Flashtail Clouser with Rattles

The Fly of Choice in the Delta last week was a Chartreuse 5 1/2 in Clouser. Steve likes them, and I like what he likes. I thought I would take this weekend to replenish my flies. I also like this fly in San Luis, and caught some personal best stripers on it. The recipe is simple and as effective as this fly is, its easy to tie. The addition of the rattle gives it an additional appeal to big fish and personally, I like to fish it with a size 7 pulse disc to get the rattles really going.

The Flashtail Clouser is a Dan Blanton’s Design. I like to tie them with the hair longer. I played with the shorter trim last week and the longer dressed ones seem to work better. Mike Costello and Steve Santucci both tie them longer and like flies 5 and a half inches or longer for the delta and San Luis – Long Flies get Big Fish. The smaller size one is fly tied in the delta Smelt colors. When the fishing gets slower and tougher, I go to smaller flies about 3 -4 inches with slower retrieves and more stop and drop.

Recently I was asked how I tie rattles on my flies. I like buying rattles bulk from Barlow’s tackle. I like the medium size plastic rattles for flies above 1/0 and smaller rattles for size one and smaller. I tie the rattles on by trapping them in EZ-Body Tubing and coating them with epoxy. On smaller hooks, I usually tie on top and on larger flies I like to tie them below the shank. Rattles tied below the hook make better wing lines that those with top rattles on smaller flies. I worry sometimes about the effect a rattle has on the gape of the hook and guess it might interfere with hooking fish. For that reason I like wide gape jig hooks on large and small flies and tie the rattles on the top trying to lay the wing and secure it to the top of the rattle so it lays straight back. .


I started using hair clips for loose bundles of Flash and Slinky.  They are  10 bucks for six and hold with rubber and teeth.

My latest preference in Light Cure head cements are from Solorez.


4 thoughts on “Flashtail Clouser with Rattles

  1. This post is, as usual, Meng, enormously useful to me, especially for the specific info it provides on materials and techniques (plus the exact size of pulse discs that you use — they’re expensive, so it’s helpful to know exactly which ones to order.) I’m afraid that we are getting late into the season for me to try some of these ideas out this year. (I’m away in Michigan at the moment, though I return in a few days.) When would you expect spring striper fishing to pick up again in the Forebay? Also, what do you consider the best months for the prospects of topwater action in O’Neill? I fish from a kayak, so I’m reluctant to venture onto San Luis (too big, too windy) before I perfect my approach and start to achieve consistent success on the Forebay.

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