With a background in landscape architecture, Glenn Acomb took to the art of fly-tying. “I’m a designer, he says. “It’s an art form that intrigued my and its also a hand-eye-detail, fun thing." Sometimes he ties flies for fun, including one that captured the football team spirit of the University of Florida, where Acomb is a professor. “I tied a Gator fly—it had Gator colors and gave it to my friend who was a die-hard Gator.” Sometimes he ties to relax. “I tie flies in a way for therapy. If I can’t quite go to sleep, I might tie a fly just ‘cause it will relax me,” Acomb says. “ It is in a way really an inward escape.“

Hands tying a fly on a vise

But Acomb admits the value of the fly is much greater when it can actually catch a fish. The Clouser is a fly that has been used to catch just about any fish species in Florida. The fur, thread and tinsel used to tie the fly are simple and effective, as shown in the video below when native Floridian fisherman David Baker demonstrates how to tie a Clouser. When you start to tie the Clouser, or any other fly visualize the pattern and know how materials will affect the movement of the fly as it is pulled through the water. “The bend (of the hook) is most important for catching the fish, the shank is more important to be the place where you are tying,” says Acomb. “You don’t want to expose unnecessary metal, so you don’t want this long shank on a tie that’s going to be this little bunch feathers.” The fur and feathers affect the silhouette and action that the fly creates, Acomb says. Some materials pulsate through the water, while others or wiggle, an action that nabs the attention of red fish. “There’s two that are my favorite: speckled trout and red fish. They’re the most common. They’re available and their fun," he says. "And you can more easily catch a fly you’ve tied on those. If your pursuing Tarpon, you may not see Tarpon for a long while." For more patterns check out The Global Flyfisher or Saltwater Flies.

Fly-fisherman David Baker demonstrates how to tie innovative saltwater angler Bob Clouser's fly, dubbed Clouser's Deep Minnow, or the Clouser. The simple design and the darting up-and-down movement of the fly in water make this fly an excellent choice for beginners and experts alike, when it comes tying flies that catch fish.