Posts Tagged ‘woolly buggers


Box of Woolly’s…

Woolly Buggers-fly pattern-fly box-SwittersB


Palmered Hackle: Do It In the Front…Do It In the Rear

What? There are two styles of palmering hackle. Each has its devotees and advocates. I almost always palmer rear to front and I rarely reinforce palmered hackle. If the hackle comes apart from the teeth of fish, well that is something to behold and enjoy! Who cares. If it comes apart by any other means…that should be exceedingly rare. Nonetheless, here are the two methods of palmering the hackle…… The ‘right way’ is now front to rear with wire ribbing wound rear to front over the palmered hackle. Either way one does it, the hackle can be ribbed with wire, tinsel or thread.

This fly has the hackle palmered rear to front with no ribbing.



REAR TO FRONT PALMERED HACKLE  (the old right way)



Fly Tying & Fishing Woolly Buggers

MIDCURRENT ARTICLE BY Gary Soucie re Woolly Bugger’s Workings

Many of us solely fish Buggers on stillwaters and even more of us do little more to impart life than kicking about in a tube or rowing one behind the pontoon boat. I have enormous faith in the pattern’s worth, in a variety of color combinations. I have vowed, this coming year, to fish more streamer patterns. I have a large hole in my repertoire of presentations when it comes to fishing streamers in rivers. I really wasted a lot of time last year prospecting over quiet waters with a dry. Laziness and short windowns of opportunity. Combo’s of Woolly Buggers will fit nicely into my Streamer arsenal along with Sculpin patterns I am experimenting with.

Soucie highlights excerpts from his book on how to use a stalwart pattern.


Woolly Bugger (Claret Is My Jinx Color) Can They Even See It??

Claret Bugger~Unrequieted Love, SwittersB

Claret Bugger~Unrequited Love, SwittersB

Woolly Buggers. A proven pattern in black, green, brown, yellow, and claret. Claret? Always a recommendation. Listen to a Chan. Listen to my accomplished stillwater friends. ‘What did you catch it on?’ “A maroon bugger’. Maroon, Burgundy, Claret no matter, the darn color does not work for me. I fish it like a bugger, not some bloodworm. Nothing. I always have a half dozen with me. Again, a proven color. Not for me.Why? Not sure. I have given it a fair try many times from B.C. to Oregon. Not one damn fish. Big, small, standard Bugger, or dubbed…the color fails me.  Can they see it? It moves and waves…it satisfies my impressionistic code. Impossible my friends say. You aren’t fishing it right. I fish it like I fish black, or green. Nada. Bizarre. It will remain in the box because sure as hell I will need it someday.   

Notice the above pattern for one detail, which no fish has thus far tested in this color, the reinforcing rib is wound up through the hackles to lend support to the palmered hackle should the fish teeth tatter the poor offering. No way in hell with claret….but of value in productive colors. 

Trout Vision may be the culprit…that gap in their vision. Maybe I do have to use a scent attractant?  


Leech Lust Reconsidered…



In October 2006, Jeff Morgan wrote a very thought provoking newsletter on Westfly~Oregon re his extensive findings on Leeches’ place in the trout’s diet. He challenges our use of sizes, weighting locations, colors and presentations. This is a very interesting article and at a minimum it makes me affirm the following: tie more multicolored mini leeches and don’t jonly use long strips when imitating leeches. I wonder when we use Buggers and utilize longer, fast strips if we are not imitating baitfish rather than leeches, but don’t always realize that is what we are doing. Check out the article a page or so down into the newsletter. Check out Westfly for great NW US info on all facets of flyfishing and tying.  Jeff was a very creative and refreshing force while at Westfly. He now teaches at a Mid-West university.


Bloody Buggers (B.C. staple works anywhere)

The often forgotten option for Woolly Buggers is the maroon bodied leech pattern. Quite popular in B.C. lakes, it is less used to the South. I always tie and carry these flies, but not that many (maybe a couple dozen). When I look at this fly, in the selection process, I usually pass by it and pick something else. This week I heard that this fly was hugely popular with all available species of fish on a certain Central Oregon lake. So, now my curiosity is now peaked and I will have to give this pattern more attention. Actually, I will start with this as a point fly this coming weekend….followed by a Callibaetis nymph let’s say.    

 June 23, 2008 Update: I did start with the above Bugger and had zero hits. I tried it two times later and had no hits. I tried it alone (how I prefer to fish Bugger’s) and as the lead fly, ahead of nymphs. Still no hits…so the verdict is out on this fly for me. BUT, I do know flyfishers that swear by this pattern, especially a little smaller than my size 8’s above. They tie and fish size 10’s and 12’s in a mini-bugger style. I have not tried this, with this color. You might give it a try.   

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

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