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Steelhead Tube Fly… Basic Bucktail Tube

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Steelhead Tube Fly… Basic Bucktail Tube

This is Kevin's bread-and-butter steelhead streamer for fall and winter.  It is extremely basic and easy to tie but absolutely effective.  The lower section of many of the west Michigan streams like the Pere Marquette, Muskegon and Manistee are basically snags with water running through them.  Kevin doesn't even flinch when he breaks-off and quickly ties on another.

Other considerations are that this fly will cast with the ease of a small fly but has a big profile.  It also allows Kevin to use his favorite steelhead hook, the Gamakatsu octopus 02408 in size 4.  Being able to vary the weight with added cones and making minor color changes with bead choices allows a lot of versatility.

Kevin originally tied this Clouser type fly on traditional streamer hooks but switched to a tube style because the long flash wraps and tangles on the hook shank and bend.

Best For… steelhead and pike          Could Also Be Used For…  trout, salmon and bass

***Materials listed in tying order

Tube… whatever plastic tube you like
Body… Estaz (yarn or a dubbed body will work also)
Wing… bucktail
Over Wing… Flashabou Mirage (other tinsels will work)

Note – Kevin makes a point to wrap tight and heavy and then glue at both ends of the tube.  This keeps materials from sliding off and also reduces tube splitting.


1) Kevin posted a series on our Third Coast Fly site on how he streamer fishes for fall and winter steelhead.
Streamer fishing for Michigan steelhead- gearing up
Streamer fishing for Michigan steelhead- fly patterns
Streamer fishing for Michigan steelhead- reading water

2) You might also like the video Michigan's Fall Steel.

3) Matt's version.