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.


CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE

21 comments:

  1. Nice post Alan , I'm right into tying with buck tail at the moment , just purchased a few yesterday , for some clousers for my next trip to the salt.
    The lavender coloured one in your top photo is a real favourite with some bass anglers here in the uk.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice post Alan , I'm right into tying with buck tail at the moment , just purchased a few yesterday , for some clousers for my next trip to the salt.
    The lavender coloured one in your top photo is a real favourite with some bass anglers here in the uk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Col,
      Thanks.
      Bucktail is awesome for salty flies.
      Lavender blends so well with other colors.

      Delete
  3. beautiful flies, I like bucktails a lot as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LQN,
      Thanks.
      A black nose dace in the fall on one of those Croton tribs could bring some fine results.

      Delete
  4. I use a lot of bucktail in my large streamer patterns ,although it's a fairly stiff tying material I find that when used in sparse amounts it has more action than you would expect when underwater.
    Love that second fly pattern , very fishy!
    You just can't beat fresh picked new potatoes...fried!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HighPlainsFlyFisher,
      Thanks.
      I've seen a few of your patterns as well as their results...awesome.
      It's true at times it can be a bit obnoxious to work with.
      Fried..the way to go.

      Delete
  5. A lot of the flies I use the most have bucktail in them. I use, by far, more white than any other color.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Savage,
      Thanks.
      White works on most patterns. Also the natural brown on the back of the tail will get attention.

      Delete
  6. Alan
    Sometimes a simple pattern can be just as effective as a dressed up pattern. I have to admit I am still in the learning stages when it comes to streamers.
    Baked or fired potatoes are one my favorite vegetables. thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bill Trussell,
      Thanks.
      You are so right, simple as well as complex both have there places. I'm sure they would work well on your tail water as well as the lakes and ponds you fish.
      Bill there is a great book about streamers. It's called "Streamer Fly Tying and Fishing" by Joseph Bates.

      Delete
  7. Alan, now you've got me hungry and ready to go fishing!

    ReplyDelete
  8. the potatoes are pretty fascinating! :)

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    Replies
    1. TexWisGirl,
      Thanks.
      And "pretty tasty".
      Eyes play a big part in how food tastes.

      Delete
  9. alan trip to maine was great didn't get to go fishing but was invited to fish in Eustis the last week of September. a friend has permission to fish a private pond the owner likes him to be there.so no one trespasses on his property. please let be have your address so I can send you some flies I've been working on. tight lines oldman

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dick Wemmell,
      Thanks.
      I'll be up in Rangeley that week. Eustis is not that far. The Dead River over that way can fish well at times.
      Dick you can contact me at uppahdam@aol.com

      Delete
  10. Bucktails and home fries--just the good stuff. Beautiful ties. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim Yaussy Albright,
      Thanks.
      We must try to deal only in the good stuff.

      Delete
  11. Replies
    1. Matt Grobert,
      Thanks.
      Coming from you that's a great compliment.

      Delete