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Thread: First Clouser

  1. Default First Clouser

    I am a novice at flyfishing ( took a 2 day class last summer) and am even newer at tying. I have tied some Woolly Buggers and other simple flies. Decided to try a Clouser tonight and got it done...but I am not sure Bob Clouser would recognize it! I have some books and also YouTube.

    Getting the deer hair right was the hardest part for me. I think I started out by using too big of a clump from the buck tail. I thinned it out but still could not seem to get it to stack as good as the book and YouTube showed. I was using a stacker from Dr particular the brass HSS 1 3/4" version. Is this ok and I just need more practice? It seemed like getting the tips in was not easy. I had to pack them a bit and then they did. It want to separate and come through the stacker.

    I finally got them reasonably stacked and tied in. The hair on the top is not lying sticks up away from the hook. I bet I can still get some smallie to take a swipe at it though.

    I even managed to mess up the beginner rule of finding flies that you want to tie and then go buy that material. I did that and made multiple trips to the fly shop and online. Then work and family kept me away from the vise for a month and I have no idea where my list of flies went. But I do have a nice box of materials!

    I look forward to getting better and trying to catch some fish on the flies I tie myself.


  2. #2

    Default Re: First Clouser

    Yeah bucktail can be a bear to get into a stacker. They do have larger stackers but here's a video that shows how to do it by hand [ame=""]hand stacking bucktail[/ame].
    - William

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: First Clouser

    Hi Keith,

    William has fixed you with a video and I'll add this. When you make hair wings, after you have 3 or 4 good snug wraps of tying thread on the hair place a nice drop of cement on the ends and give them a few seconds to dry a bit. Then go on with the rest of the fly.

    Hair is notorious for pulling out from flies. keeping each bunch a bit sparse and gluing the butt ends will keep a fly together through many a fish caught.

    Keep us posted, we're dying to help


    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    quiet corner, ct

    Default Re: First Clouser

    Quote Originally Posted by paflyfish View Post
    I finally got them reasonably stacked and tied in. The hair on the top is not lying sticks up away from the hook.
    That's because you wrapped your thread too tight ......yeah I know
    Looser thread wraps toward the rear just hold the bucktail down. Tight wraps toward the front hold it in place. When that doesn't work.... superglue.

    I never stack my hair for Clousers. IMO they have a more natural tapered shape if the tips are staggered.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.” --- Horace Kephart

  7. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)

    Default Re: First Clouser

    keeping each bunch a bit sparse and gluing the butt ends will keep a fly together through many a fish caught.
    Ard's advise is about the best tip you'll get for working with hairs.

    I've probably tied thousands of flies & jigs with bucktail. It's an excellent material, and not difficult to deal with, once you get used to it's nuances.

    I don't bother attempting to stack the hair. It's not needed, and IMO doesn't add anything to the appearance of a fly. Actually, it doesn't look natural IMO.

    Instead, I just try to even up the hair a bit, by holding the hair between my fingers & pulling free the longer fibers. Sometimes it takes a couple of attempts, but I've gotten to where I can do this fairly fast. This gives a tapered look to each clump of hair, which again IMO is more natural looking. (edit-posted before I saw Rips reply, we agree on many things!)

    Here's a pair of Clousers I've tied. They're sparely dressed & approximately the same length. The tips of the hair are generally even, and yes there are a few longer hairs. Clousers, or any fly should not look like a paint brush. When these were tied, I gave the hair a few wraps of thread & a drop of head cement (Sally Hansens Hard As Nails). The additional wraps will work the cement into the hair, making them solid & durable. There is also a coat or 2 of Sally's as a final finish over the thread, eyes & hair at the head.

    Here's another. Tied with a combination of squirrel tail & coyote tail. Again, the tips of the hair are approximately even. I use this fly as a crayfish imitation.

    This hair jig is tied with coyote tail hair. Again, the hair is even, but not like a paint brush.

    A saltwater Clouser, the tips of the hair gives a tapered appearance to the profile. Some baitfishes have this same profile. BTW, this is fox tail hair, not bucktail.

    This large bucktail jig is tied very full. The tips of the hair are about even. Sometimes a fuller tied jig or fly is desirable, as it pushes more water. There are always times when sparse or full has it's uses.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

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  9. #6

    Default Re: First Clouser

    nice ties!

  10. Default Re: First Clouser

    Thanks for all the advice and pictures. Some nice flies in there. I was on a plane this morning and pulled out a copy of Fly Fisherman magazine to read during takeoff. It opened up to an article by Charlie Craven on mounting hair was interesting and talked about hair stacking.

    Riptide: You are correct....I cinched down both tie points tight....and of course that would make them go up. It didn't seem so obvious last night to me!

    I watched the video that was suggested.....looks like a straightforward process with good results. Will give that a try on the next one.

    Those pictures from BigJim were nice. I compared them to what I "created" last night. Either the directions in the book were wrong or more likely I read them wrong, but I cut the buck tail too short. It is not as long as what I see in the pix and doesn't cover the hook well..which is aggravated by my over tightening some of the hair into the sky.

    I reeeeally wanted to tie last night and only had a short window of time between when my 10yr old son went to bed and I fall asleep. He wanted to tie a fly for the first time last night and dominated the vise. We started with a simple San Juan worm so he could get the feel of using a bobbin etc. He tied a bunch of them last night and was up at 5:30 this morning doing some more!


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