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  • Writer's pictureChris O'Byrne

Rattle Clouser Minnow

Bass and bluegill in smaller waters love flies. But, in tannin stained, or run-off darkened waters, sound added to the flash and ripples of most flies will help attract more fish. The Rattle Clouser Minnow is one of these fish catching noise makers.

In the version pictured, two or three BBs in a glass or plastic tube are held to the hook inside a tube of braided Mylar. While there are other ways to add attractor noise to the basic Clouser pattern, this style provides a bit more body and a keel structure which improves the fly’s swimming action. The tube rattle will take up a good amount of space, so a size two or larger hook is called for.

Still a five minute fly, the Rattle Clouser only requires one step more than the basic fly. The dumbbell eyes are the key feature, so begin tying them in behind the hook eye about the length of the dumbbell. As with knot tying, trying to save on materials will cause problems, so select a generous length of Mylar tube. In order to keep the tube snug to the shank, tie down one end in the space just behind the eyes, then wind the thread to the bend of the hook. The tube can be un-braided, so slowly tease the strands open to slide the rattle in place, then hold the assembly on the hook shank and snug to the eyes and seal the back of the tube with a few wraps. Whip finish at the back and trim the thread. The attachment of the tube benefits from glue just as the eyes do, now is the time to glue both. Once the tube and eyes are secure, restart the thread in front of the dumbbell eyes and attach buck tail and flash per usual.

In the water, the bait fish action is not at all hindered. When it has sunk out of sight, this fly will rise and fall realistically, so watch the last part of the fly line and be ready for a strike.

Suggested Materials

Hook: Dai-Riki 930 #2

Thread: Wapsi Ultra Thread, 140

Eyes: Orvis Prepainted Fly Eyes, 5/32 or larger

Rattle Sleeve: Orvis Mylar Piping, Small

Rattle: Wapsi Fly Rattles, Mini

Body: Wapsi Bucktail

Flash: Wapsi Krystal Flash

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