Crafty Minnow
by Steve May - January 12, 2009

There is so many different flies that imitate minnows. But there is again as many different minnows to imitate and the fish we try to catch generally would never pass up the opportunity to eat big, fleshy bait fish copies.

Crafty Minnow Steps

Tying Belly
1. Place the hook upside down in vise this makes tying in the belly easier. Attach thread on the front third of the hook shank and tie in a tapered clump of craft fur in about 2 hook eye widths back from the front of the hook. The thick part should extend past the front of the hook. (NOTE: If you wish to put a red throat on this pattern it can be done just behind the wing. For weight, a bead could also be put in behind the wing.)

Tying Lateral Line Flash
Fold in a piece of flash right on top of the tie in point of the light craft fur. This should extend well past the craft fur. (NOTE: Folding in the flash makes the fly more durable. The flash should extend beyond the lower wing to create a “tail flick”.)

Tying Minnow Back
At the same tie in place tie a clump of tapered craft fur on the top of the hook shank. (NOTE: The contrasting colors of this fly can be varied to match local minnows or attract attention of hungry fish.)

Tying in Sides
Tie in a grizzly hackle feather on each side of the hook so it creates a lateral line between the dark and light craft fur. (NOTE: The lateral line feather is optional but does make for a nicer looking fly. Other materials like contrasting flash or waterfowl flank feather can also be used.)

Proper Whip Finish
Move the thread to the front of the hook, build a head of thread, tie off and cement this thread.

Placing Eyes
Using an adhesive like Zap a Gap Gel, stick the 3D epoxy eyes in on top of the junction point where all of the materials were tied in. This should result in having a bunch of material sticking out above and in front of the eyes. (NOTE: Zap a Gap Gel is the best adhesive for this pattern, but GOOP and Super Glue will work if they are all you have. A small drop will do the job. The eyes can be various colors and sizes. Larger or brighter eyes can make the fly look bigger to fish without adding material of making it tougher to cast.)

Proper Trimming of Head
Trim the material in front of and on top of the eyes to the shape of a minnow head. (NOTE: Trimming the head should be started with two cuts one on top and one on the bottom to set the angles of the head to blend with the wing. Then more detailed trimming can be done.)

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