Chris Quinn - Flyfish@ Smelt Swap

Submitted By Chris Quinn

HOOK Mustad 9575 Size 4
THREAD 8/0 Unithread dark grey & white
EYES Dumbbell Style Painted Silver w/Black Pupil
BELLY White Bucktail
WING Pink Bucktail
GLITZ Pearl Blue Krystal Flash
OVERWING Peacock Herl

Chris's Comments On This Pattern

Tying Instructions

1. Tie on, using the white thread and wrap a thread base, keeping in mind that the dumbell will be mounted on to about 1/3 of the shank length rearward of the eye. Allow sufficient space to tie down the materials ahead of the dumbbell eyes.

2. The dumbbell is mounted on top of the thread base. Hold it in position and secure it in place with several criss-cross wraps. Make sure it is squared off and secure in place with "Hard as Nails" or your favorite cement.

3. Cut a small amount of white bucktail, clean out shorties, and align tips. Tie it on in front of dumbbell and lock down with tight wraps.

4. Pass the thread underneath bucktail and take a series of wraps around the bucktail rearward of dumbbells. Cross back underneath towards eye and switch to black thread.

5. Turn the hook upside down in the vise. Cut a small amount of pink bucktail, clean out shorties, and align tips. Tie it on in front of dumbbell and lock down with tight wraps.

6. Tie in a small bunch of Krystal Flash, 8-10 fibers total. Trim butts and trim ends to the proper length in the rear. 7. Tie in 4-5 strands of peacock herl as an overwing.

8. Form head, whip-finish, and cement head.


The Clouser Minnow is a simple pattern which has been extremely effective on many species of fish for me. Small, largemouth, and striped bass, bluefish, flounder, chain pickeral, perch, crappie, and brown and brook trout have mistaken a Clouser Minnow for a baitfish. I have to admit that I have never caught a landlock salmon on a clouser, but then again I have never tried!!!! I am confident that a Clouser Minnow will be effective on landlocks.

Besides being a relatively simple fly to tie, the Clouser has several nice qualities about it. The fly is designed with lead eyes, therefore it sinks like a rock. This is a major drawback of most streamer flys in my opinion, they don't sink well! On a long leader, a Clouser Minnow can easily be fished 6 feet deep in a river. You can also modify the sink rate of these flies by either changing the size of the lead eyes or by tying a sleeker or fuller fly. Therefore you can fish a wide range of depths by simply changing only the fly. You can fish in the surface film with ultra light lead eyes or even plastic eyes. You can fish on or near the bottom with heavy lead eyes. Or fish anywhere in between. One word of caution : with the heavier lead eyes, keep your cast tilted. These flies hurt when they whack you in the back of the head!! Because the wing is sleek and the fly has lead eyes, this fly casts surprisingly well. If a good cast is made (often my problem) the fly will have a lot of momentum to pierce through the wind and turn over very nicely.

I hope everyone enjoys these flies. Any feedback is welcome.

Chris Quinn

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