Thursday, February 8, 2018

Bait Profile: Clouser Minnow

The clouser minnow is one of the most famous flies in the world.  Famous, not for its flash but because it simply catches fish. In fact Lefty Kreh has caught 86 species of fish on the clouser minnow and I'm making it a personal mission to catch and pass his species count.

The clouser minnow was created by Bob Clouser for Susquehanna River smallmouth bass.  I believe that from the first time he used it the clouser minnow has been a hit with bass and fly fishermen alike.  From personal experience I can to say it is the most productive smallmouth bass pattern I've ever used. In fact I've caught quite a few species on clouser including: bluegill, crappie, carp, largemouth and smallmouth bass, white bass and striped bass.

What makes the clouser minnow so effective?  The steamlined body and jigging action of the clouser minnow is what makes predator fish fall for the bait.  The bucktail of the body is just stiff enough to give the bait subtle lifelike action just like a minnow or shiner. And the dumb bell eyes cause the fly to have the jigging or darting action that mimics fleeing bait fish so well.  It's a combination of these to features that make any wary predator fish take a bite.

Clouser Fishing Quick Tips: 

  • Make sure you're using a heavy enough rod to handle casting clousers.  Since they are heavier flies due to the dumb bell eyes, using a lighter weight rod will not be able to load properly to cast the fly. 
  • Keep your rod tip low when retrieving clouser minnows.
  • Clouser require an active strip, so accelerate and pause the stripping of fly line to give the clouser that fleeing action. What makes clousers so effective is that they never stop moving. 
  • When fishing with clousers at night use darker colors like purple and black.
  • When tying clousers for striped bass fishing tie your clousers with sparse bucktail.  
  • Fishing in shallow rocky streams or creeks use clousers in a brown and orange pattern to imitate crayfish. 

Match The Hatch: Clousers are by far the most simple fly that matches a large variety of forage species. Why? Because they match all small bait fish with no problems.  All you have to do is match up your bucktail colors to the forage species you're imitating.

What are the materials used to tie the Clouser Minnow:

Hooks: I personally use the Eagle Claw Lazer Sharp Billy Pate Saltwater Fly Hook L067S in sizes #6 to 2/0.  However pretty much any streamer hook will work for clousers I just prefer the saltwater hooks as they are what I've always tied them on. But any similar hook will work.

Thread: Danville Flat Wax 6/0 or 140 denier

Body Fur: Bucktail, craft fur, flashabou & squirrel tail for extra small clousers

Eyes: Bead chain eyes or Dumbbell eyes

Under Body: Flashabou

Thanks for reading and tight lines everyone!

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