Casey Smartt's Fly Fishing, Photography, & Outdoor Stuff

Smartt’s Glass Minnow

Smartt’s Glass Minnow is a small iridescent baitfish pattern. It is effective when gamefish are targeting small minnows like shad fry, glass minnows, or bay anchovies. It works well on both saltwater and freshwater species.


Hook: Mustad 34007 #2 to #8

Thread: Clear Nylon Mono

Tail: White synthetic fibers (Supreme Hair, Super Hair, etc…)

Tail Flash: 2 Strands pearl Krystal Flash

Body: Pearl Ice Dub (from Hairline Dubbin)

Eyes: 3D Stick-on (Glued with Aleene’s Fabric Fusion)

Shading: Prismacolor permanent marker (60% grey)




14 Responses to “Smartt’s Glass Minnow”

  1. Stanger

    Good video. It’s not as easy to tie as you make it look.

    • caseysmartt

      Hello Joe.

      Actually, I put a healthy drop of Aleene’s on the back of the eye to glue them on. When you press the eyes onto the fly, the Aleene’s slowly saturates the fibers down to the hook shank and keeps the eyes tightly secured. I don’t put any Aleene’s “over” the head, although you could do that if you wanted to make the head tougher.


  2. Tim

    I have to tell you that this fly has become my all-time favorite fly fresh or saltwater. I first came to know it through a youtube video where you were nailing stripers one cast after another and listed the fly as the glass minnow. I came to the site and found out how to tie it, and I’ve been playing with variations ever since. It is just so simple, so easy to tie, that it’s just plain genius. My favorite variation right now is a craft fur tail with a few strands of crystal flash and several fibers of bucktail to prevent the CF from fouling. Dubbing loop to spin the ice dub head, Goop for the eyes. This has caught me spanish macks, jacks, ladyfish, snook, herring, bluefish, stripers, hybrid striped bass, white bass, largemouth, smallmouth, and more species. It just doesn’t stop producing. So easy, so realistic, yet so much movement! Easy to modify if you have specific needs (for bluefish I sometimes use tougher synthetic tails like SF blend and only dub halfway up shank). Anyway, thanks for a great pattern!

    • caseysmartt

      Hello Tim, thanks for the note. Glad to her you are having such great luck with the Glass Minnow. I too catch a lot of fish on that fly. I appreciate your tips on different versions of the fly for various fish/actions. Send some pics!

      Thanks again,

  3. Caleb

    Have you ever tried using epoxy on the head to make it more bite resistant? I love the pattern nonetheless.

    • caseysmartt

      Hello Caleb.

      I have not used epoxy, but have used Aleene’s Fabric Fusion on the head of the Glass Minnow to beef it up and encapsulate the eyes. It worked well. AFF doesn’t add much weight so it did not affect the action too much.


  4. Eric

    Hey Casey, I hope you can help because I’m getting very frustrated. I’m using steve farrar flash blend for the body of the fly and I’m not getting the material to release after brushing it so I can’t get the taper from front to back. I’m not getting those few longer strands that I see in your fly that make it have a rounder head and then slimming profile to the tail. It looks like I trimmed the material similar to how your shrimp pattern looks after being cut. Are you making a full dubbing loop with the ice dub? It seems the material is wound tight to the thread and then getting brushed out easily? What are you using to pull the material, just ordinary velcro? Do you think I could be winding it too tight to the thread or to the shank? Do you have additional pictures of one of the glass minnows in mid progression? Sorry for all the questions. Guess I really have to pick up some ice dub and try it again. Thanks in advance for the help. Eric

    • caseysmartt

      Hello Eric.

      The Ice Dub material is extremely fine and shredded. I twist it straight to the thread (no loop). Add a few extra winds to the head to add some bulk. Pick out with Velcro like you find on a ball cap or computer cable strap.

      I’ll try to get up a quick video.


  5. Eric

    Casey, thank you so much for the reply. I was able to get the ice dub from a local shop and it made a huge difference. I tied the material in with a dubbing loop and the flies came out perfect. That being said, I’ll have to try and just twist it on and see how I do because that will definitely be a timesaver. Do you wax the mono before you twist it on? The velcro works great because it’s not too abrasive, just enough to pull out the hairs. Pattern looks awesome. I plan on doing very well with it for stripers and albies. Thanks again. Appreciate your time and help. Eric

    • caseysmartt


      Using the loop will probably prove to make a more durable fly. You also can lay down a thin bead of Aleene’s Fabric Fusion over the hook shank and wrap over it. Just make sure you don’t smear it into the fibers as you wrap and pick. I don’t use any wax on the thread.

      Good luck with those stripers and albies! Send some pics if you can, I would love to see them.

      Good luck,

  6. matt

    Love the fly! Do you fish this fly on a sink tip line or floating?

    • caseysmartt

      Glad you like the fly!

      I usually fish it on a floating line, occasionally intermediate line, with a long fluoro leader and loop knot to fly. Normally fishing it in top 4 feet of water column.


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