Tying the Wooly Bugger

Posted by  Wednesday, December 12 2012 4:27 pm
expert

No other fly has been carried as far and wide and across as many continents as the wooly bugger. If you plan on fly-fishing lakes, wooly buggers are a must-have for your fly box, and you should carry them in varying sizes, colors and weights to match the conditions. Wooly Buggers can also be very effective in rivers, but smaller hooks should be used, especially in clear-water conditions.

The Wooly Bugger's effectiveness is due in part to its ability to imitate so many of the different food sources on which fish feed. Technically classified as a streamer pattern, the wooly bugger can easily imitate damsel/dragonfly nymphs, crawfish, baitfish, stonefly nymphs, leeches, hellgrammites and all sorts of aquatic invertebrates. In water systems where sculpins, leeches and crawfish are plentiful, the wooly bugger will get big fish to bite and bite down hard.

When fishing the wooly bugger make sure you vary the retrieve until you find what works best at the moment. Different water conditions — depth, clarity and flow — influence the effectiveness of the Wooly and can make your presentation look very appetizing or not appealing at all. Start off with a slow, steady strip-and-pause technique. If that doesn't get any looks from fish, switch to quick, short, two-inch strips of line. Be patient when fishing this pattern, in most cases fish won't grab at the Wooly Bugger right as it hits the water, but rather follow the fly while remaining in their hiding spot until it's almost out of their reach, and then bolt out to greedily eat it down.

Materials List for the Olive Wooly Bugger

Hook TMC Streamer Hook - Size 6, 7 or 8
Thread Olive Uni Thread, Size 8/0
Hackle Saddle Hackle
Tail Olive Maribou
Body Olive Chenille
Rib Fine Copper Wire
Weight Lead Wire

 

Step-by-Step Instruction for the Wooly Bugger

Step 1 — Start By placing the hook in the vise and securing it into position. Wooly Bugger
Step 2 — Clip a small strip of lead-free wire, and wrap it onto the hook shank. Make sure to leave plenty of space in the head and tail areas. Wooly Bugger
Step 3 — At the point above the hook barb, measure and clip a small bunch of marabou feathers (the tail length should be the same length as the hook shank) and tie them down to the hook shank. Wrap the tag ends of the marabou down to the hook shank as well so that the entire hook shank is covered with feathers. Wooly Bugger
Step 4 — Advance the thread to the back of the hook eye and tie in a 3-inch piece of chenille. Cover this chenille with thread until you reach the point above the barb with the thread and the chenille. Wooly Bugger
Step 5 — Select an olive hackle that has fibers about two times the length of the hook gape. Tie down this feather by its tip (at the point above the barb) and then advance the thread to the back of the hook eye.  Wooly Bugger
Step 6 — Repeat this process of advancing the thread to the back of the hook eye, but this time wrap down a 3-inch section of fine copper wire. Wooly Bugger
Step 7 — With the chenille in hand, start wrapping the fiber up the length of the hook shank until you reach the 3/4 mark on the hook. Tie it off with the thread and clip off the excess. Wooly Bugger
Step 8 — Take the hackle fiber and stroke the fibers backwards with your fingers and wrap the fiber forward up the length of the hook shank. Be careful not to wrap over top any of the hackle fibers from earlier wraps. At the 3/4 mark tie it off with the thread and chip the excess. Wooly Bugger
Step 9 — Wrap the copper wire forward up the length of the hook shank in the opposite direction that you wrapped the hackle. This will tie down the hackle securely. Be careful not to wrap down to many of the hackle fibers. Wooly Bugger
Step 10 — Wrap the copper wire forward up the length of the hook shank in the opposite direction that you wrapped the hackle. This will tie down the hackle securely. Be careful not to wrap down to many of the hackle fibers. Wooly Bugger
Tagged under
Read 4377 times
Last modified on Friday, December 21 2012 11:25 am
Jason Akl
expert

Jason Akl is a writer, commercial fly tyer and guide with 15 years in the industry. Professionally, he's been a seasonal guide and fly tier that ties commercially and teaches tying classes to both adults and children. Most of his flies make their homes in fly shops in the northern Midwest but some have found their way as far as Europe. As a freelance writer, he's had many written pieces appear in both Canadian and American publications, as well as numerous global websites. When not on the bench or behind the computer, he spends time working with companies such as Daiichi Hooks, Monic Fly Lines or Gatti rods as part of their pro-staff doing product testing pieces and seminars.

You must be signed in to post comments on Bass Pro Shops 1Source. Don't have an account? Please join Bass Pro Shops 1Source.
  • No comments found