Fly #2 in the Series
The bucktail fly is also known as the Mickey Finn. It is intended as a minnow imitation. I have fished this fly successfully for perch. They attack it aggressively with their tap-tap-tap bites. A large size fly, such as a #4 or a #6 is often to big a fly for their small mouths so I like to tie them in #8 sizes as well.
Tying the Brown and White Bucktail
When I dug into my tying supplies, I found myself without the recommended materials for the wing portion of the fly, so, I adapted and used the closest materials I had. In place of brown and white bucktail, I used long elk body hair and some white or red crystal flash. Variations of this fly can easily be made by using other colors for the wing and tag sections.
Difficulty level: 3 out of 5. According to the Fly Tying Bible this is a 3 out 5 for tying difficulty. I agree with them, if only because of the variety of materials this fly uses. a 3 out of 5, should mean that the average fly tier should be able to handle it, while a novice may struggle a bit.
- dry fly hooks, from #8 to #4 XL streamer hooks
- red marabou or red crystal flash for the tag
- red thread
- black thread
- silver tinsel or mylar piping
- brown and white bucktail strands (I substituted elk hair and crystal flash)
Pinch off the barbs on all your hooks then secure the hook end of one in a vise. Start the red tying thread about 1/3 back from the eye and wrap the shaft back to the hook bend. Catch in a small portion of red marabou for the tag.
Cut a section of silver mylar piping about 2/3 the length of the shaft and remove any stuffing from the inside of the piping. Slide the piping down the shaft and just past the red tying thread. Use 5 to 8 wraps of thread to secure the piping in place, whip finish and add some head cement to the red thread.
Wind on the black tying thread at the eye. Push the mylar piping in forward then hold in place. Wind the black thread away from the eye to secure the piping in place.
Mix together two small bunches of brown and white bucktail and stack one end together. Place on the shank near the eye and secure in place with several wraps of black thread. Trim away any excess bucktail reaching past the eye. Wind on black thread to form a head, whip finish and add head cement to complete.
Options: You can add weight to the fly with lead wire, either by pre-wrapping the shaft or by attaching the wire at the same time as the piping at the hook bend, then wrapping the wire forward over the piping and securing with the black thread near the eye. You can also trade the marabou tag for a thread tag made with multiple wraps of built up thread.
When tying a shorter shaft fly, the mylar piping can be difficult to work with in such short lengths. Substitute some silver tinsel, using overlapping wraps from the hook bend to the black thread just behind the eye.
The Fly Box: