The Imitation Game
5 hot summer flies for non-stop largemouth and smallmouth action
Clouser Deep Minnow = Tube jig
When smallmouth guide Bob Clouser debuted this fly in the 1980s, fly-fishing purists disparaged it as a “jig.” Fly anglers who like catching fish, on the other hand, said, “Brilliant—it’s a jig!” With its dumbbell eye, the Clouser gets down fast, stays down and rides point up, making it snag resistant. Given the fly’s action, appearance and beautiful simplicity, think of the Clouser as a tube jig for the fly rod.
You can fish it for largies, smallies or any predator fish, practically anywhere. Bass love Clousers in lengths of two to four inches. For the sake of simplicity, I stick to the traditional olive/white, chartreuse/white and red/white colour combinations, which adequately imitate most minnows, as well as crayfish and gobies. Bob Clouser intended this fly to be darted near bottom, but like a tube jig, you can also drag or swim it.