Monday, June 23, 2008

Mickey Finn - Whats In A Name

For those of us who have used these in the quest for Trout, and Sea Trout in Nova Scotia and elsewhere, the story of the Mickey Finns name is interesting, but comes as no surprise. The fly was first tied by Charles Langevin, and used on the Jaques Cartier river in Quebec. It was originally called the Langevin, and then later as the Red And Yellow Bucktail, the Assassin, and then finally as the Mickey Finn. For those who use the expression "a killer fly", the name Assassin is self explanatory. So where does the Mickey Finn name come from?

The name is actually an extension of the story of Chicago bartender Michael "Mickey" Finn. He became famous for his practice of slipping drugs into a customers drink, and then robbing them. The term of course, "slipping them a Mickey". The Mickey Finn is a streamer that is so good, it is compared to drugging the fish and making them helpless against the angler. The truth is, it is yet another great yellow and red fly which trout seem to love.

The Mickey Finn has a number of different tying methods. Silver tinsel on the body, gold tinsil on the body, and of course a whole range of sizes. My favourite, has a silver foil body, wrapped with silver braid, the standard yellow over red over yellow bucktail wing, and a jungle cock eye on each side of the head.

The real beauty of the Mickey Finn, is the situations you can fish it in. In stillwaters, salt water, brackish water, in riffles and runs or in deep pools. I have caught trout in all situations on this fly, and in all kinds of weather conditions. I never go fishing without some, and when the sea trout run takes place in nova Scotia, it will always see the water. It really is a "deadly fly". The fly is so well liked in Canada, that in 2005, Canada Post immortalized it in a special edition stamp series. (Pictured at the top of this post.)

Mickey Finn Streamer Fly Recipe

Hook: 3xl or 4xl streamer hook size 2 - 12.
Thread: Black 8/0 (70 Denier)
Body: Silver Mylar Tinsel
Rib: Silver Oval Tinsel
Wing: Yellow Over Red Over Yellow Bucktail
Head: Black Thread - Optional painted eyes
Eye: Jungle Cock - Optional

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