


Down toward the bottom of the dry fly suggestions from Three Rivers Lodge in Labrador is “Deer Hair Mouse”, size 2 – 6. It is highlighted as a “highly recommended”. I had heard that the big brook trout up there will eat just about anything in the brief two to three months of feeding opportunity. A friend who had fished in Northern Quebec during a lemming migration told me the story of brook trout with distended bellies that felt like golf balls. These were lemming skulls which were the last items the trout could digest and pass! I was still skeptical, but felt I should be ready for anything. I found a couple of patterns that looked good. The only thing I changed was the tail, I used a zonker strip because it was soft and subtle and it moves well in the water. I don’t believe the ears matter to the fish, but I had fun trying to make these little rodents look real.

My second really big Labrador “red” didn’t hesitate to grab the mouse I was bouncing across the top. Although I didn’t catch another trout on the fly, it became a great way to locate fish. It almost always elicited an instinctual response; you then could try a different pattern to induce a strike. I’ve got a bunch tied up for when I head back up to Labrador in June.

- Bob Erickson

Deer Hair Mouse

Photos by Peter Frailey

Tying Sequence:

Hook: TMC 7999, Sizes 2 to 6
Thread: Uni 6/0
Eyes: Bead chain
Tail: Rabbit Zonker strip
Body: Deer hair, spun, packed and trimmed
Ears: Bug Skin
Head: Dubbing



 copyright © Notice by All rights reserved. This material is for your personal enjoyment. Please obtain prior written permission from the author and before any other use.