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Monday, November 17, 2014

Belly Scratcher Minnow

Weighted flies can have a very slim profile.

Belly Scratcher Minnow

In the past year and a half the Low Fat Minnow has quickly become one of my favorite flies for any specie of fish that eats other fish...  One of the things I really like about the Low Fat Minnow is that it suspends nicely in the water, and is designed to be fished on a sinking line in order to control the depth of the fly.  I knew that I wanted to make a weighted version for rivers, so I started researching about a year ago.  I really like throwing big articulated streamers, but I wanted to come up with something that I could throw at those lookers and chasers that might not want to eat something on the large side of the spectrum.  I also wanted something that I could tie in various weights without effecting the profile of the fly.  Most of the time, more weight means bigger barbell eyes or tungsten beads.  One of the great things about the low fat minnow is the slim profile, and adding heavy barbell eyes would take away from that.

Enter the Belly Scratcher Minnow.  Pretty much a Low Fat Minnow tied with a weighted belly and a zonker strip for a tail instead of marabou.  I also made the head a bit different because I have been playing with some different glues to attach eyes with.  I really like the fact that I can vary the weight of the fly to match the water I'm fishing by simply adding or subtracting tungsten beads when I tie it.  The initial test for this fly included lots of interest from hungry fish, but my tie-in technique for the beads was flawed, and they ended up falling off of the fly.  Once I dialed that in, the fly produced just like I thought it would.  It worked along the bottom of the stream bed and proved to be irresistible to some big browns.

This weighting technique is nothing new, so I'm definitely not taking credit for using it.  What IS brand new is the new short length of bruiser blend that we are introducing.  It's perfect for tying flies like this that don't need the extra length of the original bruiser blend.

~ Cheech


Material List

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Hook: Gamakatsu B10S - 1 - 25 Pack     
Thread: Danville Flat Waxed Nylon Thread - 140 Denier - White     
Beads: Plummeting Tungsten Beads - Gold - 5/32" (3.8mm)     
Wire: Senyo Intruder Trailer Hook Wire - Black - Regular     
Body: Holographic Cactus Chenille - Silver Gold     
Tail: Micro Pulsator Rabbit Strips - Black Barred Grizzly     
Head 1: Bruiser Blend Junior Dubbing - Alpha Wolf     
Head 2: Bruiser Blend Junior Dubbing - Cream     
Eyes: 3D Holographic Eyes - Super Pearl - 3/16"     
Marker 2: Chartpak Fly Tying Markers - Delta Brown (Dark Brown)     
Marker 2: Chartpak Fly Tying Markers - Goldenrod     

Other tools from the tutorial:
Tear Mender Waterproof Adhesive (6 oz)     
Loon Applicator Bottle, Cap & Needles     


  1. This fly looks sweet. I have been looking for a streamer that is a quick, simple tie and non articulated, ala the slump buster. Don't get me wrong, I love scupzillas, circus peanuts and the like, but they can wear me down on the vice.

    Not to be "recipe guy" but any other color combos that have tested well for you?

    1. Pretty much any combo with a darker color on top and a lighter color on bottom. Try something with Brown Olive BB Jr. on top and Pale Lemon BB Jr. on bottom.

  2. Caught some great fish in the E. WA Desert yesterday on this guy! Looking forward to tying some more.

    1. Awesome. Glad it worked for you.

    2. Awesome. Glad it worked for you.

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  4. I have been tying a lot of your low fat minnows. I absolutely love the fly and how durable the epoxy head is. I order some tear mender from you guys and it will come in sometime soon. However, I have seen some guys tie minor patterns like this with tear meander for the eyes. Then, instead of doing an entire epoxy head over the eyes, they do a sort of epoxy cone with UV resin over just the front of the eyes and on the very tip of the hook just behind the eye. I was wondering what your thoughts would be on this and if they UV cone just over the tip of the eyes would compromise the movement of this fly. I have to tie a tone of these for my fly fishing club at Mizzou so I am trying to make these as durable as possible. Thanks brother!

  5. Bummer you are out of hooks, eyes, and the gold beads in the right size. Makes me sad....