When asked about our favorite flies for silver salmon, many of our guests are surprised to hear that one of the most popular patterns amongst our guide staff at Alaska West is not a ‘typical’ Alaska-born coho pattern such as a hareball leech or dolly llama, but rather a plain ol’ pink and white Clouser minnow.
Why? For starters, the Clouser minnow’s strategically placed lead eyes coupled with its sparse profile produces a more aggressive jigging action than similar flies tied with fluffy materials like bunny or marabou. Plus, with only a few materials required to tie and very little time to complete, it checks all the boxes for a fly worthy of a species you might actually hook hundreds of over the course of a week (not an exaggeration).
However, in an attempt to improve landing rates, reduce mortality rates of released fish, as well as extend the overall lifetime of a single fly (from the ability to replace dull hooks), several of our guides have adapted the use of stinger hooks into their Clousers minnows. We’ve dubbed the modification the Coho Clouser, it works really well on our river, so we thought we’d show you how to tie it.
The Coho Clouser – Tying Instructions
- Thread: UTC Ultra thread, 140 denier, fluorescent pink and white.
- Shank: Daiichi 2546, size 1, hook bend cut-off.
- Stinger Loop: Senyo’s Intruder Wire.
- Stinger Hook: Owner ssw, size 2.
- Eyes: Painted lead eyes, size large.
- Body/tail: Bucktail, white.
- Wing: Bucktail, fluorescent fuchsia.
- Flash: Mirror Krinkle Flash, pearl.
MICHAEL C KNIGHT says
I’ve been using this fly in pink/white, red/white, silver/white, chart/pink, orange/black, and blue/white in light and medium colors, barred, and highlighted with holographic tinsel or sparkle hair. Most productive fly configuration has varied from stream to stream, but I generally start with the crazy chicken [green wing over ping body with holographic strands matching the lighter colors. They all catch fish, but I seem to have better much better success with the articulated versions. My fly box is crowded with these flies and articulated leeches, with a few small flies thrown in for fun [eggs, minnows, darts and the like].
Kyle Shea says
They’re certainly hard to beat, Michael! Glad you agree. What are you targeting mostly? Thanks for weighing in!
I just used a variant of this, (Front hook down back hook up) and used a dark green top, a small amount of black in the middle, with some holographic tinsel mixed in.
We were targeting spawning rainbows, pulling it through 1-8 foot deep water, only about 6 inches down.
These are fantastic little guys.
Richard Stoll says
This is a pattern I first invented and published in my book “Fly Fishing Inshore Saltwaters for Pacific Salmon” page 64, Amato Books. Good fly.