The Clouserish

Published Jun 8th 2011

A fly that is very much like a Clouser Deep Minnow, but with a slight Thunder Creekish variation in the tying style.


Clouser... ish...

This is not really an original fly... more like a variation... one of the hundreds (if not thousands) of derivatives of Bob Clouser's classic Clouser Deep Minnow without which this fly would probably never have seen the light of day.
And if that wasn't enough it also owes a bit to Keith Fulsher's brilliant Thunder Creek style. Theft left and right in other words... as with so many other fly patterns.

A bare hook point
I love the Clouser Deep Minnow, and have always admired its simple and yet ingenious construction. But often when I tie these flies the hair flares too much, and I get a wing, which is much more fan shaped than I like. I fiddled around with different solutions for a while, and finally stumbled over this method, which lets me control the flare of both sides of the fly better than on the original fly.


On the original the last section of the wing is tied in in front of the eyes, but on the opposite side of the hook shank. On my flies it usually flares and covers the hook point, which is brilliant on a fly that fishes on the bottom, since it very likely saves you a lot of snags.
But when I fish the Clouser it's rarely on the bottom, but fishes in the midwater. This means that I don't need the point covered... actually, I'd rather like it completely bare so that it hooks better. Especially when fishing for garfish with their hard bills, this will give a lot more hookups.

Thunder Creek style
I'm also a great liker of the Thunder Creek style of flies, but always have a small battle when reversing the hair to form the head.
One day when tying Clousers, I tried a different and slightly Thunder Creekish approach, tying in the darker wing first, then the light one that passes over the eyes - opposite what's usually done on Clousers.
And I wound up with a Thunder Creekish, Clouserish kind of fly, which looks a bit like both, but is essentially a slender Clouser Deep Minnow. I liked what I saw.
Sure, I know that many tiers can tie really slim Clousers where the hook point is uncovered, but the ones that come from my vice, tend not to. So to control the wings I have now adapted this method of tying Clousers, but realizing the heritage, I have dubbed the fly The Clouserish. Like the original, it's a method more than a pattern, and the color variations are indefinite. Use whatever colors bucktail you have, add some flash and use lighter eyes than the lead dumbbells used on the Clouser Deep Minnow, and you will have a nice, slim streamer and a potentially excellent baitfish imitation.


Martin Joergensen (owing a lot to Bob Clouser and Keith Fulsher)
Year of origin
Target species
Sea trout (sea run)
Smallmouth bass

HookWet fly hook, I prefer Kamasan B175 sizes 6 and 4
ThreadBlack 8/0
FlashA few straws of smooth pearlescent mylar flash
Wing (back)Dark bucktail
EyesBead chain eyes, not too large
Wing (belly)Light bucktail
HeadTying thread, varnished

Tying instructions
Step 1 - thread - Start the thread in the middle of the hook
Step 1 - thread
Step 2 - flash - Tie in some flash
Step 2 - flash
Step 3 - underwing - Tie in a small bunch of the dark bucktail. This will actually be the overwing when the fly is in the water
Step 3 - underwing
Step 4 - trim - Thrim the butts of the bucktail
Step 4 - trim
Step 5 - eyes - Tie in the eyesin front of the material. I let the bead chain eyes sit on the chain for easier handling. Once attached they can be cut
Step 5 - eyes
Step 6 - cut - After a couple of securing wraps the chain can be cut
Step 6 - cut
Step 7 - secure eyes - Criss-cross wrap over the eyes, and give them a few horisontal wraps to secure them fully
Step 7 - secure eyes
Step 8 - the overwing - Tie in a bunch of bucktail with a few wraps in front of the eyes. Pass the thread under the hook to the rear of the eyes and add a few more wraps
Step 8 - the overwing
Step 9 - wings - Get the wing parts under control by wrapping behind the eyes, but no too tight to avoid the hair flaring
Step 9 - wings
Step 10 - trim butts - Trim all the bucktail butts in front of the fly
Step 10 - trim butts
Step 11 - head - Cover the remaining butts with tying thread. The head might build up a bit, which doesn\'t do much harm
Step 11 - head
Step 12 - varnish - Whip finish, cut thread and varnish over the eyes and the wraps both in front and behind them
Step 12 - varnish

Ready for some action

User comments
GFF staff comment
From: Martin Joergensen · martin·at·  Link
Submitted August 2nd 2011


I use Kamasan B175 and B170 for about 80% of my coastal flies, and even though they will eventually rust, I have flies that have lasted a season\'s use and flies that have been sitting in my box for several seasons without rusting. The hook has a brassy look (more shiny than bronzed gooks), but must be treated in some way, because it lasts. Black hooks of any sort don\'t last nearly as long without rusting in my experience.


From: Jan - Full name and email anonymized  Link
Submitted August 2nd 2011

Hi Martin,
thanks again for your gorgeous tying manuals. My question concern the Kamasan B 175 hooks. I am wondering how long they last in the saltwater? Are they black?
Best regards


From: Sigurdur Kristjansson  Link
Submitted June 28th 2011

This fly is very similar to an icelandic streamer known as "the cat" or "katturinn" in icelandic. It is a very popular choice for brown trout, both sea-run and landlocked and is used in a variety of colors.

From: Donald - Full name and email anonymized  Link
Submitted June 9th 2011

I like the look of this streamer, I'll tie a few and see how they look.
If I come up with any interesting variations, I'll post them on the Forum.

Want to comment this page? Fill out the form below.
Only comments
in English
are accepted!

Comentarios en Ingles
solamente, por favor!

Your name Your email
Anonymize my information. Name and email will not be shown with comment.
Notify me on new comments to this article on the above email-address.
You don't have to comment to start or stop notifications.

All comments will be screened by the GFF staff before publication.
No HTML, images, ads or links, please - we do not publish such comments...
And only English language comments will be published.
Name and email is optional but recommended.
The email will be shown in a disguised form in the final comment to protect you against spam
You can see other public comments on this page