I spend a lot of time fishing fast mountainous rivers for winter steelhead, places where the fish often hold deep under a tongue of raging current. Some of my favorite runs are eight to twelve feet deep, requiring precise casts, long leaders, and well-engineered flies.
The Bucket Buster is a favorite of mine for probing deep lies. The rear-placement of the barbell eyes ensures the fly sinks rear-first, a more hydrodynamic position, and the stiff–but sparsely tied–materials ensures an undulating profile once the fly comes into swing.
I tie this pattern in about a dozen color combinations, from pink and hot orange to black and green.
Fishing this pattern properly requires a high cast, a long leader, and a minimum of mends. For more information on presenting the Bucket Buster effectively, see the feature article I wrote called “Skagit Secrets” in the current issue of Fly Fisherman magazine.