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"Corsair Silly Minnow"

By George E. Emanuel
Pennsauken, NJ, USA
Photos by the Author

Corsair Silly Minnow

The Corsair Silly Minnow is a saltwater baitfish imitation from Page Rogers. She is a well known New Englander and has developed many flies over her career.

This fly is easy to tie and is guaranteed to get you blues and stripers anytime they are present, if tied in the proper color and size to match the baitfish of the moment.

Materials List:

Hook: Mustad 3407 sz 4 - 2/0 (2/0 shown).As a Personal Note: I have listed here a Mustad 3407 which is a plated hook. I do not use stainless steel hooks, as they take a fairly long time to rust out of an escaped fish. I also sharpen ALL of my own hooks, I also pinch down their barbs, and frankly the stainless are just more trouble than they are worth to me. Chemically sharpened is OK I guess, but they still are not as sharp as I can get them, with just a few strokes of the file. The 3407 is also a bargain compared to the others, but this is not my motivation, I just think it is the right hook for use in most, if not all, saltwater applications. (Guess I will now incur the wrath of the hook manufacturers.)

Thread: White 3/0.
Tail/Under Body: White or Polar Bear Sea Fibers.
Overbody: Corsair Tubing w/Silver Thread, size 1/4" to 1/2" (relate to hook size).
Wings: Flashabou, blue or green (or stack colors) to match local baitfish.
Eyes: Doll Eyes (size to suit).
Skin: Silicone.

Tying Instructions:

Place your hook into the vise and tie on your thread, wrapping to the bend and returning, to about 3/4 back toward the eye. I also like to coat the thread at this point with Daves Fleximent for durability. It will still be somewhat wet when we start the next step.

step 1

Cut a piece of Sea Fiber about twice the length of the shank, and tie on, winding the thread to the rear, about even with the barb, go over this area several times and tie the material down well. Apply a good helping of Daves Fleximent to the thread wraps to enhance the durability of the fly. Tie off and cut your thread.

Step 2

Measure a piece or Corsair so that when it is slid over the front of the hook, it extends all the way to the bend without beginning to go around. After gauging cut off your overbody , slip it over the hook and Sea Fibers and tie it in at the eye. (this stuff can be difficult at times, but if you squeeze it together and use a couple of loose turns before tightening down, it seems to go easier.)

step 3

Select about 8 to 10 strands (more if you prefer, but this gets the job done) of Flashabou, and fold them over the thread at their halfway point, run the material down the thread to the eye and tie in on top of the fly. Tie off your thread with a whip finish, we are finished with the tying. Coat the wraps with more Daves Fleximent.

step 4

Using Silicone coat the entire area of the Corsair and the Mylar as far as the end of the Corsair. You may have to smooth the Mylar to lie flat. I find that a bit of saliva on the rear of the Mylar where the silicone will not be applied tends to make this a bit more manageable. The silicone begins to set fairly quickly, so just hold everything in place until it begins to set. Put it aside to dry for 5 minutes or so.

With a small dab of Silicone applied to their backs, apply the doll eyes about 3/8" behind the thread wraps at the head.

step 5

If you like at this time you may trim a nice taper at the rear of the fly so that you have a fishy shape. Page builds her taper in during the tying process, but I prefer to do it on the beach as I can then trim any length I need at the time. ( I have trimmed it here.)

step 6

Ok You can quit at this point, or get out your Kodak Photo Flo to wet your fingers and apply a second smoothed coat of silicone. Place a couple of dollops of silicone behind the eye at 90 degree intervals around the hook, and wetting your fingers with a dilution of Photo Flo spread the dollops over the entire body smoothing as you go. This, I at least believe, gives a nice tactile feel that the fish find attractive. But please, don't ask me to explain why, because, I can't begin to understand the behavior of ravenous fish, they just seem to like it better than a mouth full of feather, or bucktail.

Fishing the Fly:

It is somewhat durable, and has been known to catch many blues before having to be retired. You should tie this using synthetic material, which, when fished with an intermediate line, will swim about a foot or so below the surface. It is also easier to cast tied synthetically, as most synthetics do not absorb a lot of water, thus they do not add weight to the basic fly, making it easier to cast. Just use your standard fast, or slow retrieve as dictated by the fish at the time, and hang on, you are going for a ride.

That's it, a really nice looking little baitfish imitation to put in your wallet. It will serve you well and reward you with nice fish, which will be impressed with your efforts.

Let me know how you make out with this fly, I love to hear success stories! Good Fishing, ~ George Manual

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