Warmwater Fly of the month: May, 2003 - The SLFish Minnow

Tying The SLFish Minnow


SLFish Minnow (bottom)

The SLFish Minnow
Most fly fishers and fly tyers will agree that the Clouser s Minnow is one of the most effective fly patterns ever created. Day in and day out it will out fish almost any other pattern ever created you can tie a season s supply in an evening and they are undoubtedly very durable, if tied correctly however they failed to appeal to my artistic side as a fly tyer. My goal was to enhance this amazing fly and create something that was effective, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. I tried various material and styles, then finally hit upon combining a Clouser s Minnow and some SLF hanks. I added some red for gills, and some feathers for color (and to make it feel more like a fly) and the SLFish Minnow was hatched.

The SLF fibers have a lot more action than the synthetic hair, or bucktail I had used on Clouser s Minnows, and had the translucency that makes it a good baitfish imitation. Coupled with the deadly jigging action of the original, it has proven to be very effective. I have had success in small lakes and streams on most black bass, brim, sand (white) bass, pickerel, and black drum. I recognized that if you have confidence in a fly, you will fish it more often and better and as a result you will naturally catch more fish on it; so I have given them to other fly fishers and they have reported similar success on a wide variety of species.

Ron Knight
Ron Knight lives in Arlington Texas and is a member of the Fort Worth Fly Fishers. He has been tying flies for about as long as he has been fly fishing, 25 years give or take. The first 1o years he was self-taught and relied on publications like Fly Fisherman for inspiration. In 1985 Ron helped found the Heart of America Fly Fishers. The club led him to the Southern Council Conclave, first as a fly tyer and later to become the Fly Tying Chair in 2002. Ron is perhaps best known for his flies tied in the Tom Nixon tradition. He enjoys taking "tried and true patterns and incorporating new material, as well as finding ways to tie them more quickly and with an end product that is very durable.











Ron Knight Tying at the Sow Bug Roundup


Hook: Mustad 79580 10
Eyes: 5/32 Silver Hour Glass Brass Eyes
Thread: Yellow 3/0
Hackle: Yellow Grizzly
Long Tail: Yellow SLF Hanks
Short Tail: Orange SLF Hanks
Bottom Wing: Pearl Krystal Flash
Top Wing: Olive SLF Hanks
Throat: Aunt Lydia's Red Yarn

(Click on picture to enlarge)

Step 1: Lay a thread foundation covering the front 1/5 of the shank of the hook.

Step 2: Place the eyes approximately 1/5 from the front of the hook shank.

Step 3: Cut a piece of red yarn approimately the length of from behind the eyes to the end of the barb of the hook. Tie in the red yarn right behind the eyes.

Step 4: Cut piece of yellow SLF Hanks about 2 shank in length.

Step 5: Loop the SLF Hank around the thread.

Step 6: Tie in the SLF Hank in front of the eyes with a few wraps of thead.

Step 7: Now move the thread behind the eyes and take two wraps to secure the SLF Hanks behind the eyes.

Step 8: Cut a piece of SLF orange hank with the length being from right behind the eye of the hook to about the tip of the barb of the hook. Secure the SLF Hank in front of the eyes like we did in Step 4 and 5.

Step 9: Now move the thread behind the eyes and take two wraps to secure the SLF Hanks behind the eyes.

Step 10: Turn the hook up side down. Tie in approximately 4 -5 strands of pearl krystal in front of the eyes. The strans should be about 2 shank in length.

Step 11: You fly should look like the picture on the left.

Step 12: Cut a piece of SLF olive hanks being 2 shank length .Secure the SLF Hank in front of the eyes like in Step 4 and 5 but in front of the eyes.

Step 13: Your pattern at this point should look like the picture on the left.

Step 14: Prepare 2 yellow grizlly hackle being 2 hook shanks long.

Step 15: Tie one feather with the shinny side out on to the hook in front of the eyes.

Step 16: Turn over the hook and repeat Step 15.

Step 17: Wrip finish and apply some cement to the head of the fly.

Step 18: Your pattern should be like the pattern in the far right picture.