My brother Sean fly fishes off the south west coast of Ireland, sometimes from the shore and sometimes from his kayak and, more often than not, it will be a home made Clouser Minnow at the business end of his leader.

The Clouser is a great fly. When it is tied well it looks so good that you would be tempted to eat it yourself. Bob Clouser invented this fly and when he thought it through he clearly had his head screwed on. A key to its effectiveness is the fly´s dumbell eyes. They not only look like eyes, which is no bad thing, but they add weight to get it down. Significantly, they also allow the thing to fish upside down which means you can fish it nice and deep with less chance of attaching yourself to the bottom of the sea. Again, this is no bad thing.

And then it is so easy to tie that even a klutz like me can knock a few out in next to no time and they look half-respectable. The only thing to bear in mind is that, because the fly fishes upside down, the darker material should be tied in below the lighter in order to mimic the darker dorsal coloration of the little fish the fly is intended to represent.

In Valentia a few days ago we knocked out a few of these in the hope that some pollack would be tempted by them and I´m sure they would have been if I didn´t go and drop  Sean´s fly rod overboard from his kayak before I even had a chance to fish them.

In the photographs below you can see the Valentia Clouser production team in action.


Nobody can tie flies as well as this lot. From left to right we have Nancy, Sean and Dan Hogan. The Hogans take their fly tying extremely seriously…….




The more or less finished article.