Barrel Full of Bucktails - Classics and favorites - Global FlyFisher

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Barrel Full of Bucktails


Published Apr 20th 2011

Classics and favorites

By

Bucktails are among the oldest known styles of artificial fishing lures. In the US, bucktail streamers were tied for trout and bass fishing in the mid 1800's in such a way that they would look comfortable in any modern fly box. John Betts wrote in Fly Tyer magazine of some early bucktails from that time period fished in the Mohawk River near Rome in central New York - not much more than a stone's throw from where I grew up. It's probably a safe bet to assume that as long as humans were crafting lures to fool fish, they were using some sort of hair.

How is it, then, that my fly boxes were barren of bucktails until just a handful of years ago? I had plenty of marabou winged flies - the classic White Marabou being a favorite to this day - but not a single bucktail. I had lots of featherwing streamers, plenty of palmered atrocities (some of you might call them woolly buggers), and enough other things to fill up half a box with "streamers", but not a single bucktail? For real?

It was the original streamers@ discussion list that finally pushed me to tie some bucktails. Actually, it was a swap of little bucktails that sucked me in, and I admit I haven't looked back since. As I look at my streamer box now, fully half of the box is filled with buctails of some sort of another. In fact, it is a bucktail that has bumped the White Marabou off the top spot in the bucktail pecking order, my favorite Lake Erie Shiner. What a great fly. More on that later.

As with many fly tyers, I have more flies than time to fish them. I have boxes stuffed to overflowing with flies, and storage boxes on my tying desk filled with flies, and altoid tins, and plano compartment boxes, and and and and. After awhile the reason for tying flies during the winter shifts from the need to fill boxes for the upcoming season to the need to find an escape from the winter blues. I still tie every fly with the intent of it being tied to the end of a leader, but I don't try to fool myself into believe that will ever happen to most of them.

So it was this past winter that I got a bug in my craw to tie up a selection of the classic bucktails. Some of these flies are among the most well known of any genre of fishing flies - who hasn't heard of a Mickey Finn? - and some others are a little on the obscure side. Some are simple and some are a bit complicated. Some are imitative in nature, and some look like scraps on the floor of a burlesque show. Some I never tied before, some have been a staple in my box in recent years. I like 'em all. They all have their place on the water, and they all have a story to tell.

A few words about the tying on display below.

  • I consider jungle cock cheeks as an optional ingredient on any fly. The birds where these feathers come from are protected by the CITES agreements so please be careful and if you choose to use these feathers, make sure you follow all legal procedures when obtaining them. When the original pattern calls for JC, I include it in the recipe but not in the fly on display. Use your judgement here.
  • I feel the same about polar bear. Some recipes call specifically for polar bear, but I didn't use it. My point is not to preach about the evils of ill gotten fly tying materials. It's just as simple as respecting the source of our tying materials as much as we respect and protect our favorite waters and the trout that live in them.
  • A look at the group shot above makes it clear that I like painted eyes. Many - most in fact - of the classic patterns do not mention anything about painted eyes on the heads of the flies. I think they add something and I will fish the fly with more confidence when it has an eye. Again - do as you see fit. It may not be traditional, but every tradition has some room for artistic license. I only list the eye in the pattern recipe if the original pattern called it out.
  • I tried to stay faithful to the original recipes whenever possible, but I'm sure there are variations. I will try to call these out in the comments below each pattern rather than in the recipe itself. Blame me for any inconsistencies. They are not intentional (unless they were - lol).
  • Every fly below was tied on an old stock Mustad 3665A size 4. I used up my entire stash and need to order more. Geez. Does anyone have enough hooks?
  • Not ever fly is a bucktail, really. Some feature squirrel, and there is at least one with woodchuck. I granted some liberty with those flies because they are usually included in a listing of bucktail patterns, and I like them. Perhaps this should be described as a listing of "hairwing" streamers instead, as there are a multitude of hairs used in trout streamers - goat, fox, calf, skunk, ringtailed cat, and even some unmentionables (Herter's nubian princess, as an example). Ce la vie. They are all loosely termed "bucktails".
  • One word about bucktail - the material itself. It may be the most naturally diverse materials we use. One gray squirrel tail is usually like another, and I feel completely comfortable mail ordering these from any source, but whitetail deer tails have great variety - from very coarse to very fine, to straight as an arrow to totally crinkly. I prefer tails that are fine, not flaring, have some texture but not what I would call curly or crinkly, and with hairs in the three to four inch range. If you are going to buy bucktails with the idea of tying trout streamers, do so in person or buy from a reputable source who will listen to what you want and hand select the appropriate tails. I get most of my deer tails these days from Chris Helms at Whitetail Fly Tying Supplies and I've never been disappointed.
  • It is very easy to overdress a bucktail streamer. The temptation is always there to use more hair than is necessary, especially on flies with layers of multiple colors. Bucktails always fish better when dressed sparsely. As you'll see in the flies below, this is something I struggle with as well. I admire those tyers who can truly tie a sleek and sparse fly.
  • There are obviously many many bucktail patterns not included here. In fact, there is a whole subgenre of bucktails - Keith Fulsher's Thunder Creek streamers - that are missing. My intent was not to disrespect those flies. Keith's flies are a category by themselves. I just picked a good representative selection of classic patterns as well as some personal favorites or flies that have piqued my curiosity. The only requirement is that the main wing materials was "bucktail" (in its various forms as discussed above).

On with the show.

April 2011.

Bauman Bucktail

Tail: Barred Woodduck
Body: Orange Floss
Rib: Flat Gold Tinsel

Wing: Yellow over White Bucktail
Topping: Peacock Sword, half the length of the wing
Throat: Red hackle
Head: Black, with painted eyes, white with red pupi;
Cheeks: Jungle Cock (optional)

Way back when we did the Stewart and Leeman feature, Darren Bua submitted a Bauman Bucktail and it struck my eye as one of the more interesting patterns of the lot (and a well tied version at that). While it may not be a classic in the sense that it is popular and well known, I wanted to include it in this collection because not only is it a very creative pattern, but also because it is included in two of the classic streamer texts, Bates "Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing" and the aforementioned "Trolling Flies for Trout and Salmon" by Stewart and Leemand. Really nice fly. The original does indeed indicate that the fly has a painted eye on the head.

 

Black Ghost Bucktail

Tail: Yellow Hackle
Body: Black Floss
Rib: Flat Silver Tinsel

Wing: White Bucktail
Throat: Yellow Hackle

The Black Ghost is one of those flies that belong on the Mount Rushmore of streamer patterns. It has been tied in a million different ways, but the three most popular are the original featherwing, the marabou winged version, and a hairwing version shown above (often tied with polar bear - but this is a restriced material). This fly is the invention of Herbie Welch, a Maine outdoorsman and fishing guide (among other things). I recall fishing the West Branch of the Delaware River one Opening Day several years ago when the only action I got all day was with a featherwing Black Ghost. Chris Del Plato schooled me on the merits of a small version when fishing the Willowemoc several years ago. This is a must have. My personal favorite version has a hybrid wing of bucktail and a pair of neck hackles on top, similar to how some of Ray Bergman's streamers are tied.

 

Black Nosed Dace

Tail: Red Wool Yarn
Body: Flat Silver Tinsel
Rib: Oval Silver Tinsel

Wing: White, then black, then brown bucktail (bottom to top)

Another one for the Mount Rushmore of streamers. Unfortunately, the black central stripe of bucktail is not very visible in the photo above. The real dace has a very prominent black lateral stripe running from the tail to the nose, through the eye. The back is brownish oliveish and the belly is creamy white. By layering small bunches of bucktail, you can mimic this coloration in the natural quite nicely. Art Flick, the originator of this pattern, tied the fly on a shorter shank hook with a wing that extended well past the bend. It is my fault that the above fly is not a proper representation of his tying style. I suggest you tie yours the way Art tied his.

 

Depth Ray #2

Tail: Lemon Woodduck
Butt: Flourescent Orange Floss
Body: Flat Silver Tinsel

Throat: Orange Polar Bear
Wing: Flourescent Green Ray Wool over which is a small bunch of black bucktail

An Austin Hogan pattern. There is a Depth Ray #1, but I liked this one better (woodduck, donchya know). I never heard of this fly until I got the '95 edition of Bates book, which has new fly plates in the back. I've tied this before in smaller sizes, but up'ed it to a number four to match the rest of the flies in this collection. I did not have any "ray wool" for the wing - I believe "depth ray wool" was (is?) a Danville product - so I used a bit of fl chartreuse craft fur which is really electric. I also used some goat for the throat rather than polar bear.

 

Dunc's Bucktail

Tag: Flat Gold Tinsel
Tail: Bright green under red hackle or schlappen
Body: Uni Yarn (gold)

Underwing: Four strands of peacock herl under two strands of pumpkin uni floss
Wing: Charcoal gray bucktail
Belly: Light gray bucktail
Cheeks: Jungle Cock (optional)

The original Dunc's Special was a classic featherwing streamer designed by Chris Del Plato as a tribute to Warren "Dunc" Duncan upon his passing. Dunc was one of the most prolific and skilled fly tyers any of us have ever encountered. His skill at the vise was matched only by his strength of personality- to say he was a character would be quite an understatement. We miss him. Chris's streamer was later converted to a bucktail by Ray Tucker ("letumgo" from the fly tying boards). It may not be a classic bucktail (yet), but it is a beautiful fly and it felt good to include it here. My version differs from the original slightly in that I used a generic orange yarn for the body and white bucktail for the belly. Well -that and the painted eye of course.

 

Edson Dark Tiger

Tag: Flat Gold Tinsel
Tail:
Yellow Hackle Tips
Body: Yellow Chenille
Throat: Narrow red hackle tips
Wing: Brown bucktail
Cheek: Gold metal "Edson" eyes
Head: Yellow

The Edson Tigers are among the most famous of all bucktail patterns, but there seems to be some confusion about what the real pattern for the dark version is. Even Bill himself tied it a number of different ways, some with barred woodduck tails, some with jungle cock cheeks, some with hackle bunches for the tail and throat, some with red squirrel wings. Finding *the* Light Tiger was nearly impossible, but I believe what is shown above is what most consider the prototypical pattern recipe. The head on this fly was painted. I used yellow thread, but as soon as you hit it with cement it turns into a dark mottled color. Fine for a nymph I guess, but not what Bill was after. A quick coat of yellow acrylic and I was in business. I would never want to tie this fly commercially. Trying to get the wing to sit nicely in front of a chenille body will give you gray hair.

 

Edson Light Tiger

Tag: Flat Gold Tinsel
Tail:
Barred Woodduck
Body: Peacock Herl
Wing: Yellow bucktail
Topping: Red hackle tip, extending halfway the length of the wing
Cheek: Gold metal "Edson" eyes
Head: Black

The sibling of Bill Edson's "Dark Tiger". The recipe for this version seems far more standardized than the Dark Tiger, although very few of those I've seen sport hackle tips in the wing. It is far more common to see a bunch of red hackle distributed across the top/front of the wing, like I did above, or with a section of duck or goose quill. I tied this with four sections of peacock herl. If you can wrap the entire shank of a #4 streamer hook with one bunch of herl, you rock.

 

FRS Fancy

Body: Flat Silver Tinsel
Belly:
White bucktail
Wing: Brown over orange bucktail
Throat: White schlappen
Head: Black w/ red band in the middle

Carrie Stevens is deservedly famous for her ground breaking fly the "Gray Ghost". It not only won her national acclaim and a lifelong business of providing flies for anglers travelling to Maine, it also spawned an entire genre of fly tying - the "Rangeley Style" streamer (although some will argue with me about that name - we won't get into that here). Carrie Stevens built on the success of the Gray Ghost by tying a large portfolio of featherwing streamers, but tucked into the recesses of her more famous patterns is this little gem of a bucktail called the FRS Fancy. My version differs from the original in the addition of an oval tinsel rib to protect the mylar body (and the eye of course).

 

Gate Crasher

Body: Copper twist (lacquered) or flat copper tinsel
Wing:
Small bunches of impala or polar bear in orange, red, and purple at top.
Throat: White hackle fibers
Head: Black
w/ white eye and black pupil

Like Carrie Stevens, Mike Martinek, Jr is more well known for his beautiful Rangeley Style streamers than for his bucktails, but his books offer a number of little nuggets like the Gate Crasher shown above. As with most of Mike's flies, the thing that struck me first is the unique and wonderful blend of colors, especially his fondness for copper tinsel. My version differs from the original in the addition of a ribbing tinsel to protect the mylar body. I also used bucktail (fresh out of Impala at the moment).

 

Gierach's Little Brown Trout

Body: Pearl Mylar Braid
Throat: White bucktail
Wing: Orange bucktail, pearl flashabou or krystal flash, and fox (red) squirrel tail.
Topping: Peacock Herl
Head: Black
w/ yellow painted eyes

Tripped over this fly and the one below in the "Classic Fly Tyer" section of the Spring 2004 issue of that magazine. The flies caught my eye immediately and have seen found a permanent spot in my fly box. Who'd a thunk that Gierach original flies would be streamers and not some danty little dry fly?!? I bet he took grief from this, as I can quote AK Best from one of John's book "If I had known you were going to fish bait, I wouldn't have invited you". My version differs from John's in that it is not weighted (a pox on weighted bucktails or streamers) and the body is pearl tinsel over white floss. My eyes are not yellow, either (he says, checking in the mirror just to make sure).

 

Gierach Special

Body: Pearl mylar braid
Throat: White bucktail
Wing: Gray squirrel and pearl krystal flash or marabou
Topping: Peacock Herl
Head: Red w/ painted eyes

The original Gierach streamer. Careful when doing the head. I painted the head with red nail polish before adding the eyes with acrylic paint. When I went back to give the head a clear gloss coat with nail polish, it caused some of the red to run, which gave this fly a slightly bloodshot look. Whoops. Painting with red acrylic probably would have been better. Just using red thread isn't so good because it gets transluscent when wet and the dark stuff underneath will show through. As with the fly above, the body is different here, pearl mylar over white tinsel.

 

Governer Aiken

Tail: Barred Woodduck
Body: Flat Silver Tinsel
Rib: Oval Silver Tinsel
Throat: A small section of white bucktail extending just beyond the hook under which is a small section of red swan or goose half as long as the bucktail.
Wing: Lavender bucktail
Topping: Peacock Herl
Cheeks:
Jungle Cock (optional)

Named after a Vermont politician. That fact interests me less than the fact that I was given a Raske tied Gov Aiken in that Little Bucktails for Brookies swap I mentioned in the intro. His version was perfect - as were most of the flies I received from him - and I've admired it ever since. This feature gave me an opportunity to try my hand at one, and it's ok but not nearly as nice as Bob's. He was (is? how would anyone know?) a very good fly tyer. The only difference between mine and the original is the use of red hackle barbs in the throat (well - and the eye). This is a really nice fly pattern.

 

Kelly Bill Bucktail

Tail: A section of orange wool, short but fairly heavy
Body: Rear half flat gold tinsel, front half orange wool of medium thickness.
Rib: Flat gold tinsel over orange wool part only (can be tied so the rib is an extenstion of the rear half of the body)
Throat: A couple turns of black hackle, tied downward, rather long and sparse.
Wing: Gray Squirrel
Head: Red

This is a pretty unlikely looking fly, isn't it? The first time I ever heard it mentioned was when I was fishing the Connetquot with Chris Leonard. He had just hooked a nice fish on a fly called the "Kelly Bill". A couple years later, Ed Ostapczuk mentioned the fly in glowing terms in one of his fishing reports. I figured - if those two guys sign off on the fly - then count me in. The fact that my version has a black head was not intentional. Didn't notice that until I wrote the pattern recipe above. Whoops.

 

Lake Erie Shiner

Body: Pearl mylar over white floss
Belly: White bucktail
Throat: Light blue hackle
Wing: Light olive bucktail, pearl or olive krystal flash, dark olive bucktail
Head:
Olive w/ yellow eyes and black pupils

Boy is this a nice fly. As referenced in the intro above, this has become my #1 favorite streamer pattern. This pattern was born on the vice of Floyd Franke, who wanted to create an imitation of a favorite minnow that you can purchase in a bait shop. I've had a number of strong hits on this fly, but one of my most memorable was on the Beaverkill in April, fishing near the head of Wagon Tracks. A strong trout just slammed the fly. The pattern references light and dark olive bucktail, but for the dark olive I just use the back of the olive bucktail used for the first wing section.

 

Liggett Special

Body: Flat Silver Tinsel
Rib: Oval Silver Tinsel
Wing: White, then red, then yellow in distinct layers.

Funny - kinda touching - story here. I saw this fly the first time on Mike Martinek's article on Rangeley streamers, where he states his preference for the Liggett Special over the Mickey Finn, going as far as to call it one of his all time favorites. Anything that's good enough for Mike is good enough for me. Anyway - years later Betsy Liggett Norton appended a comment to Mike's article inquiring about getting a sample fly, as she was Mel Liggett's daughter. So I contacted her and sent her a fly that now sits in a frame in tribute to her dad. Pretty cool.

 

Little Brown Trout Bucktail

Tail: A very small breast feather, with the black center removed, from a ringneck pheasant, as long as the hook gap and curving upward.
Body: White spun wool
Rib: Coper wire

Wing: Yellow bucktail, reddish orange bucktail, medium dark squirrel, dark brown squirrel

Cheeks: Jungle Cock (optional)

Sam Slaymaker II created three fly patterns representing the fry of each species of trout in his home waters, the "Little Brown Trout" pictured here, as well as a "Little Brook Trout" and a "Little Rainbow Trout". The brown is my favorite. It is tempting to overdress this fly, as I believe I have done here. It's easy to read "very small bunches of bucktail" in a pattern description, but when it comes time to tie the actual fly, it's so easy to go overboard. Sparse is better. I will tie a few more of these for my fly box and concentrate on SPARSE SPARSE SPARSE. I'm not exactly sure what "medium dark squirrel" is, so I just used gray squirrel tail and red squirrel tail.

 

Llama

Tail: Soft grizzly hen hackle
Body: Red floss
Rib: Flat gold tinsel

Wing: Woodchuck, both guard hairs and underfur

Hackle: Soft grizzly hen, tied as collar

I really like this pattern. The problem is not too many woodchuck's have fur long enough for a size 4 hook like used here, so the wing is a little on the short side. Still not too bad though. What prompted me to tie my first Llama was some flies I got from Peter Frailey a long time ago, back when a 1MP digital camera was cutting edge (remember?). One change I made from the original was the use of red yarn for the body vs floss. I think the scruffy straggly nature of yarn matches the pattern better than the sterile smoothness of floss. Probably doesn't matter, but I like it.

 

Magog Smelt

Tail: Teal flank
Body: Flat silver tinsel
Rib: Oval silver tinsel

Throat: Red hackle fibers

Wing: White, then yellow, then purple bucktail

Topping: Peacock Herl
Shoulders: Teal Flank
Cheeks: Jungle Cock (optional)

The Magog Smelt wins the Best Dressed award at any gathering of bucktails. Few hairwing patterns can match it for simple elegance, as that teal wing shoulder really dresses it up nicely. I love that the "magog" in the name is actually short for Memphremagog Lake. They have a bunch of lakes up there with more syllables than you can count, and at least a couple have "magog" in the name somewhere. This is a pretty fly no matter the name and is deserving of a spot in a fly box.

 

Mickey Finn

Body: Flat silver tinsel
Rib: Oval silver tinsel

Wing: Yellow, then red, then yellow bucktail. The top section of yellow is equal to the combined yellow and red underneath

Perhaps the most famous of all bucktails, at least to the casual fly fisherman. Wherever flies are sold, you can almost guarantee there will be a few Mickey Finns, even if they are in a dusty bin off to the side. I'll be honest here. I've never caught a thing on a MF, but then again a few skunkings has relegated the fly to the same dusty corners of my fly box. Plenty of people swear by it, and I understand it is extrememly popular in the martimes for Atlantic Salmon. My version isn't very clean, as the layers of bucktail should be distinct, not blended as mine are.

 

Red & White Bucktail

Body: Flat silver tinsel
Rib: Oval silver tinsel

Wing: White then red bucktail
Topping: Peacock Herl (optional)

Another pattern that was first shown to be my Bob Skehan in that same "little bucktails" swap. He tied his using calf tail. Some flies are so simple that they often get overlooked because of their simplicity. However, how many fish have been caught on red and white lures over the years? A "daredevil" spoon is one of the most popular of all time! The white bucktail that dips below the hook shank is sloppy tying, not by design.

 

Royal Coachman Bucktail

Tail: Golden Pheasant Tippet
Body:
Red floss butted on each end with peacock herl.
Throat: Brown hackle fibers
Wing: White bucktail

The "royal" flies have been tied in nealy all styles of fishing flies, all owing their existence to the original quill winged Royal Coachman wet fly. I don't fish it as often as I used to, which is a shame. When I first started fishing and tying flies, I used this fly quite a bit. In fact, one of my early solo trips with the fly rod was on the West Branch of the Delaware in Deposit fishing a Royal Coachman. I didn't have a clue about the river - only having been there a time or two before - so I just wandered the shore looking for likely holding water. I cast this fly under the old tressle bridge and BAM! I remember the day being cold, cloudy, and dark. I used to fish the Royal Wulff and Royal Coachman wet fly a lot more than I do today, too. Time to change that. They are fun to tie.

 

Waterman's Silver Outcast

Body: Flat silver tinsel
Rib: Oval silver tinsel

Wing: White, then yellow, then blue bucktail
Topping: Peacock Herl

One of my favorite fishing books is Harry Murray's "Fly Fishing for Smallmouth Bass", which is chock full of great angling information, beautiful artwork, and loads of Harry's no-nonsense practical fishing advice. One of the streamers listed in the book is Waterman's Silver Outcast, along with the story behind the name. I suggest if you don't have a copy of that book, go get one. Good reading. Like the Black Nosed Dace, the original fly is tied on a shorter shank hook with wings extending well past the bend, but I like tying my bucktails as shown above. This fly did some business for me on the lower stretches of Owego Creek one evening when bass were chasing minnows. Geez, that was fun. I used to really be into fly fishing for bass.

 

Super Sleuth - Green

Tail: Golden Pheasant Crest
Body: Silver Tinsel
Rib: Oval Silver Tinsel
Throat: Red hackle fibers
Wing: White bucktail, chartreuse bucktail, rainbow krystal flash, and black bucktail

This is another Mike Martinek pattern. There is also a purple version of this fly. Like I mentioned earlier, Mike has a ton of really cool casting streamers. This one is from his second book and caught my eye right off the bat. I swear that there are really four layers of bucktail in the wing, a green between the chartreuse and black. It sure looks that way in the photo in his book, so I added it in my fly. I didn't list it in the pattern recipe, but there it is. I think the fly matches the photo in his book better than if I just used the chartreuse.

 

Tri-Color

Body: Silver Tinsel
Throat: White bucktail
Wing: Orange then green bucktail

This is a really simple fly - but it is eye catching. This one is from the pages of Stewart and Leeman's "Trolling Flies for Trout and Salmon". There are virtually endless combinations of bucktail colors that can be applied to a fly, but there are a few that stand out like this one. I deviated from the original by adding an oval silver tinsel rib.

 

Warden's Worry

Tag: Flat gold tinsel
Tail: Segments of red duck or goose quill
Body: Orange-Yellow spun fur or wool applied loosely and picked out to make it fuzzy.
Rib: Narrow oval gold tinsel
Throat: Three or four turns of yellow hackle, wound on as a collar and gathered downward
Wing: Light brown bucktail

As evidence that fly tyer's are pack rats who throw away NOTHING, there has been a little ziploc baggie in my bin of yarns that has written on it with black sharpie "Mix for Warden's Worry body". I don't recall where it came from. I'm sure it was sent as a thank you for hosting a swap at some point along the way, but by who? And when? And why? No idea. I apologize to whoever might have sent that to me, but there you go. I can tick off 100 different fly patterns without cracking open a book, but try to remember something like that? No way. So I clipped up some of the two yarns, spun them in my mixer, and Bob's your uncle! A true classic, the Warden's Worry is almost like the Edson Dark tiger in reverse - the red and yellow are swapped in position, the bodies are similar, and the wing is brown bucktail. Believe me - this is a much easier fly to tie than the Edson with that dreaded chenille (shiver).


User comments
From: David Swart · davidaswart·at·gmail.com  Link
Submitted September 16th 2013

Like the article,love a classic small #12 bucktail streamer in early spring on local waters,1 of my favorites is I call a yoo stream,#12 TMC 5263,or 300 gold tinsel body,gold wire rib,hot orange 6/0 thread,a wing of hot orange,& yellow bucktail,with yellow glue on eyes,& cover the head with clear cure goo,works on our local brookies great.


From: Anonymous  Link
Submitted September 16th 2012

Excellent article!

I tie these flies as teasers above a jig for surf fishing. You never know what you're going to hook up to when fishing one.


From: Harold - Full name and email anonymized  Link
Submitted September 3rd 2012

nice job I'll be trying them out in the south on bass and pan fish and I'll be tying them also . I am all ways looking for patterns for bucktails and streamer and nymphs. If you know were I can fine them Please let me know , and allso looking for books about them.


From: Mike Speir · lynx47·at·hotmail.com  Link
Submitted January 7th 2012

Re Mickey Finn, I have caught Walleye, Pike and Small mouth bass on it. My first was a 29 1/2" 10lb Walleye I wont go anywhere without them !
Great Streamers !


From: will stone · whitetailwill·at·aol.com  Link
Submitted October 24th 2011

thats funny i never caught a fish on the mickey finn an i have all sizes you forgot to mention the original name for the mickey finn was also called the assassin wy they changed the name puzzles me i know one flie u pointed out i will be tying is the liggett special that looks a lot better for catching fish with the white underbody than the mickey finn thanks for sharing the pattern tight lines


From: Jerri Bullock  Link
Submitted April 22nd 2011

Very nice job, as usual, by the way. You have a nice mixture of classic and lesser known patterns here and thanks so much for the complete material recipes. I'll certainly be adding a few of these into my fly box.


From: Stephen Jay · sjay·at·mts.net  Link
Submitted April 21st 2011

If you are interested, I found someone online who has the brass cheeks seen in the Edson tigers above.

I placed and order, will update if there are any issues.


From: Alan Petrucci · uppahdam·at·aol.com  Link
Submitted April 20th 2011

Well done.
The Edson Light Tiger is a favorite.


From: Ray Tucker  Link
Submitted April 20th 2011

Bob - Fantastic article! If you were to look in my fishing fly box you will see fifteen of the different bucktail patterns you show above. I have had terrific luck fishing these classic over the past few years. I got a big smile when I read your comment about the proportions of the Black Nose Dace (Art Flick) pattern. I remember getting into the same discussion with Chris Del Plato on another forum. I have since tyed and fished the fly with proportions closer to Mr. Flick's originals.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your article and the gorgeous fly. Kudos!


From: Stephen Jay · sjay·at·mts.net  Link
Submitted April 20th 2011

Nice flies! I have used bucktail for years now, without regrets, however, I find myself substituting coloured polar bear hair in place of the like coloured bucktail. Still legal in Canada, and seems to work better. Just a thought.



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