By the time coho start to roll off our coasts, this fly will serve you well until they enter the rivers. It can be used off the back of a boat in the prop wash, in the estuaries, and in the rivers. The Clouser is an extremely versatile fly, and with the substitution of flashabou for the top material it is deadly effective for aggressive salmon, especially coho. I hope you enjoy the video in this article.
A handful of flies have become legendary, and one of them is the Clouser minnow. Bob Clouser, a Pennsylvanian guide and fly shop owner, initially tied the fly for smallmouth bass. Today, the fly and its many variations are used in vastly different environments, from the saltwater flats to trickling mountain creeks.
The secret lies in its basic design. It simply requires bucktail or a similar material, dumbbell eyes, and—potentially—flash. That said, slight variations can be made to the pattern to suit specific fisheries and situations. For instance, coho could take a small #8 in a river or a #2/0 Clouser flung out in the prop wash of a boat, depending on what they are keying in on. I find pickier fish tend to be in the estuaries and rivers, so when I target coho I tie Clousers in different sizes, colours, and materials. Since you can tie this pattern in 5 to 7 minutes, and it is so easy to modify and replicate, you can be sure to have enough variety in your fly box to secure those finicky fish.
The version I tied is perfect for more aggressive coho that go crazy for an aggressively jigged fly. These fish tend to be fresher and still looking for prawns, and less focused on spawning. I also like to tie them with longer streamer hooks or even trailer hooks near the end of the fly for when the fish are non-committal. I love fishing frog-water for coho in river systems where they roll in deep pools. Since the Clouser is a heavy and streamlined fly, it sinks very well. When combined with a long, light leader, jigging it becomes both easy and effective. Let us know what you think of the fly and what variations you like to tie it in. Good luck on the water!
How To Tie a Coho Clouser