The Western Coachman

fotm-march-2015BUZ BUSZEK Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

The Western Coachman is without a question a very productive fly pattern it has produced bream and black bass; five species of trout; black crappie; and even golden shiners; chain pickerel and bowfins. The Western Coachman was designed by fly shop owner BUZ BUSZEK (The gentleman the IFFF award was named for) of Visalia, California in either 1939 or 1940, originally as a local pattern for taking Sierra rainbow and brown trout in the Kings River. He patterned the Western Coachman after the wet version of the Orvis Company’s royal coachman, which was designed in 1878. The various Coachman designs, including the Royal Wulff, Royal Stimulator and others, are all ancestors of the earlier original Coachman that was designed in the 1830’s by the driver or coachman for the royal family of England.


HOOK – Mustad 3906, Tiemco 3769, Daiichi 1550 size #10 - #16.
THREAD – Black Danville’s 6/0 or Gudebrod 8/0
TAIL – Golden pheasant tippet
RIB– fine gold wire
BODY – Peacock herl with the fine gold wire rib
WING – White deer hair 
HACKLE – Coachman brown rooster neck or hen saddle feather
HEAD – Black thread



  1. Debarb hook – mount in vise – start your thread about one eyelet from the eye and with nice close wraps make a thread base to about the middle of the hook shank- clip off tag end of thread then tie in the gold wire on the bottom of the shank and while using the wire to continue wrapping the thread base to just a little before the hook bend (This will be your ribbing).
  2. Now with the thread at the rear of the hook shank tie on a tail of golden pheasant tippets that is as long as the hook shank and about12 to 15 fibers. Now at the end of the shank wrap one turn of thread under and behind the tail to tilt it up slightly.
  3. Tie in several peacock herls (By the tips) on the bottom side of the shank at the rear of the tail (Were your thread is now). Then pull your thread down next to the herl and using good hackle pliers, clip the herl and thread together near the herl stems (Butts). Now take your thread back up and secure it to the hook and wrap it forward to approximately the 75 percent point (About 3 to 4 eyelets from the eye) on the shank. Next, twist the hackle plier’s counter- clockwise until you have a nice looking peacock chenille rope then wrap the peacock rope forward to meet the thread, tie off and trim off the peacock tag ends.  Wrap the gold wire ribbing forward using five turns (Winding in the same direction as the herl was wrapped); tie off and trim the excess wire to finish the body. Wrap the thread forward to the 25 percent point (2eyelets) and leave it there for the next step.
  4. Now strip the fluffy fibers from the base of a saddle hackle that is a gap and a half to two gaps long on the fibers and tie in the butt side at a 45 degree angle (curve side facing away from you) right in front of the peacock then wrap several close turns of the hackle, tie off and trim the tag end off. Be sure to leave room for the wing. 
  5. Put some white deer in your hair stacker (Not too much but not too thin) and with a few taps on the table you will have your wing tips nicely stacked and ready to tie to the shank in front of the hackle wraps, the wing should be long enough to reach the end of the hook bend. Trim the waste ends, then bind them in place with several thread turns.
  6. Wrap a tapered thread head, whip finish and trim the thread. Put a coat of head cement to finish the fly.

TIE UP A DOZEN OR TWO – AND GO FISHING*** But remember to practice C.P.R. (CATCH - PICTURE - RELEASE).