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Part 4 - Project Clouser: Variations on the Original

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

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

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.

Jig hook Clouser Deep Minnow
A Clouser Deep Minnow on a jig hook...hard to crowd the head on this one.

Sculpin - does it look a whole lot like a sculpin? Nah, but it will work.

Foxee Red Clouser

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

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...

Bonefish Clouser

The Take-Home

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.

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