PUBLISHED: 4:04 PM on Thursday, December 28, 2006
Tying the Disco Mouse
Fly-tying By William Boatman
I was digging through my fly catalogues for something festive that would help us bring in the new year. Things were looking bleak, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a pattern called the Disco Mouse. And suddenly it was 1977. There I was, dressed in a white sports coat doing my best Travolta arm pump to a Bee Gees' anthem; really giving those glittery disco babes all they could handle on that mirrored dance floor... Or maybe it was just a dream... I do sometimes drift away during late-night tying sessions. I think it may be the fumes from the head cement. In any case, this month's pattern is a simple but effective dry-fly pattern for everything from steelhead to sea-run cuts. And, best of all, it can be tied by even the most bleary-eyed, partied-out fly tier like...people I've known.

1. I'm using a TMC 200R #10 hook for a trout-sized version. The tail and body pop out magically from one clump of deer hair. Color? I've seen this pattern in natural and black. To be different, I'm using deer hair dyed green with black thread. Various colors of elk or moose body hair would also work. Use your thread to secure the tail, giving it a final tight wrap to give the deer hair its characteristic "flare."

2. We're going to use our thread to create a rib around the remaining deer hair along the shank. You'll need to use your fingers to not only keep the deer hair from flaring, but also to help spread the fibers so the hook shank is completely covered. Make reasonably tight and evenly spaced wraps until you arrive just behind the hook eye. Throw in a half hitch and trim away the excess hair.

3. The wing consists of two parts. The underwing is first, and it's simply several strands of Kyrstal Flash or a similar material. Basically, you're looking for something that gives it a sparkling "pearlescent" color, if there ever was such a color...or word. Tie the material down behind the eye so that the overall length ends where the tail does.

4. Now, for the main wing. Using the same deer-hair patch you selected for the body and tail, cut out a rather thick clump of hair, making sure that after you've stacked it, the fibers are long enough for whatever hook size you're using. Like the underwing, the overwing's length should end where the tail ends. Remove all the fuzzy stuff from the butt ends, before tying it down over the Kyrstal Flash. Don't trim the excess...yet.

5. Finally, we'll fashion the head like an old-style caddis pattern. Hold the fibers extending past the eye out of the way and then make a few half hitches behind the eye before cutting the thread. Add some head cement as usual. Now, trim the fibers so your fly sports a nice crew cut. Bigger patterns with bulkier hair can even be clipped similar to a Muddler head. Hey, you're done.

For the non-tying boomers, the Disco Mouse is something that Mickey and Minnie did old school. Truth be told, our mouse is a variation of the Bulkley Mouse, a pattern that achieved its fame on the steelhead-rich Bulkley River of British Columbia.

Make sure you give it a try next season...the fly, not the river. Hey, what the heck. Try both. Cheers! Comments: