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How sparse should a clouser minnow be?


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Poll: How many "toothpicks" worth of bucktail on your clousers?

How many "toothpicks" worth of bucktail on your clousers?

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#46 agn54

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 08:55 AM

I tie clousers several different ways for different situations. As one poster earlier said, it really depends on what you are imitating. But also for me, the conditions of the water also play a roll. On the flats in the Big Bend here in Florida, the water clarity can change drastically throughout the year. It can be gin clear, in which case I like sparse clousers in chartreuse/white, electric chicken and all white (basically any light color combination). The water can also get very tannicy to the point where it is like coffee with no cream. In this case I like bulky clousers, especially ones with fox and/or finn raccoon hair that really push water. I like these in grey or dunn over white to imitate finger mullet. When it is only slightly tannicy, I like to keep the flies bright but substitute yellow for white (chartreuse over yellow, pink over yellow, etc).

One more thing, for the saltwater down here, you will wan to tie some of the clousers with bead chain eyes rather than lead because some of the best fishing is in shallow water. And even in deep water, sometimes it can be deadly to have the fly sink more slowly than with lead. I probably tie closers more with bead chain than lead.

#47 Capt Bob LeMay

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 09:30 AM

I enjoyed reading all the great posts on this thread (both old and new..). Since I'm a guide as well as a tyer I need a variety of flies for different situations whether it's back in the Everglades or out in Biscayne Bay... and the Clouser is a standard in many places and times of the year. Most of my Clousers are a bit removed from the original pattern since I'm mostly tying them the way Lefty Kreh suggested when he wrote that first article about them all those years ago - mostly with the entire wing on top.... Here are some pics of what I use in the salt, the last pic is of Clousers tied up for Peacock Bass that were tied the way the shop (the Ft. Lauderdal Fly Shop is the only shop I'm still tying for these days) wanted them. They must work since I do quite a few of them every year....

The first are bonefish Clousers in tan/white, I also do them in fl. grn/white, and pink/white - in sizes #6 up to #2, all with an "outrigger style" weedguard. The second pic is the Whitewater Bay Clouser, on a 2/0 hook - note the wire weedguard. We work this heavily dressed Clouser up into short mangrove roots along shallow dark water areas for snook, redfish, and other species. In use it's fired up into the tangles and worked back out. Yes, it's pretty big but very visible in the tannin stained waters of the interior Everglades brackish waters. The wire weedguard allows you to work it over, under, and around every snag... Lastly these Peacock Clousers in size #4 are used in urban drainage canals where the aggressive Peas will chase and attack anything that might be a baitfish (if Peas drove cars they'd be chartreuse and pink low-riders with loud mufflers...).

Tight Lines
Bob LeMay
(954) 435-5666

Attached Files


Tight lines Bob LeMay (954) 435-5666

#48 perchjerker

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 11:03 AM

I think that Big Will and Capt. Bob have it right. It all depends upon wht the 'baitfish' you are trying to imitate looks like. If they are thin and quite translucent, tie them very sparse, if the are thick bodied and very opaque, tie them heavy. They are a deadly white bass fly during their spring run. In Central Texas, where I have done most of my white bass fishing, the dominant minnow in the streams is know locally as a "Ghost Minnow". The name alone should be the only clue one needs to fish for the white bass in these waters. It has been demonstrated time and again that Clousers tied for this fish (white bass) in these waters have to be frighteningly sparse. In other waters, where the ghost minnow is not the dominant baitfish, more heavily dressed flies qork quite well.

The Clousers tied for our (Texas) coastal waters are typically tied a little heavier than for the Central Texas streams. Eye weight seems to be more critical than how sparse they are tied for the coastal fisher. As Capt. Bob pointed out,it is a matter of how deep you want to fish them. Also, bead chain eyes are preferred over lead for fishing the grass flats. The weight of the lead takes the fly down into the grass, making it difficult to properly fish them.

aged sage

#49 TheCream

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 07:13 PM

I voted 2 toothpicks, which is probably pretty close to what I tie my bucktail versions...but, I also tie a version with coyote tail that I tie a little "meatier." And for what it's worth, I think the coyote version claimed over half of my trophy citation fish in Ohio this past year! Slab crappies, bass, saugeye, giant panfish, you name it they all fell to the 'yote version!

#50 saltydancindave

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:11 AM

At one of the winter Fly Fishing Shows in Recht (?) Auditorium - University of Maryland, not too long after the Clouser went public; learned that the correct amount of bucktail was to be about a pencils thickness worth on the bottom & with this being 2/3 of the fly, about a 1/3 as much for the topping with the flash on top equaling out the top & bottom; with the eyes tied in 1/3 of the hook shank back from the hook eye. Seems the same pencil thickness of bucktail got tied on top & bottom as I had forgotten by the time it was smallie season tying time & tied them this way for years until a refresher course. Those were mostly on #8 - #12 streamer hooks & now mostly on Mustad # 3407 & 34007 #2, 1 & 1/0 with the same eyes of lead, bead chain & mono. Ultra or Supreme Hair has not completely substituted for the bucktail, or the kip tails; as lots of materials will create baitfish to match the hatch. As freshwater flies are traditionallly sparser these days to be more realistic or impressionistic, the extra material on saltwater flies just gets toothed off after fish so they do last a little longer & get sparser as the fish bite. The # 7/0 Mustad Clousers for AJ's & cobia are about 7" long & 1 1/4" thick ! Much more than the standard of toothpicks today....

#51 JSzymczyk

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 06:27 PM

If you listen to all the people who are smarter than the rest of us, they should be this sparse:

Attached File  sparse_clouser.jpg   12.71KB   115 downloads

the gales of November remembered...


#52 JSzymczyk

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 06:36 PM

A couple weeks ago we tied Clouser Minnows with Bobby Jr. using both synthetic (DNA Holofusion) and natural (bucktail) materials. Tie them any way you want- as long as the material distribution enables hook-up attitude, and weight distribution enables a gliding swimming action.

The Clouser Deep Minnow is a general TYPE of fly/lure, not an absolute pattern. The beauty of it, just like Lefty's Deceiver and Blessing's Woolly Bugger, is that it can be endlessly modified and tweaked to achieve whatever results you want. Thin, tall, chubby, short, redhead, blonde, whatever. It is very true that they work well when tied a bit more sparse than what people THINK they should be but it's no big worry.

Then consider the next step after the "Deep Minnow" was when Bob and Lefty consolidated a feather tail of a Deceiver into the bucktail of a Minnow, ON PURPOSE to create a thick dense profile of a fallfish or a shiner...

the gales of November remembered...


#53 saltydancindave

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 08:25 PM

Never did differentiate between the bucktail bundle being the size of a # 2 pencil, or just the size of the lead in the middle of the pencil; which seemed to be too little but closer to the toothpick measurement. The larger amount worked better for largemouths in the lakes as river fish seemed to prefer other flies over Clousers, tied thick or thin just 60 miles south of the Susky.

#54 JSzymczyk

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Posted 15 March 2011 - 04:57 PM

I met and talked quite a bit with Bob Clouser this past Sunday. He tied some deep minnows. He didn't make a big deal out of how much bucktail to use, other than making sure to get out all the short hairs and junk that bulks up the tie-in point.

It is true that people starting out tend to use too much hair, on every style of bucktail not just these, and it messes up the fly as well as making it extremely difficult to get a good solid tie. Too much hair moves around under the thread and pulls out easily.

the gales of November remembered...


#55 salty fly

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:27 AM

I think that around two is right on,sparse but a nice silhouette,Funny little fishes.


keep on chuckin'
Bryan Hibbert

AKA'Salty fly'

Surf fish bum


#56 FKROW

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 07:01 PM

A further note on the Clouser Deep Minnow.

Years ago I had a conversaton with Bob and questioned the red colored dumbell eyes.

His answer was that when the initial design was being tested, on some days the smallmouth would not hit the white colored eyes and on other days the yellow painted eyes did not work,,,,,,, they never found a day the red painted eyes were rejected.

The red eyes became a standard for the Clouser Deep Minnow.

Regards,
FK

#57 Crackaig

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 03:46 AM

This is interesting and appropriate for me now. I don't do much salt water fly fishing, am now in a position to do more. I have though just had an order for 50 Clousers. I've been taking notes! Thanks to one and all.

Cheers,

C.


"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical
minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd
by the clean end"


#58 sniperfreak223

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:43 AM

I voted five in the poll, thinking it meant the whole fly...but I use two for the belly and three for the back.



#59 zOnk

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:17 PM

I attended an afternoon seminar with Bob Clouser just about a year ago and HIS answer to this question was;

 

"If I tied them [Clouser Minnows] as sparse as they should be, nobody would ever buy a fly from me because they would think they were being ripped off.  I don't think you could tie this fly too sparse if you tried." 

 

- Bob Clouser,   February 2013