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Suspending Minnow
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Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9039
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The “Suspending Minnow”
I’ve spent some time over the years messing around with different ways to tie streamers, mainly for bass and saltwater fishing, that exhibit some of the characteristics that make conventional lures effective. “Suspending” minnow type lures that dive down, but then maintain a neutral buoyancy (or rise slowly), are a favorite of many cold water bass guys. I designed my suspending minnow to mimic this effect. That is to say, the fly “hovers” just off the bottom without sinking. I’ve found that cold water smallies in slow, deep, river eddies can be choosy about what they’ll eat. They want it S-L-O-W. Regular streamers and Clousers can be fished low and slow but they sink to the bottom. A streamer that holds just off the bottom is very effective (and is less snag prone). You can fish this fly at an extremely slow crawl. The key, in tying the fly, is to get what I call the fly’s “float” to just the right size so that the fly rises, very slowly, after it’s been stripped or twitched. You can use a sinking line but I prefer several split shots to sink the fly to the bottom; vary the distance from the shot to the fly – I usually like about 8-12 inches. You can also fish it “drop shot” style with the weight below the fly. I also prefer the hook bent into a keel shape so the fly rides hook upward, further resisting snags. The bent hook also creates a keel effect and helps keep the fly upright. If you’ve got choosy fish in cold water, this streamer will allow you to get the fly in the strike zone and keep it there while avoiding snags on leafy debris and other bottom litter.

STEP 1: Bend Hook as shown in Pic #1.

STEP 2: Tie in the tail/wing. I recommend marabou and in this case topped it with some Farrar’s Flash. Blend.

STEP 3: Body of estatz (body material doesn’t matter).

STEP4: Trim a half heart shaped piece of closed cell foam, in this case slightly thicker than an eighth inch. You’ll need fairly thick foam for this application. You can also substitute cylindrical foam but I much prefer flat stuff.

STEP 5: Tie in foam “float” (note size of foam in comparison with fly). I like to add some holographic eyes. Make sure you add the eyes before you trim down the float.

STEP 6: This is the key – do this slowly and carefully. In a tub or basin of water, soak the fly and observe how it floats. Sink it and watch how rapidly it pops back to the surface. With scissors, carefully whittle off tiny pieces of the float. Keep dunking it and watching it float back up. You want to get the float down to a size that allows the fly to slowly return to the surface. Each fly will react a bit differently and I recommend putting every fly in the water to get the float trimmed to the right size.
I like to jazz up the finished float with sharpie pens.


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Posted on: 2011/12/10 17:58


Re: Suspending Minnow

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3293
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Nice! The possibilities for this are endless.

I have a big, slow, deep pool in mind in a local stream to try this out in. Cast downstream into the pool, let it sink, and twitch it up.

No fair on the Sharpie bit - I've seen what you can do with a Sharpie. You could be the first guy in history on pro-deal with Sharpie.

Posted on: 2011/12/10 19:53
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Re: Suspending Minnow
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9039
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Quote:

Heritage-Angler wrote:
Nice! You could be the first guy in history on pro-deal with Sharpie.


Now that's funny.
Maybe they'll send me a lifetime supply.

Sharpie baby!

Sage? Orvis? Never heard of 'em.

Posted on: 2011/12/10 21:18


Re: Suspending Minnow

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19932
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Nice fly, dave.

How does it act in current? Do you exclusively fish it in slow pools?

Posted on: 2011/12/11 0:14


Re: Suspending Minnow
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Joined:
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9039
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Quote:

jayL wrote:
How does it act in current?


I'm not sure. I've only fished it slow and on the bottom. Without the weight to pull it down, it would, of course, slide just under the surface and might make for a nice bass streamer or night fly for big trout. Swinging it across and down in current might be very effective (or it might spin and be useless).
You might experiment tying "floats" like this on some of the big streamers you like out West. The results might be interesting.

Posted on: 2011/12/11 8:07






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