Guitar minnows are my go to fly for stripers in lots of different conditions. I turn to this fly when I'm done fooling around and feel like I need to get a fish in the boat. It is a clouser variation developed by Jim Bernstein at Eldredge Bros. Flyshop in Cape Neddick, Maine. One might think it is nothing more than a clouser minnow at first glance but there has been a lot of thought that has gone into this fly. There are subtle differences that come to mind such as the weight and placement of the eyes, the gills, and angle of the bottom bucktail to give balance to the fly and probably more that Jim could point out. He even has fine tuned the presentation of the fly. Put all these things together and this fly is deadly.
This fly is more commonly tied with white neck hackle for the tail. The fly can have a little different wobbling or twitching action when tied with the feathers. I prefer the bucktail version since most of the fly is bucktail already, the fly body swims and flows in the same motion. Olive/seafoam/white is the original basic color scheme I was shown and fished although a bronze top is quite popular. I tied up a few more variations to match other basic baitfish color schemes and also to test out additional flash.
Here is a very good, detailed step by step video and recipe from youtube done by Jim.
I added a link to striper flies in the navigation bar at the top of the blog with some more guitar minnow pics. I hope to keep adding more striper flies to this page as I get around to tying and photographing them.
Striper taken on a guitar minnow Sunday.