Famous and Effective Snook Flies

UNI Products Fly Tiers Corner

Here are four you want to have in your fly box for linesides!

May 2023

When it comes to saltwater predators, snook are a species apart. While most of the popular game fish are quite nomadic, wandering ceaselessly through the water, snook are ambush oriented. Their feeding habits are a bit like those of the largemouth bass in freshwater.

Expect to find most snook around structure, or closely tied to schools of bait fish. They often hang around docks, mangrove shorelines and especially points of those plants protrude from the bank. Also helping their popularity is the fact they are voracious feeders. Once a snook is hooked, anglers find themselves matched against a protagonist that fights well and is prone to take to the air in spectacular aerial displays.

Needless to say, picking the best flies for snook or any other species of saltwater fish is a subjective undertaking. There are myriad patterns from which to choose and each of those has derivative patterns that further expand the pool of possibilities.

That being said, here are our picks for four famous patterns and colors that every angler heading to the brine in search of snook should have in their fly box.

1,  There’s no better place to begin than with a fly bearing the name of a saltwater fly-fishing legend. The Clouser Minnow is the invention of Bob Clouser and has proven itself one of the most versatile offerings used by long-rodders in the brine. As to color, chartreuse and white is always the first pick for snook, or any other saltwater fish. The Clouser is on the left in the photo above.

2. Sticking with the big-name theme, our next choice for snook is the Lefty’s Deceiver. Again, this is a very popular pattern for a number of saltwater fish, so much so that along with the Clouser, this invention of the fabled Lefty Kreh shares the honor of even being featured on a U.S. postage stamp. When picking a hue, our experience points to tossing the blue-and-white scheme with a touch of red as being the right color. Look to the top fly in the accompanying photo for the Deceiver.

3. Another saltwater name of fame comes with the next offering, though it is more of a style than an actual moniker for the pictured fly. A pinfish pattern Pugliese-style fly can be deadly on snook. Patterned on the flies tied by Enrico Pugliese, tossed toward mangrove shores, it is hard to beat. It is pictured on the bottom right of the photo above.

4. The final member of our quartet of snook flies is Zeigler’s Shminnow. First crafted by Sanibel Island, Florida fly shop owner Norm Zeigler, the Shminnow was designed for targeting snook on the beaches of southwest Florida. While very efficient at catching snook in that situation, the Shminnow also has proven adept at attracting those fish and other species in a variety of settings. You can fish it in any color – as long as it is white!

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