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PUBLISHED: 4:40 PM on Thursday, May 25, 2006
The Clouser Minnow

  STEP 1
Okay, we're on a roll here. We've tied bucktail streamers, feather-wing streamers, marabou streamers, Thunder Creek Streamers and now we'll tackle yet another type of streamer called the Clouser Minnow.

The Clouser is one of the most successful of the "modern" streamer designs and - depending on color and size - will take fish from backwater bass ponds to Caribbean bonefish flats. In fact, legendary angler extraordinaire Lefty Kreh says he has caught 80 different species of game fish with the Clouser design.

Originally tied to fool those Pennsylvania smallmouth bass in the Susquehanna River, this pattern has also accounted for plenty of trout and salmon in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. While most of the Clouser patterns employ a straight-eye hook, you can certainly ties these on your favorite hook styles and sizes, just as long as you have an assortment of differently sized and weighted eyes to go along with them. And it's the eyes that motor the magic, causing the fly to enticingly jig up and down during the retrieve.

When wet and moving, these flies really look like bait fish. I think you'll find those big trout and salmon to be equally impressed.

Oh, did I mention the pattern swims upside down in the water? By that I mean it rides hook up, making the pattern less likely to hang up on the bottom. Cool, eh? Okay, enough small talk. Stick a spool of brown thread in your bobbin, and let's get started.


  STEP 2
1. To mount the weighted eyes, go a third of the way down the shank and lash on a pair using the ol' figure-eight method. I like to also make several wraps underneath the eyes, but above the shank. This tends to really tighten things up. Finish it off with a drop of glue - I like Zap-a-Gap - above and between the eyes.

2. Our Clouser will be a triple threat, with brown and green wings and a white belly. The belly's first. Cut out a sparse clump of white hair from a natural bucktail. The length should be about twice as long as the shank. Tie it down in front of the eyes, and again behind, and then secure with crisscross wraps of thread from about two-thirds down the shank.


  STEP 3
3. Now, either rotate your rotary vice 180 degrees, or turn the hook over in your vice so we can add the underwing. Cut a slightly thicker section than the belly from a buck tail that's been dyed green. Tie it down in front of the eyes, but not behind. This will allow it to spread away from the belly hair.

4. On top of the green I'm using several strands of Pearl Flash, some long, some short. Mixing the lengths of flash material will make your entire pattern sparkle when it hits the light. You can also use Flashabou, Kystral Flash, or anything that catches light. Or, skip this step altogether. It's an optional kind of thing.


  STEP 4
5. Finally, the top wing is a brown clump of hair from a natural buck tail. Make it slightly thicker than the last, again, tying it down in front of the eyes, but not behind. By the way, the pros will measure wings before they tie them on. This pre-trimming makes it much easier to create a smooth, cone-shaped head. Apply head cement and it's a done deal.


  STEP 5
Oh, and one other thing; it's C L O U S E R. I have volumes of tying books and it seems that every one of them spells it differently. There's Klawser, Klouser, Clowser, Clauser...well, you get the idea. If you can tie it, you can spell it. Bob Clouser will thank you. Until next time, happy tying! Comments: franklee825@hotmail.com.

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