Tying the Clouser Minnow

Saltwater action on the Atlantic Coast is heating up, so it’s time to stock up on baitfish patterns for stripers, bluefish, and false albacore. Perhaps the most famous fly for the salt is the Clouser Deep Minnow–created by Susquehanna River icon Bob Clouser, named by Lefty Kreh, and mutated into hundreds of forms by other tiers. This version, by New Jersey angler and tier Brad Buzzi, is fairly beefy and durable and should work for a wide variety of species, including freshwater big game.

In his 1994 book The Professionals’ Favorite Flies, Lefty Kreh wrote about the Clouser Deep Minnow, “I believe that this pattern is the most important and effective underwater fly developed in the past 20 years. During the past three years I have been able to catch 63 species of fish in fresh and saltwaters around the world with this pattern!”

Like many iconic flies, the Clouser has become a style of fly, rather than a specific pattern. You can alter the colors, the materials, the sparseness, the weight, or any other element to fit your needs, while still maintaining the basic Clouser concept.

                 Clouser Minnow (Brad Buzzi version) 
          Hook: Mustad 34007 saltwater hook, sizes 1/0 through 8. 
          Thread: Mono Tying Thread
          Eyes: Barbell eyes
          Glue: Zap-A-Gap.
          Body: Light blue, white, chartreuse, and olive Bucktail. 
Pearlescent Krystal Flash
          Topping: Peacock herl
          Head coating: Cement or epoxy


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