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Hickman's Mr. Hankey
How many times have you missed takes when fishing a mouse fly? Usually it is due to one of two reasons. The premature hook set: The second you see the fish, you eagerly attempt to set the hook, pulling the fly away before it even touches it. Or possibly it is one of those short striking fish with a depth perception problem: You patiently let the fish take the fly from the surface, but it only eats the tail as though it were a spaghetti noodle. You shouldn't feel bad, I too had these same problems. That is until three years ago when my mouse fly of choice became Mr. Hanky. I think it's time you too turned all those missed takes into fish porn for the photo album. When I sat down at the vise to resolve the over anxious hook set and near sighted fish issues, I also wanted to create a mouse fly that was friendly to the fish. I got sick of seeing fish hooked in their eyeballs and tongues by mouse flies tied on wide gapped bass hooks. I wanted a mouse fly with an upturned hook sized properly for the size of fish being targeted. The fly would need to ride right-side-up every cast and float in the water the way a real live mouse does. The majority of large trout don't come air borne to eat mice swimming across the surface. They act more as though they were an emerging blue winged olive mayfly, and casually sip them under. With all of these things in mind, Mr. Hanky The Stinger Mouse was born. In rivers and creeks, Mr. Hanky is best presented downstream and across the current. He is best fished with a tight line making him skate across the current, though he can also be extremely effective on a dead-drift. Either method you use, slight twitches with the rod tip give him life and help the productivity. In lakes or slack water, you cant strip him too, do it fast. Making high pitched mouse sounds and talking as though you are the mouse frantically swimming in the water, also helps.