Fly of the Month: Polar Clouser

Fly of the Month: Polar Clouser

One of the most effective baitfish patterns I have ever used is the “Chrome Clouser.” This is a flashy fluid-looking Clouser Minnow with a white craft fur belly and a body made from a large tapered clump of silver Krystal Flash. The fly is topped with a few strands of slender grey bucktail. While traditional Clouser Minnows are tied sparse, using only a few strands of bucktail and flash to create a wispy baitfish illusion, the Chrome Clouser is tied full and fat. It is bright and lively and anything but subtle. It looks great in the water and predators of all kinds will hammer it. I attribute this to the action of the tapered clump of flash used to form its body. It wriggles and writhes and reflects light in a way that is irresistible.

I have long wanted to tie an iridescent version of the Chrome Clouser to match the electric-pearlescent look baitfish radiate in clear water. Unfortunately, most of the flash materials I experimented with were either too stiff or too limp to provide just the right action when used in bulk. Some tangled, others stretched, and some were brittle or fragile or just too darn expensive to squander. Then along came one that performed perfectly-Polar Flash.

Polar Flash (not to be confused with fur-like Polar Fiber) is a thin, flat, iridescent Mylar material sold in generously-sized hanks. It resists tangles and does not twist on itself like some materials when used in bulk. Polar Flash is available in a variety of colors including pearl, chartreuse, and silver. It’s a tough material but it has a surprisingly supple fluid action and it is ideal for crafting all sorts of durable saltwater patterns.

I generally tie the Polar Clouser in pearl/grey on a #2 hook with medium black/white lead eyes. The key to tying this fly is to use a large clump of Polar Flash fibers that tapers to a gentle smooth point at the rear. When tied this way, the fly absolutely comes to life with a wriggling action and astonishing rainbow shine. Really… it looks great in the water. If desired, stripes or colored accents can be added to the body of the fly using permanent markers.

The Polar Clouser is a good choice for the surf, jetties, channels, or open water fishing. Due to its weight and bold presence, it is not the best choice for spooky flats fish. Retrieve the fly with a jerky erratic stripping motion followed by brief pauses. For predators that respond to speed, use a hand-over-hand retrieve. The Polar Clouser is durable, easy to tie, and will make a great baitfish addition to your fly box.


Hook: Standard stainless saltwater hook #4 to 3/0
Thread: Clear nylon mono
Eyes: Painted lead barbell, or stainless bead chain
Back: Bucktail
Belly: Craft fur
Body: Polar Flash
Head Cement: Sally Hansen’s Hard-as-Nails

Some of the materials you will need — lead eyes, bucktail, craft fur, and Polar Flash.


1. Attach lead eyes to top of hook shank using figure 8 wraps.

2. Attach a bundle of craft fur fibers on top of hook shank between lead eyes and eye of hook.

3. Move thread to rear of hook shank, pull craft fur fibers snug over eyes, and secure to top of hook shank with thread wraps.

4. Wind thread back to front of hook shank and coat wraps with Sally Hansen's.

5. Rotate hook as shown.

6. Cut a 4-inch long section of Polar Flash fibers. Grip the fibers in the center and taper each end by randomly pulling a few fibers out slightly. Each end should come to a slender tapered point.

7. Secure the center point of the fibers to the hook shank with one half facing forward and one half facing rearward.

8. Fold the forward-facing ends of the fibers back over the hook shank as shown and secure with tight thread wraps.

9. Continue to wrap down the fibers and form a tight tapered nose on the fly.

10. Overlay a long slender clump of bucktail fibers and secure with thread wraps, forming a tight tapered head.

11. Tie off thread and coat wraps with Sally Hansen's.