Fly and Text by Joe Cornwall
Photography and Video Production by Jim Stuard
You've never seen this fly,
it's a Fly Fish Ohio exclusive! Now this isn't a brand new method,
it's a marriage of a Clouser Deep Minnow and a Wooly Bugger with a twist.
It uses a kink-shaped popper hook! This is a great light-wire and
inexpensive hook to use for any freshwater Clouser-style tie! I use
this method for my Foxee Red Clouser and Mixed Media flies, both of which
have been terrorizing Ohio smallmouth for nearly a decade. The
Mustad 33903 will also ensure that all your flies have the right
proportions and that you never crowd the hook eye. Give this one a
try, you'll love it!
I've been fishing this fly in
various incarnations for about as long as I can remember. I wanted a
smaller Foxee Red one day, but tying the fly in a standard streamer style
just didn't give me the look I wanted. I needed a fly that could
imitate a bit nymph, an immature crayfish, a small minnow or just about
anything that's half an inch long and translucent. A bit of
experimentation and this fly came off my vice. That was back in
1997. This fly remains in my fly boxes today, a testament to its
fish-catching ability. Try this one tied with mink fur for a darker
variation. And woodchuck is perfect for that late spring lighter
Hook – Mustad 33903 Kink Shank Popper
Hook, size 12 to 4 Thread – Brown 6/0, 140 denier
Body – Fox (or mink, woodchuck
or squirrel) body fur dubbed in a dubbing loop
– Natural brown, red or furnace Chinese neck hackle
The Mustad 33903 is an inexpensive,
light-wire hook used for bluegill and bass poppers with cork bodies.
It's also a dynamite iron to tie Clouser minnows. This is the hook I
use on my Foxee Red Clouser and Mixed Media, and it works just as well on
this hybrid nymph. At $7 or so for 100 hooks, this is a great buy.
You should have sizes 4 to 12 available in your fly tying kit!
Mount the hook in the vice and start the
thread behind the hook eye. Here we're using a 6/0, 140-denier brown
fly tying thread. Lay down a smooth base to a point just behind the
Unpainted lead eyes are perfect for almost
any fly that doesn't require flash. That's what we'll use here.
I like the micro-size eyes for size 10 and 12 hooks and mini-size eyes for
size 8 and 10 hooks. Secure the eyes with half a dozen criss-crossed
wraps of tying thread. A spot of glue, not necessary, can really
lock things down if you'd like.
On the Twisted Little Fox I'm using the
body fur of a common red fox. I like an animal harvested in late
autumn that has a lot of dark colors in it's coat. Fox pelts are
inexpensive and one pelt will tie thousands of flies. I'm not using
the tail for these flies, but the body fur. It's softer. You
can also use mink, woodchuck, fox squirrel, or just about any other fur
with soft under fur and spiky guard hairs. Tie is a tail that is
about the same length as the shank of the hook. Make sure to remove
the under fur when you tie in the tail to ensure good motion and a lack of
Select a nicely marked feather of a color
to match the body. I like Chinese rooster necks because they're
stiffer than hen hackle but not as stiff as a good dry fly hackle.
The slightly firmer hackle provides a "sonic signature" in the water.
Stroke the fibers back to prepare the hackle, clip off the tip and tie the
feather in with the shiny side facing up.
Form a dubbing loop with your tying thread
and advance the bobbin to a point just behind the hook eye. Wax the
lower leg of the loop and insert a good pinch of fox body fur.
Spread the fur out, lock the two strands of thread in the jaws of a hackle
pliers and spin a loose yarn.
Wrap the dubbing loop forward and through
the lead eyes. Make one or two full wraps in front of the eyes. Ties
off the dubbing loop and clip away the excess.
Palmer the hackle forward, folding the
barbules back towards the back of the fly. I like to fold the hackle
fibers as it makes the feather much easier to wrap neatly. Make
three or four wraps behind the eyes and two or three in front, depending
on the size of the hook you're using. I LOVE this fly in a size 12.
Size 8 and 10 are also very productive.
Wrap a neat thread head and whip finish for a
secure tie. Add a drop or two of Sally Hansen's Hard As Nails to
seal the thread in place
You can purchase a dubbing brush or easily
make one from the brass barrel cleaner for a .22 caliber rifle or by
gluing Velcro to a bit of popsicle stick. Whatever tool you use, use
it to vigorously brush the Twisted Little Fox so the dubbing blends into