So, what’s a Shlouser? It’s part clouser minnow, part shrimpy goodness, and it’s my go-to pattern for targeting speckled seatrout in the colder months of the year. It’s simple to tie, simple to fish, and absolutely gets the job done.
I like to fish the Shlouser on floating line with a 6-weight (or 7-weight) Renegade White Series for a softer presentation in the super clear, shallow water that can be found during winter low-tides in the Lowcountry. Look out for islands, points, pockets, and anywhere specks can sit in moving water and ambush baitfish and shrimp. Moving water is key when it comes to targeting these fish, so I usually fish a couple hours after either tide, when the water should be flowing nicely. The Shlouser is a great prospecting fly that allows you to cover water and present the fly to fish you might not necessarily see. A slow, steady strip usually does the trick for me, but experiment with different variations to see what gets the most consistent bite for you. I also like to tie this in a somewhat natural colorway, since the water I fish is generally very clear but, again, experiment here and see what works best for you!
Hook - Umpqua XS415, Size #1
Thread – Danville 210 Denier Flat Waxed (always)
Eyes – Easy Shrimp Eyes & Dumbbell Eyes, Red (size small)
Rubber legs – Sightcast Fishing Marsh Legs (Copper/Brown – Orange Tip)
Body – Senyo’s Laser Dub, Tan
Bucktail – White & Rust (don’t skimp on quality here)
Nothing beats high quality bucktail, but the primo stuff is not needed here. Just look for tails at your local fly shop that have long, soft fibers.
Start by laying down a consistent thread base from the eye of the hook rearwards towards the bend of the hook. Then, attach your dumbbell eyes to the top of the hook shank with figure eight wraps and a drop of super glue to lock them in place. The eyes should be level and firmly secured.
Next, tie in a clump of the white bucktail to the rear of the hook. The bucktail fibers should be roughly 3x the length of the hook shank. Tie the butts in directly behind the dumbbell eyes and wrap all the way back, extending just slightly down the bend of the hook (this helps give a shrimpier look to the fly). Try to wrap your thread evenly in order to create a smooth, consistent body shape.
Now things start getting shrimpy. Tie in the Easy Shrimp Eyes on the underside of the hook shank. The eyes should be level and extend just past the bend of the hook, with one eye on either side. Trim two rubber legs so that there is about an inch of the orange tip left on each leg. Double them over and attach to the hook shank, so that there are two legs on each side.
Create a relatively sparse dubbing noodle with the Laser Dub and warp forward creating a consistent body shape. I like to put a couple thread wraps back over the dubbing body to add to the lifespan of the fly (specks like to rip up flies).
Finally, take another sparse clump of bucktail, but this time the rust, and tie it in just in front of the dumbbell eyes. Secure the butts with solid wraps and build up a bit of a thread head. Whip finish and add your favorite head cement, I like Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails, but anything will work for this.
The Shlouser, super simple and super effective. Go put a couple of these in your box, hit the marsh!
Photography and Written by Ryan Gallagher of https://www.instagram.com/blueoliveflyco/
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