"As most patterns do, this one started out as a concept in my mind, I knew what I wanted, but was unsure how to get to it. The Sheep Series of Minnow patterns seemed like a good start with the “bendback” hook design, but the materials were too light, and the hooks fouled. One day while perusing through the gear section at a local sporting goods store, I picked up some EWG, (Extremely Wide Gape), hooks and went about trying to tie baitfish patterns on them. The first patterns were made mostly of synthetics and I tried using the large “bend” of the hook as the belly. None of them proved too successful, they were either non functional as a weedless pattern, or they turned out to be “TOO” weedless, thus stopping any hooking ability! I was tying standard deceivers one night for a friend who was headed down to Belize for a few weeks and thought; I bet I can tie one of these on those EWG hooks? It took a few patterns to get it “slimmed” down enough to fit on that tiny section of shank behind the eye, but I finely figured it out. The real secret was the use of light cured epoxy at the head. By building the head up just above the hook point it causes the fly to “bump” under the weeds. The Bucktail is just stiff enough to keep hook point from catching on the stems and leaves of the Elodea, and “walah” the pattern fished perfect!
I used lead wraps on the bottom of the hook shank to “drive” the pattern down into the weeds, however, I found that adding some split shot, as needed, to the bottom bend of the shank will accomplish the same results. This allows the pattern to be fished without weight when conditions allow. The pattern was so effective that I created a color combination to mimic the American Shad found along the west coast, and find that it fishes extremely well in “pressured” water. My number one go to color however, is the chartreuse and white, for bass, it just seems to out fish them all.
For a small baitfish presentation to predator species, this pattern is hard to beat. The fly will fish in open water as well or better than a standard pattern, as the deep bend in the hook shank keels the fly better than any standard hook can. When stripped across rocks and weeds the fly rides hook up, with its top wing of bucktail guarding the hook point preventing any fouling, thus creating a weedless pattern without the need for additional mono or wire which can cause hookup failures. The bucktail is soft enough to ensure good hook sets and the hook gape is such that you rarely loose fish. Fish it as a standard minnow pattern in open water, or fish it were a weedless pattern is required, there is no need to switch patterns. However you fish it, fish it with confidence!"
- Signature Tyer Brian Hudspeth