Martin’s Minnow

Put simply, this is an excellent pattern for any fish foraging on prey such as coarse fry, sticklebacks or actual minnows. My very first trip with some samples Martin had kindly sent me resulted in half a dozen perch, including a cracking 1lb 13oz canal fish. The fly is also well worth a cast for chub, jack pike and trout. I dare say it would also work for sea bass, mackerel or pollack, but that’s another story! I’ll let Martin explain the rest…

Dominic asked if I minded doing this step by step for Fly for Coarse as I catch the bulk of my river trout, canal perch and chub on the following Martin’s Minnow pattern. There’s nothing complicated about it or in how to fish it; I just tend to cast it out and bring it back in short strips which causes the fly to rise and fall due to being tied on a jig hook.

For their size, these flies are very easy to cast and anything around a #5 rod would be perfectly suitable with a standard weight forward floating line. I vary the bead sizes depending on the depth and flow of water


1. Slide a bead onto the hook and place in the vice, I prefer to mount it hook point up, remember if you mount it hook down as you normally would that your tying on a jig hook so tie the fly colours upside down accordingly so it ends up the correct way when fishing.


2. Prepare your body materials by trimming a full length of each of your chosen colours of funky fibre. , if you’ve never used Funky Fibre then less really is more. One full length will give you 3 minnows and a hank will last you a long time.


3. Cut off a section of black funky fibre about 2-2.5” long. Pinch between thumb and forefinger, and pull out the centre fibres to create a taper in the material.


4. Catch in your thread onto the hook just behind the bead and tie the fibres in place. Trim any stray bits and secure with tight wraps.


5. Now catch in your flash material. Just a little pinch will do. Tie in section about double the length of your body, securing at the midpoint as shown.


6. Gather up the strands poking forward and double back like this.


7. Now tie in a section of tan fibres on top, before some white fibres at the bottom as shown. If your vice rotates, this makes the job easier. As with the flash materials, we have taken a pinch of fibres in each colour about double the length of the body.


8. Now double back the fibres above and below. Pinch and bind in place with some nice tight wraps of thread.


9 Now tie off and cut the thread and remove the fly from the vice. Brush it and even out any straggling fibres with a pet or toothbrush.


10 To finish, I superglue two 4-5mm 3D eyes in place. Once this is dry I use a UV cure resin (such as Bug Bond) to fill the gaps and lightly coat the eyes for add further security.


Further Tips: You can use the steps above to create different patterns by substituting the tan, black and white for other colours. Other great colour combinations along with the standard Martin’s Minnow are perch, firetiger and roach and these are the four colours I’d take to any stillwater, canal or river where I’m expecting trout, perch and chub. Sharpie markers are fantastic for adding perch stripes and other details. Experiment on the vice and have some fun creating new colour schemes, sharpie markers are fantastic for adding extra details.

Give them a try then go and enjoy your hard work by catching some fish from your local water. Thanks to Martin Smith: You can also contact him directly to order some original versions of the fly, as well as cracking pike flies: