Let’s Talk History – Fly Fishing Pt.2

I wanted to follow up with this series for some time now. But some how maintaining a fully functional store has taken full control of our lives, How could this be?

Any how I wanted to show you all what I have been reading about in terms of  Self Tied Generic Flies And possibly Bass fishing with Poppers on a fly rod- Lets go…

First off I found this info on a pretty cool Anglers Website here —-> SITE it was written by Bob Boese.


Easy Bucktail Patterns-   

Americans are not likely to be mistaken for Europeans, which is fine with most Americans. Europeans think the export of American popular culture has desecrated their social landscape because we are basically uncivilized, rough, coarse, crude and still living in the wild west. They chastize us for breaking from tradition and for being brash enough to break ties with the past and forge new trails. Okay, so?


American fly tyers are an inventive, almost rebellious group, and have always used the materials at hand to create fish catching flies. In 19th Century America that meant tying patterns with bucktail instead of the hard-to-get European feathers that the tightly wound Victorian anglers considered the only proper dressing for a fly. Americans were condemned for despoiling the fly fishing art and American bucktail flies were considered heinous. Not that Europeans wouldn’t use bucktail flies, they just blamed their fall from fishing purist’s grace on the spawn of Satanic America. Legend tells us the bucktail fly (or “hairwing”) originated in the late 1880s in Idaho with a rancher named A.S.Trude (as in the “Trude pattern”) who was followed by Col. L.S. Thompson (as in Thompson fly tying tools) who adapted bucktail and animal furs to smaller trout flies. On the American east coast, in the 1930s, northeastern saltwater fisherman began using many types of fur including elk, squirrel, bear and deer in their salmon patterns, while southerners used a wide variety of fur and hair from dinner items, i.e. anything they could grow, catch or kill. Then along came Bob Clouser who developed a simple minnow pattern in 1984, which has become the footprint for hundreds of similarly tied flies. Since that time fly tyers with over-sized egos have modified the basic Clouser shape under their own name, but it is basically all the same generic bucktail fly pattern — regardless of size. Saltwater patterns are tied on hooks ranging from a size 4 to3/0 and bass/bream patterns from size 6 to 2. Consequently, a size 4 can (and should) be used for multiple species. 

Below is  Hand Tied Salmon Fly – Tied by Michael J. McKinnon

With the advent of synthetics came flashabout, and krystal flash and super hair. These new materials provide an excellent substitute for bucktail under most circumstances, and make purists cringe. For generic flies, super hair is the substitute of choice although it will not spin or float and is more expensive than natural bucktail.

Natural Bucktail Tie… Lefty’s deceivers Ties..

There are good reasons for using bucktail: (1) it is durable for toothy saltwater fish and practically indestructible for bass and bluegill, (2) it takes dye well so lots of colors are available, (3) it is flexible enough to torque down on tying thread or to bend or spin the hair — even 180 degrees without it breaking, (4) it can provide some buoyancy and when tied down it flares to provide body width without extra material, (5) it moves (breathes) in the water, (6) it is readily available, and (7) it is inexpensive. As opposed to many other tying materials, bucktail is easy to work with and provides uniform results without the requirement for great tying expertise.

Because bucktail patterns are generic, the tyer isn’t looking for exact replication of the subject. The bucktail fly represents a minnow, so the most important aspect of a bucktail fly pattern is the size and colors used. Two or three layers of hair (one almost always white) are common to achieve the desired result, which is accented by eyes and/or dressing on the hook shank. Actually, the most confusing part of tying bucktail for a novice tyer may be choosing other dressing items to add. Bucktail is attached to the hook near the eye of a long shank hook so there is plenty of shank left to decorate. Here are some of the choices, and none are wrong choices, just different ones.

      1. Lead eyes, bead chain eyes, beadhead or conehead. None are required, but they are recommended and each one will add weight. Bucktail flies normally work better with weight at the head so they undulate like a sine wave on the retrieve.

2. Body dressing. This might be nothing, or chenille, tinsel, floss, mylar tubing, thread or wire, or a combination of these. The dressing is wrapped around the hook shank and bucktail is tied in front of the dressing above, below or all around the shank.

3. Flash. Interspersing some flashy materials (e.g. Flashaboo or Krystal Flash) among the bucktail fibers is can provide another attracting feature to the fly. The length of the fly should be appropriate to the baitfish/minnows in the water. Bass feeding on 5″ shad will ignore a 1.5″ bucktail, and usually visa versa. The dot on the shad pattern can be added with a sharpie marker. A 3″ adolescent bluegill pattern (green, yellow and white) is effective on most shad-free ponds. If lead or bead chain eyes are not used, stick-on eyes can be directly applied to bucktail, but using superglue or Zap-a-Gap is required to make them stay. A better option for cheap eyes is to put a drop of dark fingernail polish or model airplane paint. Fishing technique for a bucktail should be something like strip-strip-strip-pause-repeat or strip-pause-strip-pause. The object is to replicate the actions of a wounded minnow or baitfish and this stripping pattern will produce a sine wave shape as it moves through the water. Strikes are usually hard (frequently with an immediate run) but the fly is normally not taken deeply in the fish’s throat. The tyer should remember that a sparsely dressed fly casts easier and generally works better, and if some bucktail is tied to so that it overlaps the hook point it can act as a weed guard. A hair stacker can be invaluable to even out tips of the bucktail, and you want to insure tips are trailing the hook.

Here are eight easy steps to tying your own Bucktail…

Tying your Bucktail:
To begin tying your buck tail you must insure you have all the right ingredients at your disposal.
While the jigs demonstrated below are being tied for an upcoming fishing trip to Flinders Reef off the coast of Townsville, buck tail jigs can be tied for all styles of fishing and species Australia wide.

1 pkt of white Buck tail.
1 pkt of red Buck tail.
1 bottle of clear nail polish.
1 pair of pliers.
1 bobbin holder with heavy thread – red (colour optional).
1 pair of scissors.
A selection of collard jig heads.
1 razor blade.
1 tying vice.
1 bottle of powder coat paint (colour optional).

Tying method:
Step one:
Take pliers and hold the appropriate jig head by the hook and heat the lead section with a heat gun or in the oven for 20-30 seconds. Mind you, you don’t have to dip your own jig heads. TT jig head manufacture make pre-coloured fish shape heads called Depth Chargers. These are ideal and fasten up the process of tying your own buck tails.

Step two:
Having the bottle of powder coat at the ready, take the heated jig head and dip the head into the powder, shaking off excess powder when removing. Quickly place the jig head onto a wire basket or similar device and bake in the oven on 200 degrease for 20 minutes. Remove the jig head with pliers and leave to cool.

Step three:
Once cool, place jig head (hook end) into vice taking the thread and wrap the collar a dozen times.

Step four:
Pinch a portion of the buck tail and cut off the desired amount required. For best results a good amount for a 3/8th oz jig is a generous pinch about the same size diameter of the jig head.

Step five:
Get a good grip on the bundle of hair and trim the ends accordingly. Hold the hair in place over the hook and with the hook between two fingers; begin to wrap the thread around the buck tail with enough tension to hold it in place. Continue to wrap the thread around the buck tail until an even amount of thread has covered the collar and buck tail.

Step six:
At this point you can add another colour repeating the wrapping process.

Step seven:
Once finished at the wrapping process, tie six half hitches around the collar of the jig head to secure and cut the thread.

Step eight:
Take the clear nail polish and coat the thread evenly allowing to dry before repeating the process twice. After the nail polish has dried, take another hook and punch a hole in the eyelet of the powder coated hook making sure there are no shark edges.
Though Buck tails are good fun to make and are an exceptional lure for a wide range of fish species Australia wide, many more and different lures can be manufactured at home, it all depends to what level you want to take your lure making skills.


Bass fishing with poppers and  a fly rod –

Fly fishing with poppers is a fun and exciting means of catching fish. Poppers are a top water bait which requires the fish to come to the surface to take the lure. Many times top water fishing produces explosive results as a fish breaks the surface of the water to take the popper. Fly fishing with poppers is especially productive when fishing for pan fish species such a bream, crappie and sunfish as well as large mouth bass.
Casting a popper is essentially no different than a fly with the exception that the popper may be slightly heavier. This difference in weight may require some adjustment to the casting motion to allow for the line to loop properly on the back cast before moving forward. Cast the popper to the target on the water remembering that poppers are a top water lure. Allow the popper to settle initially. Poppers are imitations of small frogs or grasshoppers. Let the popper rest initially as the impact will carry through the water and get the attention of fish. Begin to move the popper in slow but sharp movements by taking up line. This motion will cause the recessed front of the lure to impact the water and pop along the surface. Take in small amounts of line slowly.

Allow the popper to pause between the retrieving motions. This is important as you will be attempting to imitate the actions of a struggling insect. Move the popper again and vary the direction in which you retrieve the lure. Remember, the more realistic the motion and action of the popper on the water the greater chance for catching a fish.
Resist the impulse to immediately raise the rod or haul back on the line when a fish hits the popper. Allow the fish to take the lure under the water and begin moving away. Then firmly set the hook keeping the line taught. Do not use a jerking motion when setting the hook. Be smooth and controlled in the motion. Work the fish toward you avoiding any structure in which the fish could become tangled.

Here are some poppers I use and have had some great times with.

Neon Slime Mega-Wammy  Size 6
is a color that blends with duck weed and algae.  It is a color that is will entice timid bass.
These popper heads are Epoxy coated for shine and extreme durability!

Blue Mega-Wammy Size 6
is highly visible against most natural back grounds, especially during mornings when fog is rising from the water.
These popper heads are Epoxy coated for shine and extreme durability!

Pt. 3 soon enough.. Thanks for reading


About trovegeneralstore

TROVE GENERAL EST.2010 Trove General, located in Paoli, Pennsylvania, is a men's and women's clothing and accessories store, with a curated collection of home wares, books and apothecary. Stocking brands that value quality and craftsmanship, Trove merges aesthetic and authenticity with heritage brands such as Belstaff, Pendleton, Woolrich, Filson, Blundstone, and Dubarry, while also aiming to constantly introduce fresh brands and ideas suited for an outdoor lifestyle. Harkening back to the days of the original general store, Trove is rooted in it's location and community.. A place meant to make life simpler and more enjoyable. Welcomed feedback or inquires please email info@trovegeneral.com. 19 Paoli Shopping Center Paoli, PA 19301 Monday-Saturday: 10-5 Sunday: 12-5 P~ 484.320.8626
This entry was posted in Lets Talk History and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s