The Clouser Minnow

The clouser minnow, an extremely simple and effective fly. The Clouser Minnow is named for the designer and smallmouth bass guide, Bob Clouser. Bob wanted to design a bass fly that mimicked an escaping baitfish, he wanted a fly that never stopped moving, darting, dropping and rising with every movement (or even lack of movement). Like many of the most popular flies the clouser is available and tied in any number of color combinations, and is effective for any fish which will eat a bait fish.

This fly is a must have for chasing anything in the salt, and it takes no time at all to bust out an entire box on the vise. I like to tie my clouser minnows as Bob does being sparse on the bucktail, which allows the hair to flow more freely and show more motion. Also by tying them sparsely you have two added advantages, it’s easier to secure the hair and your tail will go a lot further.

I recommend tying this fly on a rotary vise, being able to easily flip the fly upside down helps speed up the process. Because of the versatility of this fly you can tie it on just about any hook and in any size if you have long northern bucktail. I am showing it here in a Size 8 Streamer hook but it can just as easily be tied on a 1/0 Circle hook for the big predators.


Hook: HH12 Streamer Hook Size 8

Thread: 170 Denier Tan

Eyes: 4mm Dumbbell Eyes

Tail: Root beer Bucktail

Flash: Copper Krystal Flash

Wing: Brown Bucktail

Start by securing the dumbbell eyes to the top of the hook. How far back on the hook is up to you and after a few you can eyeball it really well. To secure it I wrap 7 times diagonally one direction then switch and go 7 the other way. From there I do a series of figure eights and diagnostic making sure to wrap down securing it to the hook.

Next is tying in the tail. I try to make it extend almost a shank length behind the bend. Tie the hair behind the eye, bring the thread under the eye before starting the next portion.

Secure in front of the eye, and clip the hair. Wrap all the way down the hook shank and clean up the head. Once the head is cleaned up flip the fly upside down if using a rotary vise.

Tie in a strand of Krystal splash that you cut into smaller pieces. I fold one piece in half 3 to 4 times clipping each tone me until it is about the length of the tail. Tie on the wing, clip the excess and clean up the head.


The finished product. I like to seal the head with Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails. I use either clear or a color depending on the l ok I’m going for.

I have included a few pictures of my favorite variations, to give you an idea of the adaptability of this pattern. If you see anything you like and don’t tie your own please go to my Streamers page and place an order.

Rainbow clouser

The Baby Rainbow Trout

Sexy Shad clouserSexy Shad

img_2882Cop Car

Tight Lines,



2 thoughts on “The Clouser Minnow

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