Published Dec 12. 2019 - 3 years ago
Updated or edited Dec 13. 2019

Jim's Smelt Bucktail

Jim's Smelt is a vibrant little bucktail that calls for 6 colors of hair plus some herl and flash to round out the wing. This captures the color spectrum of the smelt well and has contributed to the effectiveness of this baitfish fly pattern. The added gills or throat really make the fly pop. The pattern comes from Jim Bernstein of Cape Neddick, Maine.

There are a couple of versions of the bucktail floating around including some which mix al the colors of bucktail to be tied in a single application. I should add that I omitted painting the underside of the head white. It's a nice touch on smelt patterns. If you are in Cape Neddick, ME, stop by Eldridge Brother's Fly Shop and you may be able to get one of these gems from Jim himself.

For eyes, you can paint them on as I did, or buy some flat stick-on eyes to be coated with head cement or UV. Small eyes work well for this application. You can also add a bit of UV resin to the gills to prevent the exposed threads from fraying.

Jim's Smelt Bucktail Fly Pattern Recipe
Hook: Mustad L87-3665A #2-10
Thread: Black 8/0 70d
Body: Silver flat tinsel

Gill: Hot red thread (FWN)
Wing: White, yellow, red, blue, lilac, and purple

bucktail topped with peacock herl
Lateral line: Pearl crystal flash
Eyes: Painted yellow/black


Southern California by Riot (Royalty Free Music)

Camera: Nikon CoolPix B700
Vise: Griffin Montana Mongoose

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