"Corsair Silly Minnow"
By George E. Emanuel
Pennsauken, NJ, USA
Photos by the Author
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.
||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.)
||White or Polar Bear Sea Fibers.
||Corsair Tubing w/Silver Thread, size 1/4" to 1/2" (relate to hook size).
||Flashabou, blue or green (or stack colors) to match local baitfish.
||Doll Eyes (size to suit).
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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
With a small dab of Silicone applied
to their backs, apply the doll eyes about 3/8"
behind the thread wraps at the head.
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.)
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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