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 Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions , is fairly sparse, yet 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 Deep Minnow
Hook: Mustad 34007 saltwater hook, sizes 1/0 through 8.
Thread: White Danville Flat-Waxed, 6/0.
Eyes: Dumbell eyes (size to match hook).
Belly: White bucktail.
Flash: Gold Krystal Flash.
Back: Olive bucktail.
Head: Tying thread.
Head coating: Cement or epoxy