Pass Lake in is one of the great fly fishing lakes available to anglers in the Northwest Washington area. A small minnow was introduced into the lake, called a Fathead Minnow, which is big source of food for the lake's rainbow and brown trout. Fishing small minnow patterns has become a very successful method for hooking these trout, especially in the summer and fall months. The most common method to fish these flies is to fish them on an intermediate to medium sinking line. Since the Fathead Minnow concentrate near shallow shoreline areas, cast the fly towards shore and strip them back on a fast retrieve. If you see boiling fish, quickly cast to that area and strip very quickly to imitate a fleeing minnow. Buy the Pass Lake Minnow here.
Pacific Fly Fishers' Pass Lake Minnow uses materials and tying techniques common to saltwater baitfish patterns but everything is scaled down to produce a fly that is only 1.25 to 1.5 inches in length. I created this pattern for Pacific Fly Fishers because there aren't a lot of commercially available patterns on the market that duplicate the size and coloration of the Fathead Minnows. It has been very successful on Pass Lake and has produced some true lunkers!
Here is how to tie the Pass Lake Minnow:
Step #1: Use a short shank, straight-eye hook like the Ahrex NS172 in size 12, the Daiichi 1650 in size 4, or the Tiemco TMC 2499SPBL in size 8. Start a thread base with a strong thread in olive or olive-brown such at Ultra Thread 140 Denier in Olive.
Step #2: Attach a small section of EP Fibers - Beige to the top of the hook and positioned near the middle of the hook shank. Align the EP Fibers so that a taper is formed out the back of the fly. Leave the remaining portion of the fibers pointing toward the front of the fly and do not cut them off.
Step #3: Onto the top of the Beige EP Fibers, tie-in a thin amount of Extra Select Craft Fur - Dark Brown. Try to keep the Craft Fur directly on top and not rolling off the sides. Once secure, trim off the excess (but don't trim the EP Fibers).
Step #4: Similar to Step #1, take a section of EP Fibers in Golden Olive and stack it on top of the Dark Brown Craft Fur. Try to keep the fibers directly on top and secure them to the hook with very firm thread wraps. Leave the remaining portion of EP Fibers facing forward and do not trim it off.
Step #5: Take both the Beige and Golden Olive EP Fibers that were extending forward and fold them back towards the rear of the fly. Secure them back with thread as seen in the photo.
Step #6: Tie-in additional portions of Beige and Golden Olive EP Fiber material on the top and bottom of the fly near the front of the hook. Secure it firmly with the tying thread and leave the excess extending forward.
Step #7: Pull back both colors of the excess EP Fibers at the same time. Try to position each color so the Golden Olive stays on top and the Beige stays on the bottom. Hold the EP Fibers with your off hand and wrap thread to create a head behind the eye of the hook. Then, whip finish, cut the thread, and apply head cement.
Step #8: With your scissors, trim the fly to shape. "Hair Scissors" with longer blades work well for this. Trim the fly to a minnow shape. The total length of the fly should be 1.25 to 1.5-inches in length.
Step #9: Use ZAP Goo to glue on a pair of Hologram Dome Eyes - Silver - 5/32". Place ZAP Goo on the back of each eye, position them on the fly, then squeeze the eyes together for 30 seconds while the glue sets up.
Pacific Fly Fishers' Pass Lake Minnow
- Hook: Ahrex NS172 - size 12
- Thread: Ultra Thread 140 Denier - Olive
- Body: EP Fibers -- Beige and Golden Olive
- Body Stripe: Extra Select Craft Fur - Dark Brown
- Eyes: Hologram Dome Eyes - Silver - 5/32" dia.
- Glue for Eyes: ZAP Goo