It is funny the things you come across in your email. All of the regular readers of this blog have heard me mention my buddy Rick. Rick is a friend, mentor and has taught me much of what I know about this great sport. Recently I came across this paper Rick had written for the now defunct "Austin Reed Outfitters". He was trying to email it to a mutual friend. Rick did not have our buddies email address, so he sent it to me and asked me to pass it along to the intended recipient. After reading it I knew I had to share it. I asked Rick if I could post it and he said sure. Keep in mind this was well before websites, blogs, social media and well before it was "fashionable" to write papers about fly tying techniques. The date on the paper was April of 2001, almost 15 years ago.
Here it is, UN altered and in it's original format. The pictures are the originals too. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Although Many of us claim to have had a religious experience while fishing. It’s mostly jetty fisherman after being swept into the suds. The relation of bait-fish shapes to fly tying styles is not written on stone tablets carried by a fly fishing sage down the beach.
Easy to tie, effective patterns like the “Clouser Minnow” aren't limited to looking like everyone else’s Clouser to be effective. They can represent bait-ish with deep profiles with out sacrificing the balance and performance or color of your favorite chartreuse and white fly.
Clousers minnows are usually slim with narrow profiles. Their cross sections are like an inverted triangle where the top wing is greater in volume than the bottom. This design aids in tracking like keel on a boat. And has proven successful in a variety of waters worldwide.
With such success you may ask why change? Ask yourself “why not?” and “Does it represent the silhouette of the fish present where and when I fish……………………… …….. Only sometimes?
Currently the Clousers are promoting a weigh loss program.. At least for their flies, with a slim or sparsely tied style.
In contrast, they can be dressed to imitate deeper belly fish like peanut bunker, herring, alewives, and shad.
This can be achieved without becoming bulky or adversely changing their action in the water.
Depth can be added to the profile with the addition of a 2nd narrow and shorter underwing. Begin by tying the wing butt behind the hook eye as with the first underwing. Next secured it with figure 8 wraps around the dumbbell eyes.
Note! that when the Figure 8 wraps secure the underwing toward the bend in the hook the profile achieved is narrower.
If you look behind the eyes in the above photo You can see the wraps securing the 2nd chartreuse underwing.
Securing the 2nd underwing more toward the hook’s eye on the dumb bell will create a greater depth of profile.
Above the wing is secured at an angle and the separation is apparent behind the dumbbell eye.
Additionally, the flare of the material will be controlled with the tension used to tie the material. Tying everything else remains the same. And hopefully you won’t end up with a paintbrush in your attempt to create a broader profile fly.
The flies inherent performance will remain the same as long as the triangular cross section is maintained. More simply put” tie sparsely on the bottom and heavier on the top”.
You can apply this to your “Half and Half's” and achieve a real change in the perceived size of the fly. However, it will continue to be just as easy to cast.
The separation of the under wings is visible in the above photo. The 2nd underwing is attached almost at the bottom of the eye. While the first is attached behind the eye. The materials, and hook styles can be changed. Do so with and objective and you’ll probably be successful. Other variations include flash tops and the use of Keel hooks.
Using these technique, you can modify your Clousers to to achieve Butterfish and Spot profiles by adding a 3rd wing. But, that is another article and you just got enough to do with this one. A testimonial, “This tying style requires more time to tie and uses more materials.” “The Flies work on “Rockfish” when the fish are deep and the prevalent bait-fish are of a broader profile.” “Big Flounder like them in the heat of the day mid summer".
It is kinda cool when you can write your thoughts almost a decade and a half ago and the techniques are as solid today as they were 15 years ago. I am glad I had the opportunity to share this with everybody, and I want to thank Rick for allowing me to do so.
Thanks buddy! Till next time...