The Woolly Bugger is an artificial fly commonly categorized as a wet fly or streamer and is fished under the water surface. It is a popular and widely used pattern for both freshwater and saltwater game fish and is generally listed as one of the top patterns to have in any fly box. John Gierach, a noted fly fishing writer discussed the Woolly Bugger first in his chapter on streamers in Good Flies.
Woolly Buggers are typically fished in streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and tidal flats.
Today, Woolly Buggers are tied in a wide variety of styles and colours to imitate a wide range of game fish prey.
“The Woolly Bugger is so effective, it should be banned from some watersheds. I suspect its effectiveness is due to its resemblance to so many edible creatures in the water–nymphs, leeches, salamanders, or even small sculpins. Its tail undulating behind a fiber, bubble-filled body is just too much for most fish to resist. It just looks like a meal!”
— Bill Hunter, The Professionals’ Favorite Flies
Woolly Buggers are made from many materials but all follow this basic pattern which I have chosen to use the ever popular OLIVE colours and the materials list is as follows