Ice Minnow

Ice Minnow

- By Bob Morenski

By far the most productive new fly that I fished in 2008 was the Ice Minnow. I tied the first ones up last winter but did not fish the fly much until last June. It proved its worth on overcast days and as a morning fly throughout the month of September. Once I realized what a great morning fly that it was, I started with it every day and would fish it all morning. The only choice that I made was based on weather. On overcast mornings, I found the size 4 worked best and on sunny days I would drop down to a size 6.

I gave one of these to Dave LaFrance who tied one to his brother line on Bower Lake. The fly immediately produced a 26 inch rainbow. It was his brother’s first fly caught trout. He lost the fly right after that but I know Dave plans to tie a bunch of these up for fishing on both Bower and Patterson Lakes this coming year.

The Ice Minnow differs from the Ice Leech by the addition of a few extra features. It has a back which must be lashed down with a rib. I also sometimes add a few strands of Krystal Flash to the tail on the larger flies. I tie them in 2 sizes and I use slightly different material list for each. So, I will list them separately to avoid confusion. At present, I mostly fish this with a silver body but I have been experimenting a little with Minnow Blue Lite-Brite and Emerald Green Ice dub. I also used a size 6 imitation on bright days during mid summer that sported a dyed olive grizzly marabou tail and a yellow Ice Dub body. This was a hot pattern in late June. Like the Ice Leeches, the only limit you have with the color is your own imagination. The Materials for the original versions are listed below.

The flies shown above are the original Ice Minnows. The top one is the version that I use in size 4 with the Large Black Krystal Flash Chenille back. The lower fly is my size 6 version which features Black Pearl New Age Chenille for the back.


Type Notes


2XL (Size 4 or 6)


3/16th Silver (Size 4), 5/32 Silver (Size 6)


3/0 Red Monochord


Black Marabou (Size 4 has optional strands of Peacock Green Krystal Flash)


Silver Ultra Wire, Small


Large Black Krystal Flash Chenille (Size 4), Black Pearl New Age Chenille (Size 6)


Ice Dub, Silver


Type Notes


Install the bead to the hook and secure it in place with thread and wire.


Tie in the tail and if preferred tie in 2 to 3 strands of Krystal Flash on each side. (Note: I like the tail full but it should not be any longer than from the back of the bead to where
the hook starts to bend.)


Tie in the rib at the rear of the hook shaft.


Take approximately 12 inches of the chenille used for the body and double over. Secure the threaded ends at the rear end of the hook shaft.


Dub the body. You can use either a dubbing loop or the twist dubbing technique. I prefer the latter. When you do this, wrap your thread up to the base of the bead head. You will find it helpful to have a moist sponge on your desk to dampen your fingers to assist you in dubbing this material. Wrap to the back of the hook and then dub a second layer back to the bead.


Twist the chenille that you used for the back, pull it forward and secure it behind the bead.


Wrap your rib forward and secure behind the bead.


Take a few more wraps of thread behind the bead, secure and lacquer. I like the thread to show up on this fly. I, therefore, use more wraps than I would normally use on other patterns to represent gills.


Pick out the dubbing along the sides and belly of the fly.