Gambusia Minnow “Mosquito Fish”- By Fred G. Hannie

featured, Fly Patterns, Step-by-Step Tutorials — By on January 5, 2012 11:34 am

The gambusia minnow or mosquito fish as it is commonly known is a small forage species that inhabits many bodies of fresh water from drainage ditches to open lakes . It gets it’s common name from being a voracious predator of mosquito larvae . These minnows prefer to feed near weeds and shore lines where vegetation may also offer some protection from predators. As for predators, this species has a long list that includes almost every species of fish that swims with them. This pattern is tied on a size #8 hook and because of it’s size should exclude all but the largest bluegills but should be of ample size to get the attention of any bass or crappie it should pass near .

Material List
• Hook : Gamakatsu SL11-3H size 8
• Thread : UNI- Mono size 4M clear
• Eyes : 1/8 holographic / silver
• Body : 40 lb monofilament
• Tail : your choice of synthetic or natural materials

Once you have tied on to the hook add a length of .025 lead wire to the top and bottom of the hook shank . The lead should be tied to the hook leaving a small space before the eye and before the bend of the hook. It is a good idea to tie a few flies weighted and unweighted in each color combination

Tie in a light colored tail material. This fly is designed to ride hook point down and we will use a light color to simulate the belly of the minnow. You can use your choice of synthetic or natural material. Marabou works well
but on this fly I have chosen Slinky Fibre (Clear Ice) .

To add some bulk to this fly tie in some pieces of #40 mono (clear). This will add some depth of translucency and give the fly a more lifelike appearance.

The next material is to be tied in atop the mono and should be longer in length than the first tail material. A darker material is called for here . On this fly I have chosen DNA Frosty Fish Fibers (smoke).

Next , loop a piece of #40 mono over the hook shank between the eye and material previously tied on. Bend the mono down and tie it underneath the hook as shown in the next photo. A second loop will be tied in front of the first to form the mouth of our minnow.

The mono mouth parts add to the illusion so that this fly may be taken
for it’s living counterpart.

One of the most noticeable features of Gambusian minnows is the large round white belly. To emulate this on our fly we will use another synthetic fiber in white. Tie in the white material underneath , starting at the jaws and tie it back to the bend of the hook.

Bring the material forward to the same point and repeat this step until the
belly is as plump as you want it to be.

At this point you may whip finish and clip your thread.

The addition of eyes and a small black/blue dot at the back of the belly complete the illusion . The fly must now be sealed to protect the threads. Head cement, finger nail polish , epoxy or any of the new light cured products will work for this. On this fly I have used Diamond Hard UV resin.

Some color varriations

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Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)


  1. murray says:

    Fishy lookin’ nice job!!!!

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  2. Ed Mayes says:

    My next project! Thanks.

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  3. Ed Mayes says:

    Looks great! My next project! Thanks.

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  4. NCBass says:

    Like the mono mouth idea, adding it to my minnows. Instead of mono thread for the body, I use clear spandex to give it a rubbery feel.

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  5. witz says:

    Great idea, very inventive. Who’d have thought of making a mouth that way? Looks like it could add a touch of realism to a lot of flies.

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  6. NYCflyangler says:

    So, you’re tying the 40lb mono parallel to the shank, not wrapping it around the shank?

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  7. Fred Hannie says:

    Thanks everyone. NYCflyangler the 40lb mono is tied just like the lead wire parallel to the shank. I found this allows me to make the bodies the correct diminsions without being too round. If you wanted to make it into a juvenile bluegill ,it would be as easy as adding more mono to just the top and not the sides.

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  8. cdugg35 says:

    looks great and seems easy.. eager to try it out! how would you attempt to add a dorsal fin?

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