Part 4 - Project Clouser: Variations on the Original
Updated: Mar 11
The first three parts of Project Clouser were centered around the Clouser Deep Minnow, the original Clouser minnow. Since the advent of the Clouser Deep Minnow, Mr. Clouser has come up with a number of other variations to better imitate things like sculpin, darters, and madtoms. Most of the variations are a change in materials that will allow the pattern to better imitate fishes other than minnows.
This one is mostly a "data drop" - lots of patterns and links to place you can do a bit of research on your own.
Probably the best known variation is the Half and Half which is a combination of two exceedingly successful patterns, Bob Clouser's Deep Minnow and Lefty Kreh's Deceiver. In essence, the back half is Lefty's Deceiver and the front half is mostly the Clouser Deep Minnow. The fly is a particular favorite of many saltwater anglers. Of the patterns I'll detail here, it is the most significant deviation from the Clouser Deep Minnow.
Half and Half Links
How to tie - Tim Flagler in Fly Tyer
The Half and Half provides a wider, more substantial profile than a similarly sparsely tied Clouser Deep Minnow and a much different action than a Lefty's Deceiver. It truly is the near perfect combination of two amazingly successful flies.
Other Clouser Variations
There are a host of other variations, most are a Clouser Deep Minnow on different hooks (i.e. jig hooks, bendbacks) or using some different materials to chance the shape of the pattern a little bit to better mimic fishes with body shaped different from minnows.
Sculpin - does it look a whole lot like a sculpin? Nah, but it will work.
Foxee Red Clouser
Clouser Madtom (from Fly-Fishing for Smallmouth in Rivers and Streams)
Hook: Mustad S71 SS
Thread: 6/0 rust brown Uni-Thread
Body: Rusty brown wide-cut rabbit strip
Belly: Rusty brown calf-tail fibers
Head: Rusty brown rabbit-fur fibers
Head covering: Small clump of dark brown calf-tail fibers
Eyes: 1/30-ounce metallic dumbbell
Clouser Purple Darter (from Fly-Fishing for Smallmouth in Rivers and Streams)
Hook: Mustad S71S SS
Thread: 6/0 olive Uni-Thread
Eyes: 1/30-ounce metallic dumbbell eyes
Belly: Olive calf-tail fibers
Middle (tail): Purple calf-tail fibers
Back: Olive calf-tail fibers
Flash: Purple Flashabou and red Krystal Flash
Bend Back - this is but one version - the "Best of All Worlds" - as he says, "It's a little Clouser Minnow. It's a little Deceiver. It's weedless like a Bendback." It's the best of ALL worlds.
Mr. Clouser thought of them too...
Bob Clouser, the man himself, has come up with a ton of different variations on his original pattern. And of course, as fly tying goes, other tyers taken the Clouser Deep Minnow and run with it. It is an awesome and versatile pattern that lends itself well to tyers imaginations. It is the fly anglers jig and jigs are the survival kit lure for spin and baitcast anglers. They just work - in any of their many forms.
Project Clouser Blog Entries
Introduction to Project Clouser (last week)
Part 3 - The Versatile Clouser Minnow (Colors and shapes)
Part 4 - Variations within the Original