Willow Ford
Home Page

Seminars, Clinics, & Presentations

Tying Articles

HPU Brite-Eyed Shiners

Fox's Sand Eel Article

Duskystripe Shiner

The Alewife

Minnow Recipes & Material Kits

Fox's Mudbugs

How To Tie Fox's Arkansas Scud

Tying Fox's Dead Drifter Sowbug

Tying The Worm Scud

Oligochate Worm

Extra Stuff

Our Friends

New Concept Minnows

What are my New Concept Minnows?

They are new ideas (plural) in designing and fishing minnows. There are basically two types: Floatin' and Slo-Descend. Both types can be tied Alive or Dead.

What are the advantages of New Concept Minnows over Clouser Minnows?

Clouser Minnow patterns are made to find the bottom fast or remain low in the current when retrieving. This is great when fishing in fast currents and deep pools or if the fish are hitting the fly when you retrieve quickly. But Clousers fail when the pools are shallow, the current is slow, and the fish prefer slow retrieves. In the Spring , I like Clousers. In the Summer and Fall, I love New Concepts. There are other areas that Clousers fail also. Clousers fail by becoming hung-up when fishing over weed beds, brush piles, and structure such as this. But using a Floatin' New Concept Minnow with a full-sinking line, these areas are fished easily. The minnow floats above the weed and brush while the line lies on top of it. This setup also works well when bottom fishing for Walleye. Bass find the suspended minnow intimidating and often strike it repeatedly.

What is the difference between Alive and Dead?

How the pattern is tied onto the hook. For an Alive minnow, the pattern is tied with the belly down in the bend of the hook. For a Dead Minnow, the pattern is tied with the belly up on the back of the hook (Clouser style).

Why tie a minnow that appears to be Dead?

Dead Minnows are a natural occurrence in all waters. They die from disease, injuries, old age, water temperature, stress, exhaustion, starvation, pollution and other things. The life expectancy of most minnows is less than three years.

If minnows die so often and so many, why don't we see them in our waters?

You can, if you look quickly. Dead minnows are recognized by predator as "easy" prey and don't last long when available. Turtles, crawfish, snakes, raccoons, and fish all capitalize on the opportunity to dine on them.

What is the difference between Floatin' and Slo-Descend minnow?

Their eyes. What the eye is made of and/or the size of the eye can determine whether the minnow floats or slo-descends. Styrofoam eyes can be made large enough to float the minnow or using a smaller eye or larger hook will let the minnow slo-descend. For example 1/4-inch Styrofoam eyes on a #4 Mustad 33903 hook will float the minnow. But 1/4-inch Styrofoam eyes on a #2 Mustad 33903 hook will make a very slo-descending minnow. Foam-rubber can also be used to make slo-descending minnow, but gluing or sticking an eye insert on them is very hard because foam-rubber eyes are soft and the eyes come off easily. When using foam-rubber it is best to paint the pupil of the eye with a magic marker.

How do I make Styrofoam eyes and Foam-Rubber eyes?

Foam-Rubber eyes are the easiest to make but the hardest to tie onto the hook evenly. I use a paper punch or a leather punch and a sheet of foam-rubber to make these eyes. Sheets of Foam-rubber can be purchased from craft or discount stores in different thicknesses and colors. Styrofoam eyes are harder to make but are better looking and easier to tie on the hook evenly. I purchase round, ball, Styrofoam indicators from the area fly shops. I super-glue two balls on a household toothpick leaving about a 1/16-inch between the balls (don't use the toothpick that comes with the indicators, they are too fat and split the Styrofoam balls). After tying the minnow, I sand a flat spot on each side of the eyes and glue a tape eye insert on the flat spot and paint a coat of head cement over it.

Can these New Concept Minnows catch trout?

You bet! These are the answer to fishing the Threadfin Shad kill that happens in late Winter and early Spring when the dead shad come through the dams.

Fishin' What They See, Vol. 1 $10.95
The White and Black River Systems Above Their Confluence and The Little Red River System.


For Sale

River Bottom Color Sculpin Tying DVD

About The Book


What are UP (Ultimate Performance) Fly Rods

No Boundary Fishing

HPU Patterns

Spinner'd Minner

New Concept Minnows

Knots That Catch More Fish

The Acid Test for Fly Reels