A few summers ago, I noticed a small mouse swimming in my pool. He struggled and fought for dear life, nose barely breaking the surface, legs churning like it was on a hamster wheel. I was inspired by his heroic efforts and chose to create a fly that mimicked his final death dance. Most mouse patterns have the mouse floating on top of the water, while this is great at imitating a mouse which is dead and bloated, I wanted something that would fire up the bass and cause the most vicious of strikes, the Dirty Rat was born.
Hook: Gamakatsu B10S #2
Thread: Brown 3/0
Head: Tan foam
Body: Brown and Grey Chickabou
Tail: Medium Brown Ultra Chenille
Eyes: Mirage eyes
Place the hook in your vise and start the thread at the rear of the shank.
Tie in a piece of brown ultra-chenille, making the tail 2X to 4X the length of the hook shank.
Tie in a bunch of chickabou, allowing it to spin around the shank.
Continue adding bunches of chickabou, alternating between the top and bottom of the hook shank. You want it to look as messy as possible.
Add the final bunch of chickabou on the underside of the hook shank, leaving room on the top for the foam head.
Cut the head from a piece of tan foam, tapering one end for the tie-in point.
Tie in the head leaving a small portion of foam ahead of the tie-in point. This will create a nose. Whip finish at this point. Next, lift up the foam and lay a small bead of Zap-a-gel and then squeeze the foam to create a head. Add the Mirage eyes using Zap-a-gel
A picture of the fly in the water. The chickabou flows and moves as the fly is retrieved, giving the illusion of a mouse struggling to swim.
Editor’s Note: This pattern draws savage strikes from many species of fish. If you don’t have any chickabou on hand, try substituting it with other materials such as: rabbit strips, marabou, or EP fibers.