Tutorials-Deer Hair Mouse

Patterns Of the Masters – Mouse by Don Ordes (1995)

Although I have been tying flies for 55 years, and collectors flies for the last 35 years, I don’t think I’ve had as much fun with any pattern as I have had with the realistic mouse. I have been working on it for a many years now, making continual improvements. The present version has been a real show stopper, appealing to a broader range of people than anything else I have tied. Even people who don’t fish love them.

In a simplified version, the mouse is a very durable fly for big bass, pike and trout. The highly-detailed version is great for a collectors’ item such as a gift, or lapel pin. The stacking and packing techniques are ones I have developed over the past couple of decades while tying Monster Muddler Fantasy Flies on 6-inch hooks. That experience, and studying the real thing, helped me tie and sculpt a life-like mouse. Items necessary to tie them are: long hair, sharp scissors, strong thread, and strong fingers

Hook: Mustad 37187 #2 and up
Thread: Kevlar, spectra or equivalent
Body: Grey deer or elk
Underbody: White deer or elk
Legs: Cut from elk hide
Ears: Calf hide
Tail: Calf or elk hide
Eyes: Dress or map pins
Whiskers: White hackle

POM Mouse - Don Ordes 1. Once you have the tail, ears and legs cut out, begin by tying in the tail and back legs on the back of the hook.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 2. One stack at a time, stack and flare grey hair on top and white hair below. Use enough hair to fill the area behind the legs.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 3. Stacks should end at 180 degrees on each side.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 4. Work thread through hair to point of rear leg attachment and push all hair to back out of the way.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 5. Stack and pack another section, first grey on top then white on the bottom. Pull thread tight, flare, pack and work thread forward through hair and put just a couple turns in front of hair to hold it back.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 6. Repeat step 5 with third stack section then tie on the front legs.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 7. Repeat step 5 with fourth stack, flare, lock in and pack.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 8. Tie in ears side by side, tying about 1/4 inch length onto the hook, no more. Position ears.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 9. Repeat step 5 for the first part of the head, grey on top, white on the bottom. Flare and pack, making sure that you stay on the ledge created by step 8.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 10. Tie in mid-head, adjusting amount of material to leave room for nose. Grey over white, flare, pack, lock.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 11. Tie in a sturdy white hackle with long webfree hackles.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 12. Finish with nose using finer hair. Grey over white, flare, pack, lock.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 13. Partially sculpt head from middle to nose. Tie off and whip finish.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 14. Work hackle through hair, and wind forward all the way to nose. Tie off and whip finish. Hackle will project 360 degrees now.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 15. Sculpt mouse body. take your time and have fun. Make a mess, carefully rough out, snip around legs and ears then finish sculpt. Work with fingers and scissors tips to stand all hair out from shank, and finish trim.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 16. Trim whiskers top and bottom of nose and shape head.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 17. install eyes by pushing map pins into the ledge created in step 9.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes 18. Finished fly. Lacquer knot.
POM Mouse - Don Ordes