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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Comb-Over Minnow

When you need to go deeper and get jiggy

When you're tying flies that will imitate any sort of baitfish pattern, there are a few factors to consider. Among these factors is buoyancy, lifelike action/look in the water and also "castability". The Comb-Over minnow is an example of how to incorporate a few of these aspects.

A number of years ago, when the EP fibers first hit the market, I tied up a bunch of chub minnow imitations to fish on a local stillwater where the trout would actively hunt down the little chubs. I was all stoked to be throwing such awesome looking minnow imitations, so I whipped out a fly and hucked a cast into the water. Lucky for the fish, my fly would have been a much better floating dead minnow imitation than a life-like trout-attracting fly pattern. I had done a few things wrong with this pattern. First off, I had waaaay too much material. Second, I didn't stop to consider how I'd actually fish the pattern. Had I been using a sinking line or tip of some sort, it might have worked well but still would have been a chore to cast and the action in the water was listless, so FAIL. Lesson learned.

Anyway, you have a few choices on fly design here: You can incorporate weight to get the fly to the zone you want or you can thin it up enough so that it will slice through the water on its own (similar to the Low-Fat Minnow, which is an awesome pattern, BTW). This pattern uses just enough material to maintain a great profile in the water, it's tapered with some cool thinning shears but still needs some weight to get the jiggy action and depth I wanted.

Oh, and the "comb-over" part comes from a technique using Clear Cure Goo Hydro to lock some of the fibers over the barbell eyes to get it the tapered slick look of a nice gentleman afraid to embrace his natural hair tendencies. And don't forget the wicked sharp Lazer Trokar hook we're using on this one. Truth be told, the first time I saw this hook, it had "minnow" written all over it and I started to devise something to build around it. It's a fun one to throw!

Hook: Lazer Trokar TK 97 #2
Thread: Monofilament (7X)
Eyes: Barbell Eyes
Belly: White and Silver Arizona Diamond Dubbing
Back: Olive Arizona Minnow Dubbing and Peacock Diamond Dubbing
Head: Coated with Clear Cure Goo Hydro

Video Tutorial as shown...


  1. when i was searching for a name for one of my baitfish patterns someone had suggested the comb over but i went in another direction, good looking pattern

  2. I don't know why this fly doesn't get as much love as the others- it is killer. It has haunted me (I've had the materials to make up the pictured fly for a while, and I wanted to slow down and really think about it) for quite some times...several months really. It is minimal in it's materials and just has that look...

    I think I'll finally gather up the scattered materials from my bins, and put together some comb overs. I've been thinking that I like the single so much, it might not be a bad effort wasted trying to make an articulated rendition...similar to the zoo cougar's progression.


  3. Can you direct me to the color dubbing you have in the recipe? I can't seem to find some of those colors in the Diamond Dubbing. Such as silver, white, and how about the minnow dubbing? Is that a different type of dubbing?

    1. Try this:

      And this:

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thanks Curtis. Can I use the Ice wing for the top and bottom. It looks like those colors correspond better. I did not see white, silver Diamond dub, nor did I see the light and dark minnow Diamond dub. Thanks for your help, I promise to place an order. I see several of your files that I am interested in tying. This is the only one material or technique wise that I'm a little confused on. Would the Diamond Hair be OK?

    1. Diamond hair works great, ice wing fiber would also be good. Somewhat similar and longer lengths.