Woolly Bugger

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Woolly Bugger

Postby nielson » Tue Nov 28, 2006 5:19 pm



A few thoughts on WBs
Some call it the fly fishing equivalent to the plastic worm.
Since it became popular in the late 70’s, it’s probably caught more freshwater fish than all other flies combined.
It comes in all colors, sizes, materials and can be dressed up with a wide variety of accessories.
It’s origin is widely attributed, particularly among Pennsylvanians, to Mr. Russell Blessing of Harrisburg Pennsylvania.
While some fly anglers abhor the thought of fishing it, none can successfully argue against its effectiveness.
.Although often listed as a streamer in fly catalogs, it really can’t be categorized. Sure, it can be fished as a streamer but it’s as often fished as a nymph or a bottom crawling crustacean. And in a pinch, unweighted and doped up, it becomes a passable topwater bait.

The basic recipe.
Hook: Streamer hook, 2-4XL, Sz: 4-12 (Mustad 9672 or equivalent)
Tail: Marabou (black, olive and brown are classic colors)
Body: Lead wire wrapped on shank for weight.
Chenille (Color to match tail)
Saddle hackle palmered down length of body.

Common variations on the basic pattern:
1. Flash in the tail, a little or a lot. Flashabou or Crystal Flash are typical materials.
2. Flash tied on the sides or top before adding the hackle.
3. Ribbing with any number of materials (tinsel, wire, floss, thread, etc). Normally wrapped in the opposite direction of the hackle and makes for a more secure hackle.
4. Beads, cones or barbell eyes to add weight and sometimes flash or color. Often used in lieu of lead wire turns to weight the fly.
5. Rubber antenna or legs.
6. Various substitute tailing materials: Ostrich herl, rabbit strips, bucktail, saddle hackles, and various artificial winging materials.
7. Hackle collars instead of palmered hackle the length of the fly.
8. Mixing various contrasting colors of hackle and chenille.
9. Two different hackle colors, front and back.
10. Weed guards.
11. Instead of standard chenille, use Crystal Chenille, Estaz, yarns or a dubbed body.

Around GRF, you can’t talk about WBs without mentioning this variation. For some reason, you’ll be hard pressed to find it in any fly shop. “Why?” remains a mystery but it’s one heck of a bass fly. It’s big, heavy and ugly; just what’s needed to get down on the bottom where the big bass lurk waiting for a fat Crayfish or Hellgrammite to mosey on by.


LEWB Recipe
Hook: long shank, Size 4-6.
Weight: Barbell lead eyes tied in on top of hook.
Tail: Marabou or Ostrich herl with strands of flashabou tied in on sides.
Body: Crystal chenille with palmered hackle.
Optional: Rubber antenna.
Colors: Black, Olive, brown or whatever catches your fancy.
Last edited by nielson on Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:24 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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unknown origin??

Postby YankeeDave » Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:25 pm

now come on gentlemen (i use that term loosely)... we all know the wooly BUGGER (not booger) is a quality product of the great state of Pennsylvania (much like myself), and Bucktailfly... :lol:
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Postby nielson » Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:32 pm

Russell Blessing of Harrisburg, PA, right? So goes the common lore. I'm not convinced but I'll give him appropriate recognition. Thanks, Jim
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