James Wood Buck Tail - The Pumpkinseed
The next variation of the James Wood Bucktail I wanted to share with you is one tied to imitate a sunfish called a pumpkinseed. These brightly colored sunfish are prevalent in my area, so they were a natural choice to try to imitate with this versatile fly pattern. Pumpkinseeds have a somewhat spotted appearance in many of the waters I fish, so variegated chenille was a good choice to replicate this coloration. Also, they have a prominent red spot on the end of their ear tag, so that’s the reason for the two-tone coloration of the head. The white bucktail wing was replaced with a wing of mixed colors that include green, yellow and blue to mimic the incredible coloration of these beautiful fish.
Are These Variations Worth The Effort?
This version of the James Wood Bucktail produced noticeably better in waters with an established population of pumpkinseed sunfish. It out produced the standard James Wood Bucktail by a significant margin in my non-scientific tests. Interestingly the standard James Wood Bucktail produced better results in waters where there were no pumpkinseeds, so I may be on to something here. However, I don’t believe the stunning colors of the mature fish are present the juvenile specimens this fly was intended to imitate. That being the case, the fly's effectiveness may just be a happy accident!
The Pattern Recipe:
The Pumpkinseed Bucktail
Hook: Mustad 3366 in size 10-6
Body: Variegated chenille in colors that imitate the pumpkinseed. You have a number of choices here as variegated chenille come in over a dozen color combinations.
Wing: A mix of green, yellow and blue bucktail. The wing should be tied sparsely and it should wrap 360 degrees around the hook shank
Head: Bright red and dark purple (or black) chenille.