Epic Beech Tree Masting Triggers High New Zealand Mouse Numbers

This post was last updated on January 26th, 2015 at 09:38 pm

A Redington fly rod rigged with a deer hair mouse pattern So break out the vice and take advantage of it! It’s no secret that huge brown trout love to eat mouse flies, but during a year like this you could really be in for a special treat! During high yield years of beech seeds the mouse populations can really soar to ultra high numbers, causing trout to actively search for high protein rodents to feed on. If you have never been to New Zealand (the current home of the World record brown trout) you might want to look into it!

mouse
Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons

“So how many mice can a trout eat? Since more than 90% of all trout caught in South Island backcountry rivers are released, most anglers never examine the stomach contents of large trout that have been feeding on mice. The brown that first triggered our interest was only kept because it was bleeding heavily from the gills and had a limited chance of survival This 3.4kg (7.51b) turned out to have 13 mice in its stomach.” http://www.bestofnzflyfishing.com/articles/mouseeatingtrout.html

Beech tree forest with high mass causing an increase in mouse population
Beech tree forest with high mass causing an increase in mouse population.

Mice are good swimmers and it’s thought that the explosion in the population has triggered mice to look for new territory, causing them to take to the water in search of new lands to conquer. I have personally witnessed several mice swim across small rivers very quickly and don’t find it surprising that so many large brown trout are making mice a staple of their diet.

I recently took a client on a guide trip on the Snake river in Idaho and he mentioned he was going to New Zealand this week to take advantage of this mouse fishing extravaganza. He recommended Owen river lodge in NZ as a good choice for trophy trout.

Even if you don’t have the time or resources to make it over to NZ, you can surely enjoy mouse fishing anywhere you can find brown’s and a decent mouse population here in the US.

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