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Tying the Clouser Deep Minnow
Mike Huffman
Tips on tying the world-famous Clouser Deep Minnow
Mike Huffman

Learning to tie this world famous fly pattern in any version will come back to you in spades. Not so much a specific fly, as an ingenious chassis design for a variety of uses, this classic is in worldwide use from mini-patterns for trout and bonefish using squirrel, calftail and badger, to monster "Half-and-Half" (half Clouser Minnow/ half Lefty's Deciever) versions for offshore saltwater species.

The key element is the lead "dumbbell eye," developed by Tom Schmuecker, that provides a faster sink rate than hollow bead chain sets, which were already in use by many tiers. Now, hourglass eyes (brass), and presentation eyes (a stronger and more precisely shaped version of the lead dumbbells) are available to the tier.

When lashed to the hook in the right location, these weighting elements flip the hook over as with a jighead (weight-low, tie on point-high).

The more bulky the material, the heavier eyes you will have to use. Materials like rabbit and squirrel strips hold a lot of water and require heavier weight to turn the hook over.

In his "pure" minnow variations, Clouser uses only enough bucktail or squirrel tail to suggest a profile, and just a touch of flash material.

(Hint: Beginners usually tie the weighted eyes too far forward. If you look at any of Bob's flies or read his book, you will note his positioning of the eyes further back than detectable at a casual glance.)

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