The best thing about Woolly Bugger flies is that they can be tied in several different colors or sizes to match the forage in whichever waterway you want to fish. In other words, tying patterns like the Woolly Bugger can resemble large nymphs, baitfish, leeches, insects, crayfish, shrimp, or small crabs when stripped through the water, which explains why Woolly Bugger flies are some of the most popular of all fly fishing flies. While the Woolly Bugger is most often used to catch trout in freshwater rivers and streams, it is such a versatile fly that even saltwater anglers have reported successfully fishing Woolly Buggers for red drum and seatrout.
WOOLLY BUGGER: FLY TYING SUPPLIES
Woolly Bugger flies are simple to tie with any basic starter kit of fly tying equipment. In fact, according to Woolly Bugger fly tying instructions, the traditional Woolly Bugger fly pattern is tied using just five basic fly tying supplies.
- Brown Thread
- Size 4 hook
- Brown Chenille
- Brown Hackle
- Brown Marabou
Once you have your tying kit and supplies ready, follow the Woolly Bugger fly tying instructions below for this pattern. These instructions will teach you how to tie a brown Woolly Bugger, but you can always substitute different colors of marabou and chenille. Olive green and black are examples of other colors commonly used when tying this pattern.
WOOLLY BUGGER: FLY TYING INSTRUCTIONS
You are now ready to tie one of the most popular fly tying patterns for trout in six simple steps. Start by securing your size 4 hook in your fly tying vise, and then follow the directions to tie a Woolly Bugger.
- Tie a small bunch of brown marabou to the hook so that it extends to about 1½ inches beyond the end of the hook.
- Tie in your brown hackle and a piece of brown chenille above the tail.
- Wrap the chenille forward until it reaches approximately 1/4″ of the hook eye.
- Palmer (wrap in a spiral fashion) the brown hackle over the top.
- Use a half hitch or a whip-finish, and then trim off the tag end of your thread with scissors.
- Add a drop of head cement to further secure the thread and materials.
That's it. Once you have tied your first Woolly Bugger, don't be afraid to try adding different materials (such as flash and eyes) or create your very own tying patterns to use when you go fly fishing.