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Tying the Original Clouser Deep Minnow
written by Bob Clouser

Step-by-step fly tying instructions for the Original Clouser Deep Minnow, excerpted from 'Clouser's Flies: Tying and Fishing the Patterns of Bob Clouser'.
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Excerpted from Clouser's Flies: Tying and Fishing the Patterns of Bob Clouser (Stackpole Books, January 2006).

Materials List: Clouser Deep Minnow

 Hook:  Size 2 Mustad 3365A, 3366, S71S SS, or Tiemco 811S
 Thread:  6/0 light cahill Uni-Thread
 Eyes:  6/32-inch-diameter (1/30-ounce) lead Wapsi Presentation Eyes, painted red with black pupils
 Belly:  White deer-tail fibers
 Flash:  Silver Krystal Flash
 Back:  Chartreuse deer-tail fibers

Clouser's Flies Book 1. Attach the thread at a position one-third the hook shank length in front of the hook eye. Build a bump of thread for the metallic eyes. Attaching the eyes at this point on the hook leaves plenty of room to tie in the deer-tail fibers and keeps you from crowding the eye.
Clouser's Flies Book 2. Hold a pair of metallic eyes at the rear of the bump, and attach them with a series of cross wraps. Secure the eyes by making a circle wrap under the eyes and over the hook shank. Spiral-wrap the thread to a point behind the hook eye and then back to a position halfway between the metallic eyes and the hook eye.
Clouser's Flies Book 3. Lift a bundle upward from the skin at a 90-degree angle, and cut the fibers as close as you can to the skin. Lifting the fibers perpendicular to skin before cutting them helps you get an even bundle. Cut the fibers from the top two-thirds of the deer tail. (See the section on deer-tail hair in chapter 1.)
 Clouser's Flies Book 4. The bundle should be about half the thickness of a wooden pencil. It's important to use only a small bunch of fibers. A sparse amount of deer-tail fibers provides the necessary profile. On patterns with three or more colors of deer-tail fibers, bundles should be even sparser.
 Clouser's Flies Book 5. Remove the shorter fibers from the butt end of the bundle by holding the tips of the fibers and pulling loose fibers out from the butt. Transfer the bundle to your other hand, hold the butts, and remove any long or stray fibers from the tip. It is not necessary to use a hair stacker for preparing the deer-tail bundle. You want the bundle to have the natural taper.
 Clouser Flies Book 6. Measure the bundle of deer-tail fibers so that they are two to two and a half times the length of the hook. Transfer the fibers to your other hand, and trim the butts so that they are even.
 Clouser's Flies Book 7. Hold the bundle of deer-tail fibers at a 45-degree angle, so the butts touch the hook shank in front of the thread. Begin a loose thread wrap to gather the bundle on top of the hook shank.
 Clouser's Flies Book 8. As you come around the material and hook, tighten the bundle by lifting up on the thread. The gathering wrap collects and positions all the butts of deer-tail hair on top of the hook shank. Make sure there are no deertail fibers protruding over the hook eye.
 Clouser's Flies Book 9. As you slowly tighten the gathering wraps, lift the rear of the deer-hair bundle. When I do this, I pull hard enough to lift up the eye of the hook. Wrap the thread toward the hook eye, making sure you do not wrap back over the initial gathering wraps. Do not wrap back to the metallic eyes; you want a space between them and the beginning of the tie-down wraps of thread on the deer tail. The fibers should be tied in a nice, neat bundle so they lie between the dumbbell eyes and not flared past the width of the dumbbell eyes.
 Clouser Flies Book 10. With the thread positioned behind the hook eye, bring the bobbin back toward the bend of the hook, under and to the rear of the metallic eyes on the near side of the hook. In one continuous motion, tie over the deer-tail fibers to secure them to the hook shank behind the eyes.
 Clouser's Flies Book 11. Wrap the thread, three complete wraps, around the deer-tail hair and the hook shank while lifting up the bundle of deer-tail fibers. At the same time, apply light pressure to the wraps of the thread.
 Clouser's Flies Book 12. Spiral-wrap the thread toward the rear of the hook to a position above the hook point, making three complete turns of the thread. Spiral-wrap the tying thread forward to the rear of the metallic eyes.
 Clouser's Flies Book 13. Move the thread forward under the metallic eyes to a position behind the eye of the hook, and wrap one or two complete turns around the hook behind the eye. It's important to use only as many thread wraps as you need to secure a material or anchor the thread.
 Clouser Flies Book  14. The completed belly of the fly.
 Clouser Flies Book 15. If you have a rotating vise, turn the fly over. If not, take the fly out, flip it over, and insert it back into the vise. When doing this, be careful the thread doesn't move from its original position behind the hook eye.
 Clouser Flies Book 16. With the thread behind the hook eye, fold eight to twelve strands of Krystal Flash around the thread and tie it down on top of the secured deer-tail hair. Lift up the bundle of Krystal Flash as you tie it down. Fold it over the thread, with one side about a third shorter than the other. There should be enough flash on the long side to extend slightly past the tapered ends of the deer tail on the rear of the fly. The short ends of Krystal Flash should be long enough to go past the hook point when tied back.
 Clouser's Flies Book 17. Cut the Krystal Flash so that it is 1/2 to 1 inch beyond the tips of the deer-tail fibers. When the flash protrudes beyond the fibers, the fly reflects more light and has more action in the water. Part both the long and short fibers so that they are equally distributed on both sides of the hook point.
 Clouser's Flies Book 18. Cut a bundle of chartreuse deer-tail hair slightly thicker than the bundle selected for the belly portion of the fly. Remove loose fibers from the butts, trim the butts, and measure for length. The length should equal that of the deer-tail fibers used for the belly. Trim the butts again if you need to adjust the length of the fibers. These fibers form the back of the basic two-tone Clouser Deep Minnow. If you were tying a fly with two colors on the underside of the hook, you'd need to cut the size of this bundle in half.
 Clouser's Flies Book 19. Position the butts of the deer-hair bundle directly on top of the Krystal Flash. Place the butts forward of the thread, and make two loose turns with the thread around the butts of the deer-tail hair. Slowly increase the pressure on the thread to secure the deer-tail fibers.
 Clouser's Flies Book 20. Wrap the thread forward to a point just behind the hook eye, adding pressure to the thread as you wrap. Apply sufficient tension to the thread wraps so that the hair does not pull out of the completed fly. Form a neat head with the thread, using minimal thread wraps to avoid a bulky head.
 Clouser's Flies Book 21. Whip-finish the thread and remove the fly from the vise.  
 Clouser's Flies Book 22. The Clouser Deep Minnow ready for epoxy.
 Clouser Deep Minnow 23. For a more durable head and fly, cover the exposed thread and the area in and around the metallic eyes with a five- or thirty-minute epoxy.
 Clouser's Flies Book 24. Squeeze out equal parts of two-part epoxy, and mix them evenly.
  25. Apply epoxy to the top of the fly and the spiral wraps along the white deer tail. I prefer a blunt applicator, because sharp bodkins can catch on the deer-hair fibers. Don't worry if a little head cement gets on the fibers near the thread wraps; that's a good thing and seals the head for extra durability.
 Clouser's Flies Book 26. Also apply epoxy to the gaps between the deer-tail fibers and the metallic eyes. The epoxy not only protects the eyes, but also secures them to the hook shank and makes a sleek head for the fly.
 Clouser's Flies Book 27. If you use five-minute epoxy, set your fly in a rotating drier wheel to dry or turn it by hand. You need to use a rotating drier if using epoxy with a 30-minute or more curing time.

Bob Clouser is also the author of Fly-Fishing for Smallmouth. He and his wife, Joan, own and operate Clouser's Fly Shop near their home in Middletown, Pennsylvania.



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