Try Moose Body Hair
I have a similar pattern that I use for Walleys, in lakes primarily but also has worked in rivers.
I build the fly in a similar fashion as you describe, using bucktail. I tie in 7 or 8 moose body hair(s), tied in as a weed guard. This stuff is very stiff and I extend it almost 1 inch beyond the hook point/bend. The buoyancy of the moose hair seems to cause the fly to stay "hook up" instead of inverted. I don't use a clouser style weight, I use several wraps of heavy gauge copper wire to overwrap 2/3 of the hook and because it is somewhat soft, I can use pliers to flatten it and shape the body of the fly using muskrat underbody fur as a dubbing to cover the hook, that stuff just sucks in water and helps with the sink rate.
Pete AKA Frenchcreek from Calgary