Chatto’s blue water minnow


This is larger blue water version of my very successful ‘Flats minnow”. It’s a very fishy looking fly and has a little blood spot that adds to the appearance of the fly being a wounded fish.

It sinks quickly and because of the relatively heavy dumbbell eyes and the wing that is well above the fly’s centre of gravity it always swims hook point up so you can comfortably retrieve it over rough patches with a minimum chance of snags. It does snag up occasionally but that is a small price to pay for being able to fish where the fish are feeding.

blue-water-minnow-white Flats-yellow



Hook Thread Eyes Blood spot Belly Flash Back
My preference is Mustard 34007 Stainless steel but other similar shaped hooks are good alternatives. You will need a strong thread and I recommend “Uni big fly” thread. Painted lead dumbbell eyes in Pearl with black pupil. FNF chenille strands or similar. White buck tail. Tiewell krystalflash in pearl or equivalent. Buck tail in your choice of colours.


  1. I tie this fly in sizes ranging from sizes #2/0 upwards tied here being the size I tie most often.
  2. Wrap the thread in tight touching turns from the 95% position down the front 1/3 of the hook shank and then take the thread back toward the eye of the hook a third of that distance.


  1. Select your dumbbell eyes. I have matched this size #2 fly with medium size Hairline painted lead dumbbell eyes
  2. Tie in your dumbbell eyes on top of the hook shank using tight figure 8 wraps. To make sure that the eyes don’t rotate on the hook shank include a couple of tight wraps the thread around the base of the eyes on top of the hook shank and between every couple of figure of eight wraps take a firm wrap of thread around the hook shank.
  3. I like those eyes to be tied in about the same distance from the back of the eye of the hook as the diameter of the dumbbell eyes.
  4. Finish with the thread behind the eyes.


  1. For the blood spot I harvest a few strands of UV flash material from a length of Fluoro red Far North Fly Fishing FNF UV Jelly Chenille.
  2. Tie that in directly behind the dumbbell eyes and take the thread forward to half way between the dumbbell eyes and the eye of the hook.


  1. Select a small bunch of buck tail for the under-wing making sure that you trim it from close to the hide on the buck tail.


  1. Hand stack the bunch of buck tail hair so that the tips are roughly aligned. Do that by first stroking the fluff from the butt end and then pinch out the hairs with tips that don’t line up with most of the buck tail and put them back into the bunch with the tips more closely lining up with the balance of the bunch.
  2. Do take care when selecting bunches of materials that you don’t select too much. From my experience a lightly dressed flats minnow is always better than an overdressed flats minnow.
  3. Holding the bunch of buck tail with your right hand position it above the tie in position with the tips extending back and over the fly forming an under-wing equal to the length of the hook.


  1. Swap your grip on the marabou bunch to your left hand.


  1. Take a couple of firm fly tier pinches of the thread to lock it in position on top of the hook shank half way between the dumbbell eyes and the eye of the hook.
  2. With a sharp pair of scissors trim away the butt end of the buck tail under-wing.


  1. Half way between the dumbbell eyes and the eye of the hook tie in 4 strands of krystalflash with the tips extending over the full length of the under-wing.



  1. Select a small bunch of buck tail for the over-wing making sure that you trim it from close to the hide on the buck tail.
  2. Just before tying the over wing in put one drop of UV resin on top of the tie in of the under-wing. Don’t cure the resin. As you tie the over-wing in the wraps of thread will force the resin to inundate the tie of the under-wing, the sparkleflash and the over-wing further locking in those elements.
  3. Repeat steps D,E,F & G to tie the over-wing in.
  4. Build up a neat thread head, whip finish the thread and trim the excess thread off.
  5. Apply a thin coat of UV resin to the thread head and the tie in of the dumbbell eyes and cure the resin.


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