The Minkie

by Jonathan

This fly has been around on UK stillwaters for about ten years now. It was not mentioned in the 1992 edition of Fly Patterns by Taff Price. I first heard about it when I was working as a warden at a local trout lake. Until that time I had been tying zonkers. The principle for tying is the same except that the thin strips of mink were used instead of rabbit.

The mink is a finer fur and can be tied in smaller sizes than rabbit. The early patterns were often tied with a rib running through the fur on the same basis as the New Zealand Matuka series. Now everybody seems to be happy with the mink strip tied in at the head and tail only. I was reluctant to change, but was eventually able to convince myself that provided you wet the underside of the strip well, with saliva ( spit ), and stretched it tightly to the head and secured it with enough tight turns, it would be OK.

The benefits of mink are the colours available, white, silver and black/brown. The fur is very mobile and seems to shimmy with even the slowest retrieve. The colours of the the body in fritz or chenille are limited only by your imagination.

If you do decide to cut your own strips ( provided your grannie has let you have her mink coat ) there is a right and a wrong way to cut the pelt. You will need either a very sharp stanley knife or a scalpel with a fresh blade.

Place your pelt fur side down and mark the skin size in biro ( pen ) in strips about 4mm wide, head to tail. If you can get your Grannie to help get her to hold one end while you run the blade of the scalpel, preferably with one sweep, down the length of the pelt. Do not lie it on the bench you will damage the fur! Once you have got the first strip done the rest are much easier.

As a lure I would give it top marks. I rarely use lures but at the weekend I did try one I had tied for the video and was rewarded with a 4lb. rainbow.


  • Hook long shank 6 / 8 /10
  • Body fritz chenille any color
  • Tail / Wing mink strip – white / silver / dark brown
  • Head chain bead – silver / gold
  • Tying silk black


Happy Fishing
Dave Cammiss and The Team

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