My love affair with Bucktail is certainly no secret to anyone who knows me… some may call it a love affair, some may call it an obsession.. and others may just call it flat out laziness in finding something you like and just sticking with it and not learning any new shit!


Either which way, the more I play and experiment with Bucktail, the more I love it… Bob Popovic, arguably the God Father of Bucktail waxes lyrically in both his incredible books, Pop Fleyes and his more recent Fleye Design , he decries his love for Bucktail…

On my initial forays into these books, I wanted to tie the biggest and wildest of Bob’s patterns.. and while I read through the sections on Bucktail, not everything regarding bucktail was absorbed.. only once I started focusing on tying with Bucktail, and going back and reading Bob’s books again and again did I really start understanding this stuff.. well, a little.. I still feel I have huge amounts to learn, but every fly I tie I learn something about BT.. about the different ways different types of BT’s react to certain techniques…

Bucktail forms the basis of so many patterns, it’s definitely worth spending some time playing with it, and playing with different types of bucktails, where you can utilize them best in different areas of your tying… let’s be honest, we all got a fuck load more time on our hands than we used to.. might as well make use of it!!

And speaking of time on your hands… here’s a long ass video for anyone interested in tying with Bucktail. This pattern, the Reverse Bulkhead Hollow Fleye is one of my favourite Popovic patterns, and one I’ve been obsessed with for the last couple weeks.. so much so, that I figured I’d try shoot a Step by Step video at 2:00am the other night after about 9 beers and half a joint –  perfect tying conditions!! The version I tie in the video combines a few of Bob’s Patterns and techniques, such as tying on a Fluoro extension like a Beast Fleye, using Hollow Ties used in the standard Hollow Tie Fleye and Beasts, Bulkhead ties and finishing with a Reverse Bulkhead…

Here is the video, but fair warning, this is nothing the likes of Rupert Harvey, or Paul O Monaghan or Gunnear Brammer ,whose videos and flies are incredible, and should DEFINITELY be checked out… but if you’ve got a bit of spare time, crack a beer, or 9 like I did… and have a watch. Probably best viewed on HD if you can… it’s shot on my phone!

Here’s a couple pics of recent ties.. some highlighting why I love these patterns so much..

Variety.. tied from 12 inches down to 1,5inches… the abilty to use the same techniques and materials across a multitude of sizes is just one of Bucktails wonders..

Bulk.. they not called BULKHEADS for nothing…
























It aint no use…


Family of Mullet.. Size 2 to 6/0


  1. Leonard Flemming 8 April, 2020 at 15:27 - Reply

    Andre, this is ridiculously cool mate!

  2. Niel Malan 9 January, 2021 at 10:11 - Reply

    Thanks for sharing Andre, very clear and lekker. Definitely going to tie a few – might even stick an eye on!

  3. Mark Murray 3 January, 2022 at 15:39 - Reply

    Thanks for sharing thaT video Andre, hands down the best one I’ve been able to find on the net!

    • Andre Van Wyk 10 January, 2022 at 11:31 - Reply

      Cheers Mark – A little long and drawn out, but glad it was enjoyed !

  4. warren 9 January, 2022 at 03:16 - Reply

    thanks for this video- and this blog. really helped me get started on bucktail… just bought bob’s book and now im totally hooked on this style. so much more fun than large EP patterns.

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