Bonefish Clousers - Colors? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Bonefish Clousers - Colors?

01-24-2012, 04:36 PM
I've been tying lots of chartreuse clouser minnows for Eleuthera and have had relatively good success with them but wanted to know what other color combinations might work also. And may under different condition.

Is it fair to say that I should use less Krystal Flash for very sunny days and more on overcast days?



01-24-2012, 09:30 PM
Hi Marty,
I would throw a tan over white into the mix and use craft fur instead of deer hair. For thread, try gotcha pink.

As for flash, everyone has a different opinion on that one. I personally like flash no matter what the day is like. I think it helps attract the fish and it looks natural.

Good luck.

01-25-2012, 09:08 AM
On Andros, my secret fly is a pale (almost shrimpy) pink over white. Strange as it sounds, black eyes with red pupils seems to make it even better.

01-25-2012, 09:15 AM
Thanks guys. I'll try some tan and pink versions as well.

What about hook color. I go to the Orvis shop in Boston for all of my equipment and bought some Orvis brand bonefish hooks which are a tinnish color. Also bought the Gamakatsu SL45 hooks which are black. Are black hooks a no-no for clousers, gotchas and charlies?


01-25-2012, 10:05 PM
I don't think there is a no-no on the hook color, though a black hook might create an awkward shape in the body of the fly. I prefer just plain stainless hooks for all of my bonefish flies.

Chartreuse clousers are my favorite color not only for bones, but for any fish. Tan is also an excellent color for bones, though if I'm fishing a tan fly, I'm probably going to be throwing a Gotcha-type pattern or anything other than a clouser.

Personally, I tie clousers for bones in the following colors, with the majority being chartreuse, and most of them using bucktail. I also use artificial materials for the colored part of the fly sometimes. I always use a lot of flash because a clouser is a pretty bland fly that needs something to make it pop. I often tie in 4-8 sili-legs as well into the head, though technically I don't know if that's a clouser any more. Maybe it's a sili-legs clouser? I usually use white thread for the heads, or chartreuse sometimes for the ones with that color in them, and sometimes tan, pink, red, or even black. As for the eyes, most fish and crustaceans have black eyes so that makes sense.
Chartreuse over white
All chartreuse
Red over white
Orange over white
Tan over white
Yellow over white

I'm going to experiment with a couple of other colors this year too when I head to the Bahamas for 2.5 weeks in late March / early April. I'm going to try blue over white and purple over white just for the heck of it to see what happens, and maybe black over white too.

I also tie some versions where I tie in 1-2 small hackle feathers on each side of the hook that are the same length as the bucktail. They give it a lot more motion than just bucktail, even when it's just sitting on the bottom in the current.

04-06-2012, 01:57 PM
Check it out here:

For shallow water go w/ smaller hooks #6-#4 and bead-chain eyes. I've taken everything from monster bones, jacks, muttons, to baby tarpon on this fly. It just looks alive in the water.

NB For lighter bottom (really white sand) invert the colors.

04-06-2012, 02:19 PM
Based on JTWG's advice I tied some Tan over White's Clousers on 4 & 6's. I just bought some #2 hooks so I'll go even bigger this time.

They look very familiar to the smaller ones I tied and used in Eleuthera last January. They all caught fish.

I'm not fond of fishing in Governor's Harbour but it might be good to practice with shrimp patterns against the smart fish in there.