The way I think about it, there are three requirements for a body of water to be mouse-fishable…
- It must be decent size – don’t fish mice in a tiny brookie stream
- It must hold some decent fish – really anyplace that is stocked will have big enough fish
- It must contain some flat stretches – fish mice on big, flat stretches (without tons of rocks) with a slight current, but not a super fast current
- Nissitissit River
- Squannacook River
- Swift River (especially right below the Route 9 Bridge)
- Shawsheen River
- Ipswich River
- Millers River
- And many more
Now which flies are the best? While, I generally like to stay away from deer hair mice. They are hard to throw with a 5 weight, have trouble sitting up right in the water, and don’t have the best hook up rate. The middle picture is of a Morrish Mouse: my go-to mouse. The look a bit odd from above, but these are small, have a great profile in the water, and have an incredible hook up rate. Just skate them back across the river, and get ready! And the third mouse is another good one, but it doesn’t see as much water time as the Morrish, mostly because its not high floating. It is killer at the Swift though.
One night on my computer I came across (THIS) video. It shows a new mouse pattern, with very good instructions. It is a variation of a Morrish Mouse, but I actually prefer it. It will be getting a lot more time next Spring.
So there are the basics of fishing mice in Mass. It really does work, and is the most exciting way to fish. But be warned, sometimes mice just don’t work, so know when to switch. It’s not uncommon to go an entire day without getting a bite, so I usually give them a few hours before tying on a nymph. However, I’ll put in three hours of fishing for one viscous strike on the mouse.
By the way, mouse flies are best right after stockings occur, and during the summer, but I have caught fish on them during the Winter. Especially at the Swift!