Size 2 hooks- 3.25" total length
The Two Footer Mouse is the product of countless hours of tinkering with different fly profiles and designs during my mousing guide season targeting giant Brown Trout on the White River in the Ozark Mountains of Northern Arkansas. This fly design stood out from the other prototypes in a couple of key ways and has yielded fantastic success on the water for my clients. If you decide to book a trip to chase monster Browns with me, you can plan on spending quite a bit of time with this exact fly tied on.
First and foremost, the free-swivelling, horizontal, paired Gamakatsu hooks at the rear of the fly have the highest hookup percentage of any arrangement of hooks I have been able to come up with, and even outperform treble hooks. Although it is really difficult to know for certain, I have come to believe that a lot of the audible strikes we hear when mousing are the fish slashing or snapping to the side of the fly. This is a normal trout behavior that can also be observed with streamers and big dry flies in the day time. Because they will often just barely bump the fly with their open mouth from the side, having a razor sharp hook poised on either side of the fly does a great job of finding purchase. For the fish that rockets from the deep and firmly clamps its jaws down on the fly, any hook arrangement will work, but converting hesitant or cautious strikes is crucial if catching truly large Brown Trout is a priority.
Another issue that frequently decreases mouse fishing success on multiple hook flies is the frequency with which the hooks will tangle. After extensive testing the Two Footer Mouse has proven to be quite resistant to any sort of tangle or foul up. The hooks are mounted back to back on the same eyelet, and therefore they cannot wrap around or interfere with each other. With this fly, you don't have to constantly check to make sure your tail hook and body hooks are all jumbled together, even if you aren't a phenomenally talented caster that can keep perfect tension on the fly during backcast loops.
By eliminating dangling tail and leg fibers, I have removed the possibility of a fish "tail grabbing" the fly, which often results in a poor connection anyway. They have to hit the body, and when they do they cannot avoid the hooks.
The body of this fly is very thick and bulky. It sits halfway between the Trap Rat and the Trap Mouse, providing a solid profile for a hungry predator that is over an inch wide. In addition to the bulk of the body, the wide set ears angle just slightly upward to keep the fly from flipping and push a ton of water, making a very attractive wake.
Although it is bulky, the mouse yarn sheds water and slims down when casting, so this fly provides a much better option than the Trap Rat when casting long distances. In addition, it excels in extreme precision fishing around tight structures favored by huge Browns. Longer casts can equate to more water covered, which leads to more strikes and landed fish. This fly can be easily handled with a 7 or even a 6 weight fly rod.
The steep angle with which the glow tab is mounted and foam position make it so the glow tab will never dip back into the water, so you can always see the location of the fly and detect silent strikes even on a very long pause.