View Full Version : Improved Clouser Minnow

Paul D
05-28-2014, 06:24 AM

Hook: Mustad 34077 or similar – size to match forage fish.
Thread: Mono, 3/0 thread, flat waxed nylon, or Fly Master Plus, with color to match wing.
Eyes: Dumbells – red with black eyes or white with black eyes.
Belly: Pearl Bill’s Body Braid or Diamond Braid.
Wing: Pearl crystal flash (or flash material of choice) and bucktail – color of choice).

Without a doubt this is one of the most productive flies ever developed. This is the third time the Clouser Minnow has appeared as a Fly of the Month. I previously did a traditional tie of the Clouser Minnow. I also wrote up the “Bendback” Clouser Minnow.

You may not agree that this is an “improved” Clouser variation. My friends and I tie it this way and we catch more fish with it. Why do we catch more fish with it? When tying the traditional version of this fly, the body or lower wing is tied along the hook shank and protrudes past the bend of the hook. Ultimately that lower wing is going to foul around the hook bend. Obviously, the “Improved Clouser” will not. The more time your fly is fished correctly in the water the more fish you’ll catch. It will also have added action and sink quickly.

Begin by starting your thread at the eye of the hook. Wrap down to the bend and tie in your body or diamond braid. Next affix your dumbbell eyes. Make sure you leave enough room in front of the eyes to tie in your top wing. I tie my eyes in by creating two bumps on the top of the hook shank and locating the dumbbell between them. Wrap on each side of the dumbbell eyes and also figure eight wrap under them. You may want to apply some glue. I prefer to lock them in with some epoxy. Next apply some cement or crazy glue to the thread wrapped hook shank and bring your thread to the front of the eyes. Wrap your braid forward to create the body of the fly. Then, cross wrap over the eyes and tie off the braid in front of them. Invert the fly so the eyes are on the bottom of the hook. Begin your wing by tying in your bucktail wing. Use colors or color of choice. Next, top the wing with your flash material of choice. Finally create a head with your thread and tie off/whip finish the fly. Apply epoxy or head cement to the head. This fly bounces on the bottom and you want to make it as durable as you can.

Vary your retrieves, dead drift it in currents, it all works!

This fly can also be viewed at the Housatonic Fly Fishermen’s Association website at and .