Wednesday, July 13, 2016
White Clouser Minnow by Brandon Fawcett
...an article published in Tail Magazine by our very own Brandon Fawcett!
The Mythical Clouser Minnow. It’s a Unicorn when tied in white. This is a fly that is much more than the sum of its parts, a classic over/under fly designed by the living legend Bob Clouser himself. They are beasts at catching fish. This fly design may be responsible for catching more fish than any other pattern in the world. Bob designed a fly that is easy to tie, tough and incredibly versatile. He designed a fly that could catch literally almost any fish that is reachable by a fly and is effective in both salt and fresh water. When the correct materials are applied in the right proportions to a hook they become something almost magical, a juggernaut amongst the legends. The Clouser dives down, jerking violently to the surface when stripped. It seduces fish into violently striking with its wounded bait fish action.
Recently on a trip to Mexico for a wedding, I was able to escape for half-a-day to explore some rumored flats right in the hotel district of Cancun. I strung up my 8wt., tied on a Unicorn and headed out to the flat I had located with some internet research a few days before. With my white Clouser sailing away, I moved across the flat. Boom, my line goes tight, the first victim to the Clouser’s deadly allure is a blue runner. I want his big cousin to come to the fight. The Clouser gets a little beat up but looking good and is still in for another street fight. We push on.
Within a few minutes the second fish is on the hook. The Unicorn displays its mythical powers over fish as a barracuda slams into the fly. My 20 lb. mono is surely no match for the teeth of this ferocious predator. Adult barracuda have a striking power greater than some sharks. The Unicorn takes this in stride and lip hooks the toothy rocket. A short fight, some nice jumps and the barracuda comes to hand. Second species today.
I continue to cast toward the flat’s edge; the tide has not risen enough to bring the fish up onto the super shallows. My Clouser is now significantly shorter as the deer hair didn’t fare well in the scrap with the cuda. I curse not using super hair. Bruised and beaten up, about 20 minutes later another predator grabs hold of the legendary Clouser. This time a yellow fin mojarra is hooked. I inspect it and pull my beat up fly out of its strange mouth. Lots of moving parts! A picture or two and it’s another smooth release.
At this point in the game you can hardly recognize the fly as a Clouser. I think about changing. I open my box… argh! Wrong box. All I have are Deceivers. Stubbornly, I continue with my beat up fighter. I still want to catch fish! “Only a few more casts until I will head home,” I tell myself. I cast way past a few. No bites or action for a while and I start to think about my long bus ride home and why I didn’t bring more Clousers. I continue to fish. All of a sudden on a strip, my lines comes tight. The Clouser has done it again! As I fight the fish, I’m trying to guess what it is: horse eye jack, pompano, blue runner? Who knows what I will find on the end of my line. Attached to this worn out old Clouser comes a yellow fin jack, a small one no doubt but my best fight of the day. My fly is spent.
The legendary Clouser has taken its licks today seducing four species into striking. With her dance, she slips through the water teasing and aggravating fish. I will take the Clouser far. Plans are already in place for the next trip. I will travel to Scotland. I am tracking down the 36/0 hooks and super hair in four foot lengths, my custom 26 wt. rods are being made as we speak. Once and for all I intend to prove the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. The Clouser can do it!