Couser Minnow

Created by Bob Clouser


A common baitfish imitation, Clousers are useful world-wide. The fly actually rides upside-down, except in Australia and New Zealand where the fly is right-side-up and the fish are inverted. (Just kidding about the Australia and New Zealand part!)


There are as many color variations as there are baitfish species; but if you only carry one, make it green-and-white. Blue-and-white, tan-and-white, and burgundy-and-white are other useful combinations.

For saltwater, use a TMC 811S hook or equivalent.

How to Fish

Use count-down-and-retrieve and slow retrieve presentations for lakes or slow/slack water portions of rivers. Vary the retrieve until you find what works best at the moment: slow and steady, fast, strip-and-pause, or quick, short two-inch strips. Also, a wind drift tactic works well in lakes. Where there is current in a river, you can also use a wet-fly swing with occasional twitches or strips.

HOOK: 3X long, 2X heavy, turned-down eye; e.g., TMC 5263 or equivalent. Sizes 2-10


EYES: Nickel or tungsten, painted dark red with black pupils. Leave room in front of the eyes for the head.

WING: From top to bottom: white bucktail on top, chartreuse bucktail beneath. Tie in some blue Krystal Flash. The wing extends from the head. It should be about one-and-a-half times the hook length. The top portions of the wing go over the eyes (tie it down in front and in back of the eyes); the bottom portion passes under the eyes and is tied only in front. Wrap a long, tapered head in front of the eyes.