The bucktail wing is one of the elementary ingredients in a number of popular flies, from Clousers to Coachmen … even some caddis patterns call for bucktail.

But, man, can it be hard to work with or what? I’ve always struggled with bucktail—I either lash it too tightly to the hook shank, which makes it splay out and look wonky, or I don’t tie it in tight enough, and I end up losing hairs as I fish.

Above, Tim Flagler shows us a great method for tying in bucktail wings without worrying too much about a splayed wing or a loose tie-in. Simply square off the butt ends, and push them down so they extend to the under-side of the hook shank. Then tie them in using angled wraps.

Genius. Time to tie some Clousers.