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Wooly Bugger

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Fly Fish Erie
What can you say about the Wooly Bugger that hasn't already been written? It catches all species of game fish in fresh water and in salt water. I've even caught stripers in the saltwater estuaries of Narraganset Bay, Rhode Island on them. Here's how you can shake up the standard pattern and produce a buggier Bugger. Substitute rabbit fur dubbing instead of chennille for the body material. The body of the fly will "breathe" in the water, producing better results in slower sections of streams. Feel free to experiment with different types of body material to produce unique Buggers that the fish have never seen. Karl Weixlmann - Fly Fish Erie


  1. Thread : Color to match body
  2. Body : Chenille (try dubbed rabbit or eztaz)
  3. Hackle : Palmered over body
  4. Tail : Marabou with flash on either side


  1. Start by tying the tail which consists of marabou approximately the length of the hook shank. The tail can be tied sparse or full. A fuller-bodied tail seems to work better in higher water conditions. Add two or three pieces of crystal flash or flashabou to both sides of the tail. Now here is where most people make a mistake. Tie in a soft, webby hackle (by the tip or point of the feather) at the base of the marabou tail to later be palmered through the body. This puts the longer hackle fibers in the front of the fly, giving it a more professional look and better movement in the water. Ribbing is optional. Then dub or wrap the body using whatever material you wish. Now you can palmer or wrap the hackle in even increments through the body to the head of the fly. You want the hackle tips to flow over the body of the fly towards the tail. Whip finish or tie off and cement the head.
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