Tying the Woolly Bugger

Tying the Woolly Bugger

Woolly Bugger OLIVEThe 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

What you will need to tie a Woolly Bugger OLIVE

Olive Marabou
Hook from size 8 to 14
Black, Brown or Olive threadOlive Dubbing
Olive Cock Hackle
Fine lead wire if making the weighted version

Tying the Woolly Bugger

Run thread back to just beyond the bend in the hook, we want as much space for the hackle later
(if making the weighted version, add wraps of the lead wire in the middle of the body to add weight and wrap your thread around it to secure it ending back at the tail.)

Tie in about a 2″ clump of the Marabou to make a full tail

Now dub your thread and wrap a body of dubbing down to about 3 or 4 mm behind the eye of the hook

Tie in your hackle, a long saddle is best, and wrap it back to the tail in wide open turns and then back to the front of the hook again in open turns

Tie off the hackle and build a head using your thread

Tie of the fly



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