"Six's Red Tail"
Text and Photos by Tom Six (aka Bearcat)

Thanks for use permission!


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Fly Tying Terms

Six's Red Tail

Materials List:

Hook: Mustad 9761 Size 4,6,8,10.
Thread: Red "A" thread or 3/0 size. You can use 6/0 but you have to be
very careful when tying with it. It will break easily on the materials you are using.
Kevlar will cut the deer hair, it is not recommended.
Tail: Red duck quill fibers, or clump of red hackle fibers, red bucktail,
or red yarn.
Girdle: Natural Deer bucktail. Can also be made with Tan thread. Size "A".
Underbody: Natural Deer bucktail.
Body: Natural Deer Bucktail.
Head: Red thread.


Note:Natural Deer bucktail refers to the brown hair not the white hair found on the tail.

Tying Instructions:

Figure 1 1. Attach thread to hook near bend. Select tail material. (In this case red duck quill fibers) Attach to hook making sure to wrap them securely. (Fig 1) Cement this area. The duck quill fibers should be coated with cement themselves to hold them together.

Figure 2 2. Select a clump of about 10 hairs from the deer bucktail and tie them in just in front of the bend of the hook. Tie a knot here. Now treat the fibers as though they were a post of a parachute fly. Wrap the thread at the bottom of the fibers a couple or three wraps to hold them together. Make sure these wraps are at the very bottom of the post near the hook. Now knot again. Take some cement (or flexament would be better) and cement these fibers together. Allow drying time. This will form a large thread or what I call the girdle of the fly.


Step 3 3. Select a small clump of deer hair about the size of a pencil in diameter and attach this to the fly just ahead of the girdle, wrapping this several times to make sure that it will stay in place. Knot and cement thread. Now cut the thread off and tie in behind the eye. Trim deer hair so that when it is pulled toward the eye it will be just behind the eye and in the place where you can tie it down. Now pull the deer hair around the hook and up to the front of the hook and tie in at front, making a small body. (See Fig. 3.) You have now created the underbody of the fly. Retie your thread at the girdle spot.


Figure 4 4. Prepare and stack two clumps of deer hair each about the size of a pencil. Attach the first clump on top of the hook so that the ends of the deer hair stretch back even with the red tail and secure them with your thread that you have positioned at the girdle. (See Fig. 4.) Make several wraps but do not spread them out. Keep them tight together. Now turn the hook over in the vise or rotate your vise head. Attach the second clump in the same manner that you did the first again making sure the tips are even with the end of the tail. You should now have something that resembles what you see in Fig. 4. Be sure to wrap this hair several times with the thread to hold it in place wrapping over top of the thread already in place.

5. Now wrap the girdle over top of the thread that is holding the deer hair in position being careful to cover the thread with the girdle. You must now tie off the deer hair girdle with the thread. Take several wraps of thread around the end of the girdle. Now tie off the thread. With your thumbnail push the thread back under the girdle holding the girdle with your other hand. Cement in place. Cut off thread and reattach at the head just back of the eye.


6. Now take your hair scissors or razor blade and trim the hair back just behind the eye of the hook. DO THIS CAREFULLY! Being very careful not to trim the hair too far back. The ends of the hair should be just behind the eye of the fly where your thread is now attached. Start wrapping the thread around the head of the fly pushing the hair from the tail of the fly forward and holding it so that the thread catches all the hair under it. Keep wrapping until you have created a tapered head as shown in Fig. 5. Whip finish the head and cut your thread. Now cement the head. I use clear nail polish here, but my dad used regular head cement. The fly in Fig. 5 is his and not my tie. This fly is in remembrance of him. There you have it -- Six's Red Tail.


Fishing Six's Red Tail


This fly is fished across and downstream. Cast the fly across the stream and let it float down with the current allowing it to tail out. Wait just a moment of time and let it hang at the end of the swing. This sometimes causes a fish to take it that has been following it from it's swing across the stream. Retrieve the fly with short jerks pausing after each for a couple seconds, making sure to retrieve the fly almost all the way back to your position. Recast again not moving from your position until you have cast the fly several times. Then take a step or two down stream and cast again. Another way to fish the fly is to do just as mentioned above but as the fly starts to swing down stream you start your retrieve back. Both methods are effective. I imagine that you can find other ways to fish the fly but this is how my father taught me to fish it and seems to work well. Tight lines.

THANKS DAD FOR TAKING ME FISHING! ~ Tom Six


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