I use the sparkle minnow in the fall when I commit to streamer fishing. The Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow is a baitfish/sculpin imitation so effective that it can almost feel like cheating. There’s really no wrong way to fish it—it works under an indicator as a dead-drifted streamer, banged against the banks and aggressively stripped, or even on the swing. It performs well in olive, rust, and even white, but the attention-getting flash wings and the swimming action of the marabou tail make this pattern swim almost as good as a real fish. And it’s easier to tie than you might think. A dubbing loop works fine, but start thin to avoid crowding the gap of the hook. You can leave the dubbing pretty shaggy—just comb it out and trim the edges. In a sense, it’s just a shiny wooly bugger. Have fun and enjoy catching fish.
Hook: Dai-Riki #710 size 4
Bead: 7/32 black nickel bead
Lead Wire: 0.030 lead wire
Thread: MFC black premium tying thread 3/0
Body: gold ice dubbing brush
Underbelly: pearl ice dubbing brush
Tail: white, olive brown and medium olive marabou, copper krystal flash
Dorsal Stripe: black Sharpie
1. Make two dubbing brushes: one pearl and one gold. Lay your thread down flat and lay out ice dubbing on the line. Fold the line back over to your bobbin and the dubbing and spin it so that you have a long strand of loose, shaggy dubbing on thread. It’s easier if you hook the string on something to hold it tight to help spin it on.
2. Put the bead on the hook and wrap the hook with lead wire.
3. Tie in the tail marabou, white first with olive on top. Also, tie a few strands of copper krystal flash into the tail on both sides.
4. You can tie in more olive marabou into the tail to make a bigger bushier tail.
5. Next, tie in your pearl and gold brushes on the back of the hook right in front of the tail.
6. Wrap your thread to the front of the hook and wrap a half hitch and hang your thread off to the side.
7. Next wrap the gold dubbing brush around the hook to the front and tie it down.
8. Fold the pearl brush forward to the front of the hook on the bottom of the fly. Do not wrap it around the hook—just fold it over the bottom to the front.
9. Wrap a few times around the head behind the hook, and whip finish a few times to finish it off. If you like, you can dab on some head cement.
10. Last, take a black sharpie and draw a stripe along the top of the fly from the head to the tail.
Peter King is the best fly tier at Bozeman Angler.