Clouser Deep Minnow

Uni Products Fly Tiers Corner

July 2022

Clouser Deep Minnows in a variety of hues. Photo by Jimmy Jacobs.

The Clouser Deep Minnow has reached the plateau of being an iconic go-to fly among southern saltwater fly casters. Particularly in the chartreuse-and-white color scheme, it is found in most of our fly boxes when we head to the brine. Whether it is casting for redfish, seatrout, Spanish mackerel, snook or tarpon, all those fish will try to eat it. Indeed, the late Lefty Kreh noted that he had caught more than 90 species on the Deep Minnow.

Bob Clouser. Photo by Jimmy Jacobs.

Yet, the fly was first developed by Bob Clouser in Pennsylvania for catching smallmouth bass on his home waters of the Susquehanna River. Clouser got his start in fly tying at the age of 14, when his father presented him with is first vise. That started him on his journey that culminated with the Deep Minnow that was introduced in 1985.

The key to the Deep Minnow is that it is simple to tie and is very effective when stripped in front of any predatory species. Also, the weight of the dumbbell eyes causes it to run with the hook tip pointed up. That makes it less likely to hang up that if the hook faced down. To improve the Deep Minnow, Clouser even worked the folks at Ahrex Hooks to develop a hook specifically for the pattern.

While much of his tying technique was self-taught, Clouser does point to Bob Popovic as being somewhat of a mentor. It was while fishing with Popovic that Clouser discovered the value of covering the string and eyes on the Deep Minnow with epoxy. That vastly extended the life of each of those flies.

Today Bob Clouser has relocated to the central Florida coast and spends a lot of time targeting baby tarpon. And, as you might expect, many of those fish are still being fooled by the Clouser Deep Minnow.

For more information on the Deep Minnow and Bob Clouser’s other creations, check out the website for Clouser’s Fly Shop.