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7 Easy-to-Tie Flies That Will Catch Fish Anywhere in Canada

Clouser Deep Minnow

Clouser Deep Minnow

Hook: Standard wet fly or saltwater, sizes 3/0 to 8
Eyes: Lead dumbbell weights
Belly: White bucktail
Wing: Natural brown or dyed bucktail, over six strands of Krystal Flash

If there’s a fly that works in a wider range of sizes than a Clouser Deep Minnow, I can’t imagine what it might be. Among my various fly boxes, I have at least 50 Clousers, ranging from two to eight inches in length. Along with natural brown, time-tested wing colours include green, yellow, blue, grey and, my favourite, chartreuse. Flies with all-white or all-black bellies and wings are also popular. All season long, the Clouser is my go-to fly for pike and subsurface bass, or any time I want to fish something deeper or bigger than a standard bucktail.

Tying a Clouser is not difficult, but it’s easy to screw up. There are two trouble areas, which are common even in commercially produced flies. For one, be sure not to place the lead eyes too far forward, which disrupts the fly’s sleek profile and crowds the head. And the bucktail must be sparse—so sparse that the fly almost looks unfinished. When compressed, the bucktail clumps should be about the diameter of a wooden match. Use too much, and the wing loses its tantalizing, flowy action.

Scott Gardner

Scott Gardner

Outdoor Canada associate editor and fly-fishing columnist Scott Gardner is happiest when he's on the water fishing (especially from his kayak) or just surrounded by trees, preferably out of cell phone range. Since joining Outdoor Canada in 2010, Scott has won nine National Communication Awards from the Outdoor Writers of Canada for his adventure travel and fly fishing articles, and been nominated for five National Magazine Awards.

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