charlie's flybox

Clouser Minnow


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step: 1
Pattern Description
The Clouser Minnow was invented by Bob Clouser as a smallmouth bass pattern. It imitates a baitfish as well as any pattern ever conceived and has taken more types of fish than any other pattern I know of. I use Clousers for bonefish, bass, pike, trout and anything else that eats bait fish, which is everything! The lead eyes give the fly a jigging motion when retrieved and invert the fly so it doesn't snag on the bottom like other heavily weighted patterns. Don't overlook this pattern, it IS very simple but it really does work. It can be tied in a variety of color combinations. My favorites are chartreuse and white, tan and white, brown and white, all white and all black but the range is only limited by your imagination.
Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 811S #2/0-6 Thread: 3/0 or 6/0 white Eyes: Painted Lead Eyes, sized to hook Belly: White Bucktail Flash: Gold Krystal Flash or color of choice Back: Chartreuse Bucktail Nose Tag: Chartreuse tying thread
step: 2
Begin by forming a smooth thread base over the front third of the shank. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 3
Place a pair of lead eyes about three eye lengths back from the eye and tie them in with several X wraps going from the back to the front. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 4
Continue with more X wraps from the front to the back and alternate until the eyes are securely lashed into place. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 5
Post the thread around the base of the eyes by wrapping between the underside of the eyes and the hook shank. Think of these wraps as you would the posting wraps on a parachute wing. These wraps will further secure the eyes to the shank. Add a drop of head cement to the thread wraps. The next few pictures will show the posting process. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 6
Posting, step 2 charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 7
Posting, step 3 charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 8
Posting, step 4 charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 9
Straighten the eyes out on the shank so they are perpendicular to the shank. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 10
Select a clump of white bucktail (the amount is up to you, sparser on small flies and a little heavier on larger patterns) and measure it so it is equal to about two hook shank lengths. Do not stack this hair as the natural unevenness of the tips adds to the "fishy" silhouette of the finished fly. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 11
Tie this clump of bucktail down at the rear end of the thread base behind the eyes. Make a band of thread over the tie down area to secure the hair to the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 12
Pull the butt ends of the bucktail back and move the thread to the front of the eyes by crossing UNDER them. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 13
Pull the butt ends of the bucktail forward again... charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 14
...and tie them down in front of the eyes with several tight turns of thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 15
Clip the butt ends off as close to the shank as possible. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 16
Wrap the thread over the butts to smooth out the head area in preparation for the next step. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 17
Invert the hook in the vise. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 18
Select four strands of krystal flash and place their centers under the tying thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 19
Double the flash around the thread and pull it down to the hook in front of the eyes. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 20
Wrap back over the flash so it lies over the top of the white bucktail. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 21
Select a clump of chartreuse bucktail about the same size as the white belly clump and measure it so it is the same length as the white. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 22
Tie in the Chartreuse bucktail between the lead eyes and the hook eye with several tight turns of thread. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 23
Clip the butt ends off flush and build a smooth thread head to cover the stubs. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 24
Whip finish. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 25
I like to make a "nose tag" on my Clousers to add a little highlight. This is purely optional but does add a finishing touch. To do it, simply start a complimentary color thread just behind the eye and build a narrow band of thread. Whip finish and clip...ten seconds and it really adds something classy! charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 26
Add a drop of head cement all the way around the thread head. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 27
Add a little more cement to the tie down area on the top of the shank where the white bucktail is tied in as well. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 28
The fly rides hook point up which makes it pretty much snag free. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox