The Clouser Minnow

The Clouser Fly Pattern

The Clouser Minnow is one of those fly pattern that almost everyone knows of. A simple change of size or color and you can go from catching steelhead to bass to redfish. This is a relatively simple fly to tie and an integral one to have in your arsenal no matter where your fishing.


Hook: Sz1 Stainless Hook

Thread: 6/0 UNI Thread

Body: Buck tail (one light color one dark color)

Flash: Crystal Flash (gold in this case)

Eyes: Medium Painted Lead Eyes


Step 1: Start the thread directly behind the eye of the hook
Clouser Fly Pattern
Step 2: Use the lead eyes to space out where they should be tied in. Then use figure eight
wraps to secure the eyes to the top of the hook. Then use 5-6 circling wraps around the base of the eyes to secure all the wraps. 
painted lead eyes
painted lead eyes
Step 3: Next wrap the thread and position it directly in front of the lead eyes. Then cut a pencil sized clump of white buck tail. Try to cut a clump from the top of the buck tail this will be the softest of the hairs and will not flare when tied in.
white buck tail clump
Step 4: Remove any unwanted hairs by holding the tips of the buck tail clump and with your other hand sliding your fingers down to remove and short hairs. Then Grab the base of the hairs and remove any extra long hairs.
remove rat buck tail
Step 5: The white buck tail will go on the top of the hook and is usually tied in at 2x the hook shank length. Using 5-6 wraps directly in front of the hook shank tie in the buck tail.
tie in the buck tail
Step 6: Take the scrap ends of the buck tail in your right hand pulling it up and use a sharp pair of scissors to cut the buck tail as close to the tie in point as you can. Then wrap forward securing all the ends.
trim buck tail
Step 7: Hold the tips of the buck tail and wrap back to a little past the middle of the hook shank.
tying a clouser fly
Step 8: Wrap forward to just behind the lead eyes and cut 3 pieces of crystal flash about 4" in length. Tie them in at the half way point of the flash on the near side of the hook.
gold crystal flash
Step 9: Take the tag end of the flash pull it around the bottom of the hook then wrap back down the hook shank to secure the other half of the flash on the far side.
gold cyrstal flash
Step 10: Cut a pencil sized clump of darker colored buck tail and remove all the unwanted short and long hairs. Then Use 5-6 wraps to tie the buck tail in below the hook shank right before the lead eyes.
olive buck tail clouser
Step 11: Trim the scrap ends of the buck tail and then secure all the hair with thread wraps and build up a tapered head.
trimming deer hair
Step 12: Whip finish and trim thread. Then use a sealant to finish the head of the fly.
olive clouser fly
Here are some other color combos that you can try out. If you don't know what color combo to use think about the bait that the fish you are going after would eat.
hot pink clouser fly
tan clouser fly pattern