In Sherlock Holmes - A Game of Shadows Sherlock replaces Moriarty's bank book with a similar one containing a fish animation while he's being tortured with the hook.

However this is the first time the trout analogy is used (who is the fisherman who is the trout?). If this is the case when did Sherlock do the drawing? Did he expect the analogy to come up? Did he draw it while dangling from the hook? Did he switch books at a different time?

  • Although a good question, I doubt an in-movie answer would be possible. However, it'd be interesting for someone to come up with an answer from the canon or draw a logical inference.
    – Sayan
    Sep 17, 2013 at 11:32
  • @KeyBrdBasher I agree, I suspect it's actually a continuity error but I watched it late last night and didn't want to trust my memory!
    – Liath
    Sep 17, 2013 at 12:49
  • I actually clicked on the box to start typing an answer when I realised that, despite being a big fan of Holmes ... I had no answer. Well spotted!
    – Stefan
    Sep 26, 2013 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


Earlier in the film, Holmes had been to see Moriarty at the university, where Moriarty was listening to a piece of music by Schubert titled, "The Trout," about a fisherman who muddies the water to catch a trout. At this time he also notices the horticulture book and the dead plant on the windowsill (which let him know that the book was not something Moriarty read; stealing it, he realized it contained a code).

During the hook scene, Moriarty hums his favorite fish tune from before, because he thinks he has caught a fish. In the ensuing scuffle, during which Holmes had hoped to get close enough to switch the books, he does switch them, though Moriarty doesn't discover this till later (after Holmes has sent both books to Mary and Scotland Yard to decode, and to drain the accounts).

  • Great answer, he knew the reference about the Trout and copied it as an in joke to the music... the fact Moriarty used the hook was just a coincidence.
    – Liath
    Oct 14, 2013 at 8:52

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