How to Tie a Clouser Minnow

The Clouser Minnow has joined the likes of Woolly Buggers and Muddlers as a global standard among fly patterns. Unlike the others, though, Clousers are easily made by novice flytiers. The fly's jigging action works great for everything from crappies and brown trout to striped bass and redfish (Lefty Kreh had landed 86 different species on it). Vary the fly size and color to suit your quarry.

For this example, you'll need a medium-shank-length streamer hook, some nylon or polyester size 3/0 thread, some dumbbell-style eyes, natural white plus dyed chartreuse bucktail, and some Flashabou or similar material. Use clear nail polish as a fly-tying cement. Here's how to put it all together. --JOHN MERWIN

STEP ONE With the hook in a tying vise, secure the thread one-third of the shank length back from the hook eye. Tie dumbbell eyes securely on top of the shank with figure-8 thread wraps. Add a small dab of cement to the wraps.

STEP TWO Tie in a sparse bunch of white bucktail behind the hook eye and in front of the eyes. Wind the thread to a position right behind the eyes. Pull the white bucktail firmly into the groove between the eyes, and tie it down again right behind the eyes.

STEP THREE Turn the hook over in the vise so that the hook point is up. Add about six strands of Flashabou or a similar material.

STEP FOUR Tie in a bunch of chartreuse bucktail, and build a neat conical head with thread wraps, finishing with two half hitches. Coat the finished fly head with nail polish (two coats). To pick up on the nuances of this fly, you can order a Clouser tying kit for $25 from Bob Clouser, the fly's originator, at Clouser Flyfishing, 717-944-6541; www.clouserflyfishing.com.

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