BULKhead Deceiver Step 1
Attach a long, sparse tail of bucktail to the rear of the hook. Trap the fibers in a loose noose of two or three thread wraps and, by tightening and loosening the noose, manipulate the fibers so that they surround the shank 360 degrees.
BULKhead Deceiver Step 2
Using the same technique as the tail, attach two or three more collars of bucktail along the shank. Make each collar progressively shorter and denser as you build the midsection and shoulders of the fly, and fill the shank to about the two-thirds point.
BULKhead Deceiver Step 3
Snip a fairly sizable bundle of hair from the base fibers near the bottom of the bucktail. This hair is more hollow and thicker than the material used earlier. Trap the hair in a noose of thread wraps, leaving about an inch of the butt fibers facing forward. Distribute the hair around the shank and pull down hard, flaring the butt fibers as you would when spinning deer body hair, but hold the bundle in place so that it does not spin on the shank.
BULKhead Deceiver Step 4
Shorten some of the innermost fibers with a handful of scissor snips in the center of the forward-facing butt fibers. The goal is to have a well-proportioned cone when the butt fibers are forced back toward the rear of the fly.
BULKhead Deceiver Step 5
Using a straw, hair-packing tool, bullethead tool, or even an empty pen casing, push the forward-facing butt fibers back to the rear of the shank, and build a dam of thread in front to keep them angled backward. The technique is similar to Popovics’s Hollow Fleye method, except you reverse the direction of the short, hollow butts rather than the tapered ends of the bucktail.
BULKhead Deceiver Step 6
Using the same technique as above, tie in a shorter, dense collar of bucktail base fibers, trim the inner butt fibers, and post them back with another conical dam of thread wraps. Using a contrasting pink color helps establish a subtle cheek hue for the fly.
BULKhead Deceiver Step 7
Repeat the same process with a final collar of base fibers trapped with thread right at the hook eye. There is no need to leave room for the thread wraps at the eye when cinching down this final collar. The process of posting back the butt fibers will locate all the necessary wraps immediately behind the eye for a neat head with no unsightly “beak.”
BULKhead Deceiver Step 8
Dip the fly in water and then tightly hold down the tapered ends of the front three collars, exposing the errant butts. Trim these fibers to angle gently down to the eye of the hook, creating an even, rounded, or conical head, depending upon what shape you want.
BULKhead Deceiver Step 9
When the fibers dry, snip out any errant hairs to complete tapering the head. The process is similar to trimming a spun-hair bug, but since the hair at the head of the fly includes both tapered and butt ends, take care to trim mostly the butts, leaving the tapered ends to complete the smooth profile of the fly.
BULKhead Deceiver Step 10
The finished fly has a rounded head and a deep top-to-bottom profile, and transitions smoothly to the back of the fly with no interruption. This particular fly is flared widely, similar to a bunker or other wide-bodied baitfish, but posting the butt fibers back at a sharper angle or trimming more radically can yield a slimmer mullet shape.