Fly Tyer: Tony Sandrone, J Stockard customer & avid tyer

The Bucktail Gamechanger, which Tony Sandrone calls the Nightmare Musky Fly, is a spin off of an already perfect pattern made by Blane Chocklett. It is a pattern that can be altered to fit most materials. The articulations in the fly make it swim like a live bait fish. Using bucktail on this fly is important because it adds a great deal of movement to an already very lifelike pattern.


Shanks: 28mm Big Game Shanks or 40mm Big Game Shanks, 40lb or better bite wire for connections 1 foot
Hooks: Ahrex PR320 Predator Stinger hooks in 4/0 and 6/0
Eyes: 15mm Living Eyes from the Flymen Fishing Company
Other Materials: Dyed over White Belly HairBucktailUV Polar ChenilleHen Saddle or NeckFrankenDUB Monster Dub and Hedron Magnum Flashabou
Coatings: Deer Creek Fine Flex UV and Diamond Fine UV

Step 1: Tie 4 feathers to each side of the 28mm shank.

Tie in and palmer the UV chenille forward 7 wraps.

Stack and flare the belly hair on top and bottom of the shank, tips facing the rear of the fly. Whip finish and cover thread with Deercreek Diamond hard UV.

Step 2: Using another 28mm shank, tie shanks together and repeat last 3 steps in step 1.

Step 3: Add another 28mm shank to the tail section. Tie in and palmer chenille as before. This time reverse tie the belly hair on the shank. Take a tube or a pen and bend hair back. Pull thread through the hair and build a thread dam to hold belly hair back. Whip finish and cover thread with UV resin.

Step 4: Repeat step 3. This will finish the tail section.

Step 5: Using the 4/0 hook, tie the connection wire on, feed the wire through the bottom of the tail section. This will create a loop. Tie down the wire and bend tags ends of wire back and lash down with a good thread base. Repeat the polar chenille, reverse tied bucktail three times on the hook shank. Make sure to change over to the actual Bucktail from this step forward. Whip finish and cover with the UV resin.

Step 6: Add a 40mm shank on at this point. Same as before polar chenille and reverse tied bucktail 2 more times. Whip finish and cover with UV resin.

Step 7: Using the 6/0 hook Do the same thing as before to make the connection from shank to hook. Using the polar chenille, wrap forward 9 wraps. Reverse tie in bucktail and bend back. Use the polar chenille to move forward 6 wraps and tie in your last reverse tied layer of bucktail. Now tie on about 12-15 strands of the magnum flashabou at the half way point of the material. Distribute the flash evenly around the shank and reverse tie it like the bucktail, bending it back.

Step 8: Tie in 4 saddle hackles, 2 on each side of the fly like fins.

Step 9: Take a small bundle of laser dub and tie in on each side of the hook shank also on top and bottom. Making sure to tie it in at the middle of the bundle. 4 bundles total. Then bend back like the bucktail and wrap in front of dub not on it.

Step 10: Comb out extra dub.

Step 11: Repeat steps 9 and 10 and whip finish.

Step 12: Apply super glue to eyes and press onto the head just behind the hook eye. Use Deercreek fine flex to cover thread and front of eyes as insurance, add stripes and you are finished!

Tips: Use the length of the shank as a guide for length of the belly hair. Remember to add a little length to each section of hair as this will help with the taper of the fly. When you are reverse tying the bucktail you can control the taper as well. Keep in mind to never tie on top of the bucktail when making a dam, it defeats the purpose of reverse tying when you do. Most important of all have fun with this pattern. It is very versatile. Materials can be swapped very easily.


  1. I love the look of this thing, and so many of the techniques, including how you “cascade” hooks for the articulated effect.

    One question: Infrequently I’ve encountered water for which the rules say “only one hook or one treble hook allowed,” for a give stretch or a given season. I don’t recall where at the moment, but I know I’ve seen such rules. Would a multi-hook fly like this qualify as one “treble hook” or would it be illegal in such waters? Just curious.

    It’s an incredibly life-like creation. Very impressed. It’d take me 24 hours to tie one. 🙂

    – Mike

    1. Hey mike! I appreciate the kind words. Im not sure on that. You could eliminate 1 hook and keel weight it to make for sure you met the 1 hook requirements.

  2. To Mike: Don’t know about where you are fishing, but if it were an IGFA rule it would be illegal.

    Two or three single hooks do not add up to be a double or treble hook under IGFA rules.


  3. thnak sa lot to take time to share your knowledge! you mahe great flies and I am impress by your work… you give me the gots to continue tying for improvement from my self! Tony in french I say you MERCI BEAUCOUP!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *