Invicta Flies - Arctic Clouser
The Arctic Clouser uses beadchain for the eyes, making it light enough to fish at varying speeds and depths. The soft Actic fox holds a bit of bulk, yet still tapers finely toward the tips and creates a nice "swimming" motion. Tie a few in various colors and cash in on largemouth, smallmouth, crappie, bream, and many others in lakes, ponds, and rivers.
Hook: Mustad 9672, #6-10
Thread: Uni-Thread 6/0, olive
Eyes: metal beadchain
Belly: Arctic fox, yellow
Flash: Flashabou Accent, gold
Back: Arctic fox, olive
1.) Place hook in vise and secure thread just behind the eye. The size of the hook is limited only to the length of the fox hairs. You want the tips to extend at least a hook shanks length beyond the bend. Cover the front 1/2 of the shank with tying thread.
2.) Secure bead chain eyes to top of shank about two hook eye widths behind eye. Use figure-eight wraps, pulling down to tighten occasionally, then follow up with three or four turns under the eyes but over the hook shank in a clockwise direction. This will help cinch down the figure-eight wraps. Bring thread in front of eyes and cement the eye wraps well.
3.) Trim a bundle of yellow Arctic fox (or whatever color the belly will be) about a half matchstick in diameter. Pull the bundle straight out from the hide to help align the tips before clipping. Tie the bundle on top of the hook in front of the eyes. With the eyes in the way and the fur being so soft, I find it useful to take a couple loose turns about 1/3 the length back from the clipped end of the bundle, pinching the thread so it does not tighten down. Grasp the clipped end with your right hand, then slide your left back so it is still holding the tip section, but the loops of thread are now free. Lower the bundle toward the hook shank with the thread bobbin hanging free. The loops will tighten up and the bundle will remain on top of the shank. Now pull the bundle back to the desired length, tighten the thread wraps by pulling down and take a couple more turns of thread to secure. Clip the excess and cover most of any exposed ends.
4.) Bring thread behind eyes. Pull bundle down between beadchain eyes, then lash it to the shank with four or five wraps of thread. Continue holding the bundle as you spiral wrap the thread back to the half shank point. Take five tight wraps of thread here, then spiral wrap the thread forward again. Finish by crossing under shank, between the eyes, and bringing the thread in front. Take two turns of thread in front of the eyes.
5.) Turn the hook over in the vise so the bundle just tied in is now on bottom. Tie in three strands of Flashabou Accent or Krystal Flash on each side of what is now the top of the hook. These should extend to the very tip of the bundle of fox.
6.) Clip a bundle of olive Arctic Fox (or back color) and tie in using the method described in step 3. Tips should line up with the tips of the first bundle, or you can make them a little longer. Clip excess and cover all expose ends.
7.) Build a tapered head with the tying thread, whip finish and cement.
NOTES: The olive/yellow and rust/white are the colors I find most productive, but many other combinations can be used. Use a color of flash that matches the general body color (for example, the dun/white uses silver). To fish, soak the fly first and make sure the hairs are evenly distributed on either side of the hook. Fish on a floating line, allowing more time for it to sink to vary the depth. An erratic, stop/start, four inch strip makes the fly swim. For an injured look, lengthen the stop time so the fly sinks head first, then follow up with a sharp, short strip. Takes are usually strong and quite obvious.