Clouser Deep Minnow

Clouser Deep Minnow


Designed by Bob Clouser, the Clouser Deep Minnow (or Clouser Minnow as it is commonly known) is another pattern originally developed for smallmouth bass. In several variations on the example illustrated, the pattern can be used to target a wide variety of species, in both freshwater and saltwater. It is commonly used for smallmouth, largemouth and peacock bass, wipers, pike, zander, walleye, perch, trout, catfish, carp, stripers, mackerel, bass, pollock, bonefish… you get the idea. In fact Clouser says his minnow, accepting several colour variations, has accounted for at least 86 species to date.

How to fish:

This pattern can be fished using several techniques. On rivers in the crayfish season, try Tim Holschlag’s Crayfish Hop. In a moderate flow the Clouser Minnow can be fished on the dangle, jigged about on the bottom in front of the fish to tease a strike. Alternatively, cast up and cross stream and make long fast strips interspersed with short ones; presented on a line to suit the situation (accounting for current, depth of water) offer the fly at or near the bottom. In still freshwater, brackish and saltwater a strip retrieve is standard technique.


Bob Clouser of Middletown, PA., angler, popular guide, fly tier and fly shop owner, fished several of his own hair-wing patterns in the 1980s.  In 1985 Wapsi sent him their latest tying product, lead dumbbell eyes. Later in 1987, Clouser incorporated Wapsi’s product in one of his designs. That eureka  moment saw the birth of one of the most popular flies in our sport today. The name, Clouser Deep Minnow, was coined later when Lefty Kreh touted it in a 1989 article for Fly Fisherman magazine. Anglers have subsequently shortened the name to the Clouser Minnow, and even more simply, the Clouser. This pattern emerging from the world of smallmouth fly fishing was originated in colours adapted to suit the water and fish of the Susquehana River, Pennsylvania.

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