Michigan steelhead streamer

I’ve been having good success with a version of Kevin’s Basic Bucktail that I tie in pink and black. It has the same fish catching properties of Kevin’s fly, good profile and good horizontal contrast, but I do a couple things differently. I use ultra chenille for the body, tie in a hackle, and use dumbbell eyes instead of cones, as eyes can be one more trigger for a fish to eat. I also tend to tie them a little bigger, about 4″ long, though this will probably change as I move upriver and deeper into the winter. I’ve also tied a couple versions substituting arctic fox for the bucktail, but haven’t fished them enough to say anything about them.

Though for people concerned about tying pretty or at least more traditional flies, using arctic fox and tying in a hackle push the pattern a lot closer to some of the Temple Dog variations that are popular these days. While temple dog, arctic fox, and other furs, instead of bucktail, give a more natural “breathing” action, the way the Flashabou is tied over the wing on these bucktail flies, surrounding the wing more than just sitting on top of it, allows the fly to open up in the water and have a good natural appearance.

body- pink ultra chenille
hackle- fl. pink saddle
wing- black bucktail
flash- purple pearlescent Flashabou
eyes- large white lead dumbbell