Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Woolly Buggers - a look inside the box

I like my woolly buggers weighted, which means I occasionally lose a few of them, especially the tung head ones. I noticed on Sunday night that my supply of them was depleted so I started tying.

When I fish these flies, I notice that I have the most luck with either big ones, or small ones. I've found that size 10 never does well for me, but a size smaller or a size bigger do the trick so I did a row of size 8 and a row of size 12.

When tying smaller woolly buggers, I've found it tough to keep the shaft of the hook weighted, wrapped with chenille, and still maintain a slim profile. I've experimented with some different material and found some dubbing and random polyester material to work well. Using ultra chenille makes the fly look too bulky in a size 12, but I found a thinner chenille called micro chenille which can be purchased on ebay and in some craft shops that does a great job (this also makes really great small san juan worms).

Besides that, I stick with marabou, saddle hackle, and some nice beads. I picked up some hot orange tungsten beads on ebay and I really like how they look on brown size 12 buggers. Here's some shots of the box. I kept the non-slotted side reserved for some zonker slumpbusters, and the now infamous sex dungeon. Here's some more shots of them. Enjoy.

Also, is anyone else going to be at Somerset this weekend for the Fly Fishing Show? I'm looking forward to catching AK Best's Seminar on tying, Aaron Jasper's thing on euro-nymphing, and Ben Turpin's presentation. If you're going on Saturday, drop me a line and maybe we can talk over a beer or three.


  1. Nice buggers. I like the orange bead heads. I tie some real big buggers for bass, size 1 and 2 using craft store knitting chenille (that my local craft store no longer carries... but I guess it's OK because I've got like 100 yards of it). I'll probably do a post about them soon. I've also found in between sizes to be pretty unproductive. I tie some in 10 and 12, but for me size 8 has never been all that great. What I consider big is size 4 or larger.

  2. mmmmmm buggers. The WB is my favorite of all flies. Maybe because that is what I first started using in my fly fishing endeavors and because they claim you can't fish it wrong and believe I've tried. I haven't tied any in size 12 but I may just have to try. 10s and 8s are my go to sizes for buggers. Always weighted as well. I will use peacock herl for the bodies on my black ones sometimes.

    Thanks for sharing and good luck with them and enjoy the show.

    Passinthru Outdoors Blog - Sharing the Passion

  3. Jay, I just saw your post on your blog. Nice bugs!

    I've made black ones with peacock herl bodies as well. I have a version I make with peacock chenille and a green glass bead that works well too.

    thanks for stopping by guys!