If you have already watched the tying video for the Clouser Darter then you heard me mention that Bob Clouser introduced me to this pattern about 20 years ago. The short version of the story is his Deep Minnow was not working on a particular body of water were it had been on another not to far away. Perplexed, I called up his shop and to my surprise Bob answered. I explained my problem and we determined a different color Deep Minnow is what was required, which he was correct. But…. while on the phone he mentioned a new fly they were experimenting with. You guessed it, the Clouser Darter in Purple and Olive. So I had him send me a half dozen and the rest is history. I started catching fish left and right in all sorts of water. Plus, everyone I taught to tie the fly was catching fish. I would teach the fly in a tying class and within days I was getting emails with photos of the fish people were catching. So, over the course of the last 20 years the Clouser Darter has become a staple in my fly box. I can honestly say that is has rarely NOT caught fish when I have tied it on. Sometimes it produces more than others and sometimes it is only one on an outing but one is all it take to not be skunked.
The Darter is not a particularly difficult fly to tie, especially if you already know how to tie a Deep Minnow. There are a few trick that can make it easier and a few things to watch out for. These are mentioned in the video. I generally only fish the Purple and Olive version. There is in production a Orange and Olive version but I have never fished it. For most warmwater species the Purple and Olive version does just fine. I did tie a version in Tan with a little pink in it while fishing in Ascension Bay in 2004 and managed to bring in about a dozen Bonefish on it. It is a very versatile fly. If you are interested in other versions I am certain an internet search will bring some up. Bob goes into detail in his book on Clouser Flies various versions of the Darter for different baitfish. It is a book you should have in your fly tying library anyway. There is still plenty of time to fish this fly for fall Smallmouth. I have caught Smallies on the Clouser Darter into December! Tie some up and get on the water!
|Mustad 3366, #4 – 10
|Wapsi UTC 70 Denier, Olive
|Kip (Calf) Tail, Purple
|Kip (Calf) Tail, Olive
|Flashabou, Purple and Flash Accent (or Krystal Flash), Red
|Kip (Calf) Tail, Olive
|Wapsi Painted dumbbell Eyes, Red with Black Pupil, Small to Extra Small
|Epoxy, 30 minute (or longer) or UV Resin
Links above are to affiliate products as are the links to books or videos mentioned in this post. If you purchase any of these products through the affiliate link it helps Dressed Irons. Thanks in advance!Since it is streamer season here in the Midwest, I have a number of videos on streamers coming up through the end of this month and October. All are interesting flies to tie and all will catch fish when baitfish are on the menu. Stay tuned.
If you haven’t yet, sign up for the weekly newsletter to stay up to date on Dressed Irons as well as receiving more details about this upcoming class. The sign up form is on the right of this page!If you would like to purchase some Clouser Darters there are a number for sale (while supplies last). As always, if you have any questions about this fly (or any other) you can leave a comment on Dressed Irons or any of the videos I have produced and I will help in anyway I can. Enjoy!
Remember….. It’s Fly tying….. If you’re not having fun, You’re Doin’ It Wrong.