charlie's flybox

Wooly Bugger


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step: 1
Pattern Description
Ah, the Wooly Bugger. It was quite a decision to make on where to list this fly. It could easily fit into the Stillwater spectrum, just as easily into the warmwater, even saltwater for that matter. It is considered a nymph by some, and rightfully so when fished dead-drift, and a streamer by many others. I guess I'll go with the streamer section here, just because I typically fish it as a streamer with a rapid retrieve. And because I'm the person writing this, I get to decide. The Bugger is one of the most versatile flies on the planet. It can imitate a leech, minnow, crawdad, stonefly nymph, cranefly larva, and probably a hundred other organisms that I can't think of right now. I most typically fish the Bugger as a streamer with a fast, jerking retrieve in rivers and with a slower, steady strip in lakes and ponds. I have had a good degree of success fishing the Bugger under an indicator with a dead drift on certain Wyoming tailwaters too. I like to weight all my Buggers, so they stay down in the water column, and will often add a tungsten bead or cone to their heads to add some more weight. There is nothing like tossing a Bugger from a drift boat at every likely looking pocket on the bank. Target shooting makes for an entertaining day, and the savage rips this fly produces make it hard to give up on if the fish show ANY interest at all. Trout seem to prefer the cover of an overcast or rainy day for their Bugger feasts, and this can be some of the best fishing to be had in the right conditions. Tie up a bunch of Buggers in every color you can think of. They will all work at one time or another. My favorites are all black, all brown, all olive, olive with a black tail and hackle, all ginger/tan and all white. The lighter colors seem to imitate young of the year trout and really pull fish in.
Materials Needed:

Hook: TMC 5262, 5263 or Daiichi 2220 #2-12 Weight: lead wire sized to hook, 6-12 turns Thread: Black 3/0 Monocord Tail: Black Marabou Flash: Black Holographic flashabou Rib: Small wire, color of choice Body: Medium olive chenille Hackle: Black rooster saddle
step: 2
Place hook in vise and wrap six to twelve turns of lead wire around the front one half to one third of the shank. Be sure to leave two to three bare hook eye lengths of shank between the end of the lead and the hook eye. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 3
Attach the thread and build a taper on either end from the bare shank up to the diameter of the lead. Form a thread base over the rest of the shank and end with the thread hanging at the bend of the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 4
Select a whole marabou feather and dampen the tip to control the fibers. Measure the feather to a shank length and tie it in at the bend of the hook. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 5
Wrap over the butt ends up to the base of the lead wraps and clip the excess marabou. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 6
Tie in two or three strands of flashabou at the center of their length slightly in front of the tail. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 7
Pull the front ends of the flashabou back over the tail and bind all the strands down to the base of the tail. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 8
Trim the flashabou to the length of the marabou tail. I like to cut them so the tips of the flash are uneven to mix up the flash effect. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 9
Move the thread forward to the seventy-five percent point and tie in a six-inch length of wire. Wrap back over the wire to the base of the tail at the bend. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 10
Pull a few of the fibers from the end of a six-inch length of chenille to expose the core. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 11
Tie the core in at the bend of the hook then advance the thread to the index point. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 12
Wrap the chenille in even concentric turns from the bend to the index point and tie it off. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 13
Clip the excess chenille and build a thread base from the front of the body to the eye and back again in preparation for the hackle tie-in in the next step. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 14
Select a rooster saddle feather that has barbs equal to about two hook gaps. Strip the base of the feather exposing the stem for a length of about two eye lengths and tie it in by its butt at the rear edge of the index point. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 15
Begin wrapping the feather at the front of the body with two or three closely spaced turns right at the head. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 16
Continue wrapping the feather back to the tail in spiraling turns. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 17
Make a wrap around the tip of the hackle with the wire right at the bend of the hook to tie off the hackle charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 18
Continue spiraling the wire forward through the hackle. Be careful not to bind down the hackle fibers as you wrap the wire. Stop when the wire gets to the thread head. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 19
Tie off the wire at the head and twist the left over end to break it off. Go back to the bend and break off the tip of the hackle feather as well. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 20
Grasp all the hackle fibers in your fingertips and sweep them back. Wrap the thread slightly back over the front edge of the hackle fibers to hold them there. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox
step: 21
Hold the hackle back again and whip finish in the idex point. charlie's flybox
charlies flybox