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Clouser Colors

-Marc V-

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I was just wondering what people have the best luck on for color combinations in clousers. I'm starting to get more into largemouth bass fishing, but also like to trout fish. Are there any color patterns that work best for either of these species? I'm always looking for new adventures on the fly rod also, so if there are other color schemes that work for other kinds of fish, let me know and I'll probably try to hook into that fish also.

Hope the fishing is good for everybody this summer.

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My two favorite Clouser color combinations for trout fishing are natural brown over white with gold Krystal Flash and gray over white with silver Krystal Flash. Chartreuse over white with pearl Krystal Flash has worked well for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Fluorescent orange over brown with root beer Krystal Flash works well for me on smallmouth bass in streams, but I've never tried it while fsihing for largemouth.

I can't say enough good things about the Clouser. In addition to its slender profile and great action, two positive attributes commonly attributed to it, their aren't many other flies that will get deep as fast, or cast as easily or enter the water as quietly.

They are relatively easy and cheap to tie, too. I watched a video recently that featured Mr. Clouser tying these flies and learned from it that he uses epoxy to help secure the eyes and bucktail. I've tried this and it does make the fly quite a lot sturdier. If you choose to try this, find some slow cure epoxy and mix it in small batches to minimize waste. Try to keep the epoxy clear of the hook eye. I learned the hard way that it's tough stuff to remove.

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Can't really add anything to turiprap's already great advice. I tie very similar. I do however tie a clouser that is supposed to imitate a very small brookie. I tie it with a dark olive over white and like turiprap I add gold flash, or sometimes rainbow flash, but... I will also add some orange to the belly, that's the only difference. I have had very good success with this, espeacially at night for trout.


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Magneto's baby brook trout sounds cool; I'll have to give the pattern a whirl.

I neglected to mention that another strong advantage designed in to the Clouser minnow is it's semi-snagless nature. With the barbell eyes tied to the top of the hook shank, the fly rides hook point up in the water.

A couple of additional tying notes: Apparently, the first Clousers I ever saw were the saltwater version tied on short shank, nickel plated hooks (e.g. Mustand 3407). I've always tied them that way and have come to think that the sparseness of the tie is a good thing in freshwater,too, and that the short shank hook ampliflies the fly's "jigging" action in the water, while the nickel plating provides a nice bit of flash. However, be careful about the flash. Some of the commercially tied examples of the fly incorporate far too much Krystal Flash for my taste. Four strands per side seems to be plenty.

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I have had pretty good luck so far this summer with red and white and also yellow and white clousers. I have been catching some nice largemouths. They are a good all around fly. Like mentioned above, with the weighted eyes tied on top of the hook, the hook tip gets turned up and it than avoids a lot of snags.


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Hey Cross . . . I see you're out of Waconia. Have you fly fished the big Wac for largemouth? I have a buddy that lives in Waconia that might be hitting it up tonight for largemouth on the fly.

What other flies to do you use for largemouth? I'm trying to get into some bigger largemouth on the fly, but all I seem to get is a lot of dinkers. I don't know much about largemouth, but from what I can tell, the larger (17" and above) usually prefer deeper water. Do you or anyone use a sinking tip, or sinking line to get down to these deeper fish? or are these larger fish still in the shallows under weed beds, slop and docks?

I'm fairly new to the warm water fly fishing, but would like to target more than trout on the fly rod. The driftless area is too far away to travel for a temporary cure the fly fishing illness I'm aflicted with.

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I don't fish Waconia much. We have a cabin in the Crosslake area, so I mostly fish up there. I would not consider myself to be an expert at all, but I try hard. I fish a lot in a small river. I actually catch a lot of bass on small #10 wooly buggers. I end up with a lot of sunfish, but the bass like em to. I also have good luck on deer hair poppers and slidders. But so far this year the clouser and the wooly buggers have been the best. As I mentioned above, the red and white and yellow and white clousers have worked very well.

I don't post a lot on this page, but I read everything that everyone else writes trying to learn as much as I can. So thank you to everyone who does write things, because I enjoy readying what you write.


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Hey Cross . . . Any info for that will help catch more fish is like gold. Thanks for sharing any successes. I've had a lot of success with deer hair poppers so far this year also. Actually this is the best fly I've had for bass. I made a Dahlberg Diver with a yellow belly, and green top. Figured it looked like a frog swiming when stripped, especially with some hackle feathers bowed out off the back like kicking legs. Had some sucess with this fly last night, but the popper with rubber legs hanging out of the sides has been the best so far.

I've heard from a couple other people that black, or darker streamers work good for bass also, like the wooly bugger you've mentioned. I can't seem to get off the topwaters though. Seeing a bass attack a topwater is too addicting.

Lately I've been posting quite a bit, but I also usually read as much as I can on these sites to gain more knowledge. There always seems to be a way to do something a little bit better or different, and catch more fish as a result.

I haven't heard of a slider before. Somemthing else to look into to see what it can do. Thanks for the tip.

Good luck.


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If I were forced to choose one fly for all warmwater species it would be a chartruse and white clouser with some gold flash. In the spring a one to two inch fly will catch anything form pike to blugills to bass to crappies. When fishing in warmwaters I always use a six inch shock tippet of five pound test of some sort of knotable wire. There are several brands to chose from. This prevents bite offs from the toothy fish. As the year progresses I use larger and larger sizes.

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