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Clouser Minnow Fly Pattern
by Ed Zaun

The Clouser Minnow was originally designed to be a freshwater fly, but tied in bigger sizes, it is deadly in the brine as well. A great prospecting pattern, you can cover alot of water with this one on those rare occasions when you might not know exactly where the fish are hanging out. This one runs deep, but on a floating line, you can make it dance and dart like a wounded baitfish just begging to be swallowed by something higher on the food chain. This fly should be tied sparse to imitate the long,narrow silhouette of most baitfish. Since the weighted eyes are on the bottom of the fly, it rides with the point up, so you can drag the bottom with it and not get many snags.

Clouser Minnow  1998 E. Zaun
Stuff you'll need...
  • Hook: Mustad 34007 or equivalent.
  • Throat: White Bucktail.
  • Body: Red Floss or thread.
  • Wing: Olive Bucktail over Pearl Crystal Flash.
  • Eyes: Weighted dumb bell eyes sized appropriately for the hook.
Tie it up... This one's pretty easy, just be sure to start at the bend and try not to move too far forward.
  1. Place the hook in the vise with the normal orientation ( you'll see why I said that in a minute ) and attach the tying thread.
  2. About 1/4 of the shank from the hook eye, tie in the eyes using the figure-of-eight pattern.
  3. Throw in a few half-hitches to lock it down.
  4. Cut a medium clump of unstacked White Bucktail and tie it in in front of the eyes. The tail should extend about 2 gaps beyond the back of the bend. With the tying thread, wrap the Bucktail down behind the eyes as well putting just enough pressure on the thread to make it flair a little.
  5. Tie in a small band of the red floss behind the eyes to simulate a gill slit.
  6. Turn the hook over in the vise so that the point is up. This makes it easier to finish the fly than trying to work underneath.
  7. Tie in about 10 strands of Crystal Flash in front of the eyes, making sure they divide more or less evenly on the bend.
  8. Cut a medium clump of unstacked Oilve Bucktail and tie this in over the Crystal Flash and in front of the eyes. Do not wrap the wing behind the eyes.
  9. Throw in a few half-hitches to lock it down.
  10. Apply a whip finish, and cut the tying thread.
  11. Apply nail polish or your favorite head cement, although epoxy works very well here. Cover the eyes too, but not the hook eye ( hehehe).
  12. Go fishing.
Color Combinations

Like most flies which do not imitate anything in particular, the Clouser Minnow can be tied fat or sparse and in any number of colors to suit the mood of the fish. I will also use synthetic materials, such as Ultra-Hair, to achieve different effects of color, just to see what works. Here are my favorites, in no particular order.

  • White Throat, Olive Wing. This is the pattern above
  • White Throat, Red Wing.
  • White Throat, Yellow Wing
  • White Throat, Chartruese Wing
  • Chartruese Throat, Chartruese Wing
  • Yellow Throat, Red Wing

  • White Throat, White Wing, with Red Crystal Flash as the under wing, all the others use Pearl Crystal Flash as the under wing.
Copyright © 1999 - 2013 Ed Zaun, All Rights Reserved
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