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 Post subject: Wooly Bugger Tip
PostPosted: March 7th, 2018, 12:30 pm 
FFIM Addict

Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 4210
Location: Ellsworth

Most of you know that I’m a dry fly and nymph fisherman, but I do tie, and fish streamers in the early spring, and for Smallmouths during the dog days of summer after returning to Maine from our Western trips.

I’ve also made it very clear that I think chenille is the most lifeless tying material known to man......so I almost never use it.

Here’s a trick if you like using Buggers.

I like to tie mine on a TMC 5253 hook (3XL). If you like Mustad hooks a 9672 would be the equivalent.

I put on a large cone (usually flouresent blaze orange so that it looks like a leech stealing an egg).....and put a few (10or so) wraps of .015 lead free wire jammed up into the cone.

Tie on the marabou tail with a few strands of either flash abou or Krystal flash added.....
So I guess that makes it a Flash-a- Bugger, fwtw.

For the body don’t use chenille. Tie on several pieces of peacock herl....

Then brush on superglue to the shank of the hook and wrap your herl right into the glue. Your body is much more lively, and when you wind on your Hackle over the body counter wrap wire over the Hackle. I like red wire as that gives the body a bit more zing.......but regular copper.....
Or even black.....probably works just as well.

Almost all my Buggers are tied large......on a size four hook.

Tie up a few of these and see if they don’t outperform regular chenille buggers. I think you’ll find that they work better, and you’ll catch more trout or Smallmouth.

Dave M

"Fish the West every year. Life is short; and you'll be dead a long time." Chris Hutchins--2009

 Post subject: Re: Wooly Bugger Tip
PostPosted: March 7th, 2018, 12:42 pm 
FFIM Addict
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Joined: December 4th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5481
Location: Near the tying bench
I find regular chenille to be dull as well, but have good luck using ice chenille for the body on my buggers. It pushes a fair amount of water and gets the hackle moving, while also providing flash and multiple colors to the body and protecting the hackle stem somewhat. I tie some buggers without hackle and fish them as leaches using this method (trimming the top and bottom ice chenille fibers) with good results also. To each there own I guess.

Oh- and I typically use a dubbed egg head as opposed to a bead head on my buggers. I add the weight under the body material. Whereas i mainly fish shallow (1'-3' deep runs/pools) with buggers while stream fishing in the spring- I don't see the need for the weight of a bead. If I were fishing deeper water regularly (say Shawmut out of a boat or any pond/lake)- I'd add a bead for sure.

Regardless of body material- I do like a stacked marabou tail. Add the flash between marabou tuffs, or run it down either side. It doesn't take all that much flash to really make a marabou tail pop in the water (especially if using an ice chenille body).

"You never miss the water until the well runs dry" - traditional blues

 Post subject: Re: Wooly Bugger Tip
PostPosted: March 7th, 2018, 2:50 pm 

Joined: July 21st, 2011, 9:30 pm
Posts: 885
Location: Brunswick
I most often use cactus chenille for my buggars, lots of flash getting thrown off at different angles with different colors. I don't fish buggars often, but I did do well with tiny ones last season, 14s and 16s. Both as a nymph and a streamer. I have also used a dubbed body, with some sort of natural/synthetic blend, and they always look buggy.

I have found myself using UV pearl krystal flash almost exclusively.... on almost all of my flies. I love the way it pops and the color shifts depending on the light. I do use holographic flashabou when I really want stuff to stand out.


"A good game fish is too valuable to be caught only once"
Lee Wulff

 Post subject: Re: Wooly Bugger Tip
PostPosted: March 7th, 2018, 6:06 pm 

Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 5389
Location: Manchester, ME
I also use peacock herl, but whenever I use super glue I end up with my fingers stuck to my tools or desk.

Another way to reinforce the herl is to tie in 4-5 strands of herl and a thin strand of copper wire, and twist them into a "dubbing" rope before winding them up the shank. It's bomb proof for trout. No promises for you pike anglers.

You can also use crystal flash or any other material with good strength as part of the rope, and can get some interesting effects by mixing herl with different amounts and colors of wire and flash material.

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