Bucktails ? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Bucktails ?

01-08-2005, 07:17 PM
I wondering if any of you, who fish Steelhead out west, were using / tying Bucktails of any sort in your Steelhead fishing.

Comments good or bad about your thoughts on Bucktails appreciated.


01-08-2005, 10:01 PM
If you are referring to the old-time steelhead bucktail tied on regular length, heavy wire hooks like the Eagle Claw 1197 and with chenile bodies and wings that are heavy and quite a bit longer than the hook, I haven't seen anyone other than George McCleod fish with them for at least 12 years.

If you are referring toooo the more modern version of the steelhead bucktal tied on salmon irons with floss, dubbing, wool, or chenile bodies tied with a sparser wing that is between 1/2 tail to the end of the tail in length, I've seen a lot of folks using them. Although, most are tied with calf, artic fox, or kid goat instead of bucktail, they are the old bucktail flies like the Green Butt Skunk, Skunk, Purple Peril, Skykomish Sunrise, Red Ant, Black Ant, Silver Ant, Umqua Special, Surgeon General, etc.

01-09-2005, 12:16 AM
For my summer/fall dry line fishing I use a very simple, but effective pattern that has a bucktail over and under wing. Takes a couple minutes to tie. I am going to give that same pattern a try....only a little larger this spring. I like the ease of use of bucktail. I know some folks take and stack the hair.....but I dont bother...I just whack off a chunk and tie it in.

01-09-2005, 07:24 AM
you mean something like a russian river fly or more of a hairwing fly?

01-09-2005, 08:38 AM
To answer a couple of questions..........."of any sort".

Personally, newer stuff or yea .........Russian River type ties, stacked wing along with bucktail belly, longer swimming ties, reverse ties, etc. etc.. Marc LeBlanc uses bucktail in some of his ties.

It's tying season and .......well I am tying and playing around a bit with patterns. I have probably 20 different bucktails and enjoy tying with the stuff. Krystal flash & flash a bou blend perfectly with bucktail to make some nice baitfish and or attractor patterns, space low water or full winter. I never really cared for the chenille mylar rib bucktail wing ties, except from a historic view.

I don't care for the Salmon Irons(from a fishing standpoint) and prefer a 4x long 2x heavy hook like the Mustad Signature R74 or TMC 9394 or a 2x long 2x heavy, for Bucktails. But that's just my opinion

Pretty much interested in anything though.........and also how they are or are not working on the swing out there.

When tied a bit long and stacked sparce bucktail does have a very fishy swimming motion in water.

Pictures, patterns, thoughts,links and other thoughts and B.S. good or bad appreciated............it's tying time.

01-09-2005, 08:52 AM
P.S............Jay when I write "stacked wing" I don't mean hair stacker. I simply hand stack bucktail also and prefer it's fishy profile to stacked on larger patterns. What I ment was stacked color's.

The only patterns I stack (in a stacker) bucktail on is the smaller Trout type, wing only like a Black Nose Dace in a smaller size.

Who's on first................(grin) :chuckle:

01-09-2005, 03:19 PM
There's also some carrie stevens patterns that incorporate bucktail into them and they look really cool. They may be worth a try if you want to build a wing.

Nooksack Mac
01-11-2005, 09:44 PM
While the vision we carry of steelhead fishing may emphasize fishing a dry Steelhead Bee or damp Blue Charm with a floating line, or probing the soft margins with a svelte spey fly, the reality is that we're usually dredging several turbulent feet down with sink tips, and we want flies that will be at home there. Bucktails, even with chenille bodies, are still at home there. One of my most standard intermediate-color flies is the old Purple Peril, tied with brown bucktail wing -- and frequently on a stout 1197B. By the way, the tip ends of bucktail are usually soft enough to move nicely in moderate currents. And a properly portioned bucktail is one of the most elegant of steelhead flies. Yes, bucktails are easier to tie than many of the more contemporary flies; but to tie them well, that takes a micrometer eyeball.

01-13-2005, 06:57 PM
My primary winter steelhead fly pattern for a little more than the past 20 years employs died orange bucktail, as a tail though, not as a wing. I tie it on Eagle Claw 1197B hooks. It's meant to be fished deep, and I lose a lot of them, so I tie them more for functionality and speed than for style. So when someone asks the pattern name, I call it "basic bait." Over the years, I've kept it up with the times by adding either a little flashabou or krystal flash.


Salmo g.