How to tie a Clouser Minnow

     The clouser minnow is a great little bait fish fly pattern that seems to work in every environment.  Freshwater, saltwater, lakes, rivers, creeks, ponds, big fish, little fish, if it swims and eats anything bigger than zooplankton you can probably catch it on a clouser minnow.  I recently attended an intermediate fly tying class at Orvis of Madison and learned how to tie this pattern, step by step.

To tie the Clouser Minnow your gonna need a few materials:
     First, place your hook level and start your thread about 1/8th inch to a 1/4 inch from the hook eye.  Our instructor said to leave yourself a generous amount of space since we will be tying material down all way down to the eye of the hook.
     Second, place the dumbbell eyes on the hook.  A good tip he gave was to tie them in an X pattern then pull the line tight.  This will help keep the eyes nice and straight on the hook.
     Third, select 4-7 strands of Pearl Krystal Flash.  You want them long enough that when you tie them down behind the eyes they extend about half a hooks length past the bend of the hook.  When you tie the flash into position start with a few loose wraps to hold it in place.  Once it's straight on the hook, continue with a tighter wrap.
     Fourth, grab your white bucktail and choose a nice long section.  Cutting at the base of the bucktail select a hair grouping about 1/4 inch in diameter.  Gently pull the shorter fibers out of the grouping. Then tie the long fibers onto the hook so that they are even with the Pearl Krystal Flash.  Tie the bucktail down behind the eye with a few wraps.  Then tie it down in front of the eye with a few tight wraps.
     Fifth, take a similar amount of the chartreuse bucktail and tie it on under the hook.  Make sure your wraps are in front of the dumbbell eyes.  Once the chartreuse bucktail is snugged down add some wraps to get your thread back to the eye of the hook.  Then finish it all off with a series of half hitches or by using a whip finisher.
     As you can see the clouser minnow is a simple, yet effective pattern.  It's easier to tie than you would think, even for a complete beginner like myself.  A big thanks to Tristan and the staff over at Orvis of Madison for putting on the free tying class.  I swear I learn more on accident in that store than I could ever learn in the pages of a book.  If your interested in learning to tie flies check out Orvis of Madison and sign up for their next event.  Or if you're not convinced you want to tie flies, but would like to own a clouser minnow follow the link here.
     Tight Lines.

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