Mousing for browns in Michigan is a night game. And while big hair balls get attention, they don’t hook up as well. I first started playing around with patterns that weren’t as hard for the trout to engulf. Patterns inspired by Gartside Gurglers. That worked, but I still wasn’t happy with my rolled/hookup ratio. That led me to playing with positioning the hook near the back of the fly. A meeting of the minds with the man of the darkness, Tommy Lynch, led me to tweaking this pattern to where it is now. He has mastered the shake n’ wake night game.
Pressure on my favorite mousing water has increased over the years, so I wanted to fish something a little different than the standards. Something the fish wouldn’t see as often. I wanted something that would ride low, and not make as big of a wake, just to have something different in my box if the fish seemed off to the usual suspects. It fished well the first night on the river, and became an instant staple in my night time box. Largemouth have a hard time resisting it as well. Especially on pressured fish that begin to associate that popping sound with a sharp thing attached to it.
I do cut the front hook on this fly for two reasons. One, cutting the front hook means one less thing that can go wrong in the middle of the night. Two, I fish waters that only allow for one hook.