The Clouser Minnow is a spectacular pattern that should be a staple in every streamer box. You’ve probably tied a variety of colors, but don’t stop there, have some fun at the desk and modify the materials to create different variations of a classic pattern.
Having trouble with snagging the bottom as you fish the Clouser? Try changing your hook. I like using the Eagle Claw 413 in a size 2 – the turned-up twisted eye really keeps the hook point aimed upward.
As you probably know, buck tail is the traditional body material used to create the Clouser Minnow. I have incorporated different natural hairs and synthetic fibers to make a pattern more elaborate, or, just to change things up to better suit the fishing conditions I’m dealing with.
One natural material I like to use is moose hair. The hollow fibers flare and give the pattern a wider profile, which may work well in waters with chunkier bait fish.
Another great material I like to use is Craft Fur. It moves very similarly to marabou but is a lot more durable. This gives your fly a much different action than usual.
Make it even more durable
One last suggestion, to improve the durability I suggest coating the head with 5 min epoxy or clear cure goo. These are two especially durable head materials that will help hold your fly together, even after many fish.
During one particularly fruitful trip last summer, Jason and I fished the Milwaukee river and both used brown and white Clousers for about 99% of the outing. Combined, we caught around 40 smallmouth bass that morning ranging from 3” to 14”. I’m pretty certain that each of us used only one fly that whole day. By no means I am bragging – this is just a testament to how effective and durable the fly can be with a little extra TLC.
The Clouser Minnow is one of the most popular patterns out there. If you don’t know how to tie one, just do a search on “Tying the Clouser Minnow” on Google and you’ll get countless results. But, once you’ve got the basic fly down, take some time to think outside the box – use different materials to modify your fly give you better results on the water.
See you on the river! Good luck and have fun at the vise!