Fly #3 in the Series
This fly is a deep running minnow imitation. First time I fished a Clouser Deep Minnow was in a sheltered bay on Lake Diefenbaker, near Saskatchewan Landing. It turned out to be a popular fly with the Goldeyes in the area. I had good success with it a few years later at Besnard Lake, casting it past a Walleye pool then letting it swing down into the pool and pulling it through. The barbel eyes make it sink quickly and the upturned hook help avoid bottom snags.
Tying the Clouser Deep Minnow
This is a very straight forward fly to tie. If you can wind thread around a hook shank, you can tie this fly. For variation, just substitute colors of bucktail to produce different colored minnow patterns. Even tri-colored versions work, especially a green, blue, white combination. Because there are two bunches of material used, one for the body/tail and one for the wing, you can even add a little bit of red to the body, such as red and blue, and then white and blue for the wing.
Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5. According to the Fly Tying Bible this is a 3 out 5 for tying difficulty. Once you figure out how to attach the dumbbell eyes, the rest of the fly is really easy.
- dry fly hooks, from #8 to #4 XL streamer hooks
- blue and white bucktail
- white thread
- dumbbell eyes
Place the hook in the vice. Starting just behind the eye, build up wraps of white thread approximately 1/4 down the shank.
Attach the dumbbell eyes to the top of the shank using figure 8 turns of thread. Leave some space between the eyes and the hook eye. You will use this space to attach the wing material. Use enough turns to keep the eyes firmly in place. Cut small bunches of blue bucktail and white bucktail and place them together. The bucktail should be about 2 times the hook shaft length, or longer. Trim the end to make it even and place on the shaft behind the dumbbell eyes. Secure in place by winding the thread in wide spaced turns to the hook bend and back, which will create a criss-crossed pattern of white thread.
Remove the hook from the vice, flip it over and re-insert into the vice. This places the heavy eyes at the bottom of the hook and keep the hook bend facing up when fishing to minimize bottom snags.
Gather a mixed bunch of white and blue bucktail, longer than the body/tail bunches, about 2-1/2 to 3 times the hook shaft length. Catch them in between the hook eye and the dumbbell eyes. Use enough wraps of thread to build up a head then move the thread behind the dumbbell eye and add another 8 to 10 wraps of thread. Whip finish the thread here and add head cement to the wraps in front of and behind the dumbbells.
If your dumbbell eyes did not come pre-painted, you can choose to paint them or leave them. If you wish to paint them, to add more realism, you can use a dab of whiteout, let it dry, then use a black sharpie permanent marker. Small bottles of craft paint work as well, with a very small brush. Just be careful you only pain the eyes. You can paint them before you tie them to a fly, but because they are small items, it can be difficult.
The Fly Box
With Wooley Buggers, Brown and White Bucktails (Mickey Finn), and Clouser Minnows. These are all considered sub-surface patterns, fished as wet fly. They are also fairly large fly patterns. They are used to go down to where the fish are, feeding in the water column or the at bottom. The next fly we will tie will be a dry fly, the Bivisible.