The traditional Clouser Minnow is arguably the best all purpose baitfish imitation that has been created. It is one of those flies that will catch anything with fins. The lead eyes at the front of the fly make the fly dive between strips which closely mimics the motion of a wounded baitfish and the bucktail and Krystal Flash add movement that further imitates a live fish.
The traditional Clouser Minnow, which is also in this “how to section”, is tied thin with a traditional “J” hook and is an extremely effective fly. This style of Clouser is tied full and on a circle hook. The extra “bulk” in the body of the fly more closely imitates some baitfish and is a quicker fly to tie. The Circle Hook is perfect for pulling your fly through reeds, stumps, fallen trees, etc. The point on the hook is turned up which keeps it from hooking snags easily. Tie some up in a variety of colors and sizes and see just how successful this Clouser is.
Tie this pattern in sizes 6 - 2/0 or even larger.
Start your thread and tie in a set of Real Eyes behind the eye of the hook. The closer to the eye of the hook the eyes are tied the more dramatic the jigging action of the fly will be, but be careful to give yourself enough room so that the eye is not crowded. Once the eyes are tied in, put a drop of superglue on them to help keep them in place.
Move your thread to the back of the eyes and tie in a piece of wire. The Wire should be tied down back to the bend of the hook. Now tie in a clump of Gray Ghost Krystal Flash with the end uneven extending off the back of the hook slightly longer than 2 times the shank of the hook. Tie these in using only a few wraps of thread at the bend of the hook.
Wrap the Gray Ghost Krystal Flash up the shank of the hook to the back of the eyes and tie it off. Now spiral wrap the wire forward to the same spot and tie it off. Break the tag end of the wire off.
Pull the tag ends of the Gray Ghost Krystal Flash towards the bend of the hook and make a few wraps of thread over them. This should force them down and form the first underwing. Taper cut these to length. Move your thread to the front of the eyes.
Cut a clump of white bucktail and pull out all of the short hairs. The long hairs of the bucktail should be tied in directly in front of the eyes and extend back to the length of the Krystal Flash. Once it is secured in front of the eyes, sweep the bucktail back and use your thread to make about four wraps of thread directly behind the eyes securing the bucktail. Move your thread back in front of the eyes. Taper cut the butts of the bucktail off.
Tie in a clump of Chartreuse Krystal Flash on the bottom of the hook that extends back towards the bend. The length should be roughly that of the other materials already extending back. Taper cut the butts at the eye and taper cut the length of the Krystal Flash back to form a nice taper.
Cut and pull out any short fibers from a clump of Chartreuse Bucktail. Use the remaining long fibers to tie in the overwing. It should be tied in directly in front of the eyes and the tips should extend towards the back of the fly the length of the other materials. Taper cut the butts off and build a thread head. Whip finish and add a drop of superglue to the head.