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.
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
Begin by forming a smooth thread base over the front third of the shank.
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.
Continue with more X wraps from the front to the back and alternate until the eyes are securely lashed into place.
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.
Posting, step 2
Posting, step 3
Posting, step 4
Straighten the eyes out on the shank so they are perpendicular to the shank.
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.
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.
Pull the butt ends of the bucktail back and move the thread to the front of the eyes by crossing UNDER them.
Pull the butt ends of the bucktail forward again…
…and tie them down in front of the eyes with several tight turns of thread.
Clip the butt ends off as close to the shank as possible.
Wrap the thread over the butts to smooth out the head area in preparation for the next step.
Invert the hook in the vise.
Select four strands of krystal flash and place their centers under the tying thread.
Double the flash around the thread and pull it down to the hook in front of the eyes.
Wrap back over the flash so it lies over the top of the white bucktail.
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.
Tie in the Chartreuse bucktail between the lead eyes and the hook eye with several tight turns of thread.
Clip the butt ends off flush and build a smooth thread head to cover the stubs.
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!
Add a drop of head cement all the way around the thread head.
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.
The fly rides hook point up which makes it pretty much snag free.