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Pattern Index

Cope's Bunkabou

by Scott Copeland


  • Thread: Flat waxed nylon (white)
  • Hook: 3/0 Mustad or similar
  • Body Coating : GE clear Silicone II sealant
  • Tail: White Maribou
  • Wing: Peacock herl over Tan or Olive maribou
  • Flash: Saltwater Flashibou
  • Gills: Red pen
  • Eyes: 4mm Witchcraft Stick-ons

This past fall, I was witness to school's of baby bunker the likes of which I've never seen. I stood on a jetty and watched as hundreds of frantic "peanuts" lept over my boot tops to escape the jaws of the 6- to 8-pound bluefish that were pushing them against the rocks. Still others suffocated by the handful, running out of air in the tightly packed school.

Inspired by Eric Peterson's silicone baby bunker pattern, I tied this simple and durable bunker pattern. It has a wonderful liveliness in the water and can truly take a beating. Tie a bunch over the winter and be ready for next season.


1. Wrap first one-quarter inch of the hook shank with thread and tie in two white maribou plumes, "praying hands" style.

2. Tie in a colored maribou plume of your choice "flat-wing style" followed by six strands of peacock herl. I prefer tan/olive marabou.

3. Tie in two strands of Saltwater Flashabou along both sides of the pattern to immitate the lateral line.

4. Add the stick-on eyes and draw the gills in with a red marker pen.

5. Working with silicone can be a little tricky. My trick for coating the head with silicone is to pull back all of the materials to the desired profile then clamp then from behind the hook bend with hemostats. Apply a gob of silicone to both sides of the head, then smooth and polish the silicone toward the rear with a saliva-moistened finger.

6. Allow the silicone to dry overnight and add a spot to both sides of the pattern with a black permanent marker.

Hint: Try to fish this pattern below or just past the edge of thick schools of bait and the blues or bass will single it out almost every time.

Scott Copeland is a physical therapist and fly rodder from Bridgeport, Connecticut. "Every chance that I get from April through November is spent fly fishing the Sound," he says, "particularly the area between Fairfield and Norwalk. I have been a life-long saltwater angler, but have been fly fishing the salt for only four years. Part of the appeal of fly fishing for me is to tie limitless patterns and experiment with different designs of my own creation."
Scott can be reached via e-mail to


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