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Okay, so here's a thought for the day. What is the first thing you do when you hit a new stream, creek or river?

Yep, first you look at the water and then you tie on a size 12 woolly bugger and see what it hits it. I know, sounds like a crazy man, right? How about you take a stream net and kick over rocks? Yep, I know, I know, I sound like a trout bum.


But here's the point. I fished a stream that I've never been on before, couldn't find much about, except that the words, silt, silt and more silt were posted about it. But being the intrepid angler that I am, I went there anyway. After all, I had a day off, five rods in the car, a fishing buddy and off we went.


An hour later. We were looking at a dark muddy stretch of water. Looked like tea mixed with mud. "This is ugly," were the appropriate words. But I've fished waters that were ugly before so we took out the net, tied on a size 12 woolly bugger and went in the "silt". Did I tell you about the silt? Well I got to the sandy/rocky bottom and cast out and caught of all things, creek chub. A pink creek chub. And when we kicked over rocks we gathered our little catch on the bank, we had a couple of small olive crayfish and some small nymphs.


Now back to the pattern. I've been tying clousers slimmer and slimmer these days. I've also been tying them with crystal flash and flashabou mixed. And I've been using two new colors of flashy stuff: blue and pink.


I know, why blue, why pink? Minnows. The creek chubs are black, pink and white. The other minnows that I've caught are, you guessed it, black, blue and white. I also tie black, purple and white clousers. Oh and I caught them on little woolly buggers.



So I tied on black, pink and white clouser. Didnt' catch squat, for awhile. Then we hit a long deep pool and took a lot of nice fish out of it. I also tried a black size 4 woolybugger with a red cone head. Worked. Smaller fish though.

But still caught fish. I did try other flies as well, flashy stuff like sparkle minnows and murdich minnows and nothing. Top water was minimal but the black, pink, white clouser - sparsely tied was a winner.


I know, bringing a 4wt rod is not everyone's glass of beer, nor is getting a stream collecting net. But if you're going to fish an unknown body of water, it's not a bad idea to get an idea of the local bait fish and their coloration and size. I mean, isn't that why we tie flies of different sizes...you know to match the hatch as they say.


So I tie clousers in different sizes but usually I try to make them these lengths with an appropriate hook; small-1-1.5 inches, medium:1.5-2.5 inches, and large: 2.5-3.5 inches depending upon bucktail or other materials. A good small to medium fly is Craig's M&M clouser tied with marabou. I also use arctic fox. But for anything larger use the best bucktail you can find. And tie them sparse. And use flashabout and crystal flash for the sparkle. And if you want to, use Craig's weight adjusting system to get your fly where you want it. Near the bottom.


Oh and have little woolly buggers with bead heads in white, olive, black and brown. Just because they look good in the fly box.



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One or more of the minnow & chub species has spawning colors on the male that look like rainbow trout colors. Or if there are trout present juvenile trout are a favored forage for all fish including the trout. Can't agree more on Clousers tied sparsley with a little flash - the clearer the water the slimmer the fly. Wooley buggers should probably be declared illegal - its too easy.

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