September’s fly of the month is a variation on an old standard, the clouser minnow. It’s not to be confused with Joe Bruce’s Crab Colored Clouser, though we realize some people call that fly a crabby clouser as well.
It’s a simple tie that has proven to be very effective catching redfish and sheepshead down here in Louisiana
– Dumbbell eyes
– Rubber legs
Step 1. Start a thread base and wrap to a point where you want to attach your dumbbell eyes.
Step 2. Attach dumbbell eyes using figure 8 wraps and a few horizontal wraps between the shank and the eyes. Add some glue to lock everything down.
Step 3. Tie in a clump of deer hair at the eye of the hook in front of the dumbbells. Bring the thread behind the eyes and finish tying the bucktail down until you get to the hook bend, same as you would with a normal clouser minnow.
Step 4. Tie in a schlappen feather.
Step 5. Tie in 3 rubber legs using figure 8 wraps. I like the span-flex legs, but they tend to be a bit unruly.
Step 6. Palmer the schlappen up the shank and tie in behind the eyes. I find this step to be a lot easier when I use a piece of lead wire to keep the legs pulled forward while I palmer. I use my bodkin to pull sets of legs back as i get to them.
Step 7. Tie in the buck tail over wing just like you would on a regular clouser minnow. Cement your threads. Add some epoxy on the dumbbells and thread wraps if you would like.
Proof of concept.
Knowing that my days on the water will be limited once the baby arrives, I spent a day in the Kisatchie National Forest looking for largemouth bass. Normally if I wanted to do some bass fishing I’d prefer to spend my time on a river, catching spotted bass until I was flat wore out. On this day, however, I was going for a home run, looking for an above average bass. I had never laid eyes on any of the lakes in the Kisatchie, much less fished them, but I had good reason to believe there were some nice bass in at least one of the lakes I fished.
Upon arrival the lake was as I expected – empty. The water was crystal clear, the entire lake bottom covered in grass, deeper toward the dam, covered in lilies on the shallow end. I wish I could tell you fishing was spectacular, but it wasn’t. I caught two, both around 12″, a disappointing result when you drive 2.5 hours. Still, the lake was beautiful, one of the nicest I’ve seen in Louisiana.
I had time to head to another lake that was the site of an old timber mill 100 years ago. It wasn’t as nice as the previous lake, it looked like who ever managed the lake had been doing a lot of work clearing brush around the lake’s shoreline – not sure if that is the best thing from a fishery perspective. This lake also had a shallow end covered in lily pads though these lilies were much bigger. I pulled three bass out of this lake with the biggest going 13″. In both lakes the bass were caught in the shallow end swimming a bait along a grass edge or popping a topwater next to the lilies.
I went for the home run, looking for big bass in distant lakes, but all I could muster was a bloop single. I did enjoy scouting an area of Louisiana that actually has some elevation to it though. It was a nice change of pace with a drive time similar to that of Grand Isle to Baton Rouge – not like I haven’t done that in a day.