For those who love small streams, wild trout, and life...in their simplest form
Friday, July 12, 2013
Bucktail, and bucktails
Bucktail is one of the basic materials in the construction of streamers. It is often used as the belly of featherwing streamers. It can be used as the wing material in the construction of a streamer. When used together in various colors the pattern created can be representative of various forage fish that larger fish prey upon.
Bucktail is a relatively inexpensive material and pretty easy to work with. When buying bucktail look for long even hair. Try to avoid kinky, broken tips. I like to buy bucktail from a fly shop so I'm able to inspect it and that way I know what I'm getting. Bucktail has been used for flies for quite a long time. I recall an article in a book by Joe Brooks. In it was a fly constructed of deer hair, the fly was made by native Americans centuries ago.
In New England deer tails are common in many streamers. One tyer, angler, guide that comes to mind is Arthur Libby of Maine. He was a well known guide on Sebago lake in Maine. Many of the flies he used to take some very impressive salmon and trout were bucktails. His patterns were very sparse, and consisting of a few materials. One of Libby's patterns called "Miss Sharon" is a favorite.
Here are a few bucktails I tied to show you that an effective streamer can be made using few materials. The colors on this fly don't seem to look like any fish one sees outside of a fish bowl. But when this fly is wet and fished on a sinking line it very much looks like a smelt.
The next bucktail uses two colors of bucktail, tied sparse, along with a topping of peacock herl. This fly can represent many types of forage fish in our waters.
I have to make mention of these wonderful local potatoes. A town farmer has these little guys in purple, red, and white. When home fried they are to die for. Had some for supper last night, and the few that were left are going to be a breakfast side.