Using a Fish Mask and Cure Goo to finish a Coho Bucktail Fly

This Coho Bucktail relies on a single hook. The video emphasizes the process of applying Fish Mask as the head of the fly, but this is a good place to note that there are many occasions where use of a tandem hook rig when Bucktailing is not necessary. I most often fish single-hook Bucktails and believe that Silver salmon are more likely to take the front of the fly (where the hook lies) than merely nip at the tail (although they can be short-strikers on some occasions). Tied on a single hook, this fly is easier to cast when we cut the engine and cast along current rips.

While I think of it, please remember also the de-barbing process that should accompany tying and fishing these flies under most conditions and in most places.

As for the Fish Mask, I find them a great time saver and they really push water too, so while the added turbulence may not be significant for a fly that is big trolled at 5 knots, a cast-fly that is retrieved in 6” strips might be more detectable if you are fishing a Fish Mask streamer for Pike, Musky, or bass, heaven forbid the thought.

My experience with Fish Masks so far has indicated that I use an amount of winging material that leaves considerable space within the Fish Mask that requires filling with Cure goo. That said, I am about to start tying Pike and Musky flies that will involve the glopping and lashing on of massive amounts of wing, body, and hackle materials to the head of the fly. I am pretty sure that these attractive nuisances will more completely fill my fish mask and I may even need to work to jam the mask over the fly head. We’ll see pretty soon.

Jay Nicholas

Coho bucktail using a Fish Mask


Overall Length = 5”
Thread: 210 D Danville’s White
Hook: #2/0 Mustad 3407 or Gamakatsu SL 12 S
Baitfish Belly: EP Streamer Brush short – Polar Bear
Flash: Cascade Crest Glow Pink Medium Mylar
Optional Lateral Line: Lateral Flash
Under Wing: Steve Farrar’s Blend UV White
Upper Wing: Fishient Mirror Image Hot Pink and Smolt Blue Krystal Flash
Topping: Flashabou Accent Blue
Fish Mask: No. 7
Eyes: 5/16” Adhesive Holographic Super Pearl
Cure Goo: Hydro, Thick, and Tack Free

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1 Response to Using a Fish Mask and Cure Goo to finish a Coho Bucktail Fly

  1. two dogs says:

    Jay did not mention, and I am sure that most of you know, but the best time to de barb a hook is before you go to the work to actually tie the fly. Nothing like getting out to fish, go to de barb the hook and find that the process breaks everthing off at the shank.

    Tight lines.

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