Hi, How Can We Help You?

Sparkle Minnow Fly – An Amazing Streamer

Sparkle Minnow Fly – An Amazing Streamer

The sparkle minnow is a very productive streamer, and will catch trout just about anywhere. The flashy profile of this fly really attracts fish, similar to a regular lure or a spoon. If you haven’t added sparkle minnows to your fly box, we certainly recommend it.

This article will cover the top reasons why sparkle minnows work.

This is a pretty popular fly, and you can find it at most western fly shops. It is also relatively simple to tie if you’re a fly tyer. The use of sparkle brushes will make this tie much quicker, as you simply wrap the brushes along the shank of the hook. I like to color the backs with a black sharpie for a more realistic fish look. However, you can skip this step if you want.

Sparkle Minnow Shines In Dirty Water

If you’ve ever fished dirty water or runoff conditions, you know that brighter flies can work quite well. If you’re fishing during muddy water conditions, the sparkle minnow will be visible to most trout that you present it to. It is a top choice in May and early June when the rivers in the west are dirty. This is often when we’ll pound the banks with streamers in hopes of a large trout.

Sparkle Minnows Get Down

Not only does this fly have a tungsten cone head, but it also has lead wraps underneath the body. This allows the sparkle minnow to sink quickly into the trouts zone. It also allows you to fish it on a floating line – you don’t necessarily need a sink tip. However, the weight of this fly means you’ll need to upsize your fly rod. I like to fish the sparkle minnow with a 7 weight, since it can handle the weight and bulk of this fly. Fishing this fly with a 6 weight or a 5 weight can be quite cumbersome.

Comes In Articulated Versions

Although the single hook version fishes well, you can also buy or tie articulated versions. These are sparkle minnows with 2 hooks instead of 1. Articulated flies work well if you’re hunting large trout that are aggressive. These flies are often 5-6 inches long, and they trigger predatory strikes, especially from brown trout. If you’re on the hunt for a big trout, consider fishing articulated.

Color Variations

The sparkle minnows pictured in this article are the classic pattern, but you can fish it in darker or lighter colors. The “JJ” version is more of a copper brown throughout the fly. Lighter versions include white and cream colors. Play around with different colors at the vise, and find what works best for your local waters.

Works For Multiple Species

Although the sparkle minnow is known as a trout fly, it will work for many species. I have used it successfully for Northern Pike, Bass and other warm water species. If you live near warm water fish instead of trout streams, this is still a productive fly to have in your arsenal. I have had success with it in the midwest on Bass lakes and Pike lakes.


Although some anglers scoff at this fly due to its flashiness and lure-like qualities, it is certainly worth having in your box. One good day with the sparkle minnow will have you convinced that this is one of the top producing streamers – for trout and plenty of other species. If you are building your first streamer box and you’re not sure which streamers to get, consider this fly as one of your first. For Colorado, Wyoming and Montana anglers, this fly is a top producer.