This "Hollow Fly" was tied by Bob Popovics. It provides a silhouette in the water of a Baby Bunker baitfish.
The Hollow Fly shown above, tied by Bob Popovics, was tied using bucktail. Bob prefers bucktail because it has a natural taper that helps with the shaping of the fly and gives the fly movement in the water.
The hollow fly is tied with bunches of bucktail which are tied long side forward on the shank of the hook, then folded back such that they extend toward the rear of the fly. Thread wraps in front of the original bucktail tie-in point positions and holds the bucktail at the desired angle.
Three to five bunches of hair are normally used depending on the size of the hook and the length of the fly desired. Bob selects each bunch of bucktail with great care, being careful that all hairs of a bunch are the same length. Each bunch going forward is slightly longer than the bunch behind it, and each bunch going forward is tied at a slightly steeper angle, the bucktail being distributed evenly around the hook shank. This gives the fly its shape without requiring any trimming.
When the fly is complete you can see through it; thus its name the "Hollow Fly".
A variation of this fly, in order to achieve a very large fly, involves first tying a stiff piece of monofilament along the shank of the hook that extends back beyond the bend of the hook. Then hair bunches are tied on, beginning with the end of the monofilament piece. More hair bunches are required, but in this way you can tie a fly that is very long and can imitate an adult bunker or a large herring.
Bob Popovics demonstrating how to tie a Hollow Fly at an Atlantic Saltwater Flyrodder's Fall Classic at Island Beach State Park, NJ.