Jump to content


Photo

The Good Ole Wooly Bugger


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 upinjewett

upinjewett

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 808 posts
  • LocationEAST JEWETT NY

Posted 19 March 2010 - 09:00 PM

I know a lot of FF guys look down their nose's at the ole WB. I once heard a guide over on the D talking about how he puts clients on them who can't fish, to get results; and yes maybe so, But I find them to be one of those patterns, like a Parachute Adams,Stimulator,Prince Nymph or BH Pheasant Tail that can save the day when nothing else seems to work.
I tied up 6 or 7 dozen to get rolling on the season in olive, black, and brown in differant color combos, some just weighted with fake lead wire, but most weighted with CH Tungsten and wire. I perfer small CH heads, because I like the profile and poportions better, but that's just me. I fish them all kinds of different ways, but mostly on a dead drift with a little pump or a twitch here and there to pulsate the maribou. Some times stripping them back on the return fast sometimes slower. I guess just about everything I can do, short of doing the same thing over and over again.
Wondering what you folks think in regard to WB patterns and techniques. A couple of patterns I'm thinking about adding to the WB ammo box are some with lighter coloration like a white chenelle body w/grizzly tail and grizzly palmering/nickel CH Head. I hear white and light WB's can work, but I've never had much luck with the commercial tie versions - should try my own. Maybe try out the rubber hackle thats out there now as well - and a few pink/yellow/orange for the nasty water we are probably going to be having. I think you need alot, because you should be losing alot, otherwise your'e not down enough. Thoughts ? Other Patterns ? Other Techniques ?

#2 outdoorsman

outdoorsman

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 682 posts
  • LocationDelaware County, NY and Orono, ME

Posted 20 March 2010 - 12:51 AM

The wooly bugger is by far my favorite fly when fishing sub-surface. I tie them pretty good sized (I like size 4), and make sure I have a good puffy marabou for the tail. I always weight mine by wrapping lead-free wire on the hook shank. That gives a good "football" shape to the body too. I can't stand the commercially tied buggers...they just don't look the same. I have tied various colors, but black is always the most productive. Make sure you tie in ribbing wire (I like dark green, fine wire on my buggers), otherwise they won't last very long (the hackles bust after catching a bunch of fish on them). When I tie small buggers, instead of using chenille for the body, I like to use peacock herl.

It is just such a versatile fly...small ones would mimic swimming nymphs or stoneflies, larger ones mimic leeches and the silhouette could sometimes look like a minnow. For something that doesn't really look like anything, fish sure do like it.

Also, I don't often fish them slow. You can fish them slow and deep, but I have caught nice browns in March when there is still shelf ice while fishing faster than most people would fish at that time. I was actually fishing them fast enough that when the big browns struck the fly, I could see their wake and they would almost splash when they hit it. The point: vary the retrieve...don't assume they need to be fished slow!

#3 Guest_esopus guy_*

Guest_esopus guy_*
  • Guests

Posted 20 March 2010 - 01:14 AM

never caught a thing with them. but i've seen Tim tear it up with them.

#4 dooberhoopa

dooberhoopa

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 231 posts
  • LocationPine Bush NY

Posted 20 March 2010 - 01:54 AM

Ive never had a hit on a bugger...but then again i have no confidence in it so i try not to throw it...unless ive run out of other options

#5 upinjewett

upinjewett

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 808 posts
  • LocationEAST JEWETT NY

Posted 20 March 2010 - 02:06 AM

No matter what your putting out there - You have to believe in it - otherwise it's a dead deal from the get go - except for the unexpected - which is even better -

#6 upinjewett

upinjewett

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 808 posts
  • LocationEAST JEWETT NY

Posted 20 March 2010 - 02:18 AM

Well there you go - Like I said alot of FF guys aren't into them. But com'on Doober - not ever a hit from a trout ? Do you know who the "Beatles" are ?
How about Jimi Hendrix ?

#7 Guest_frankm205_*

Guest_frankm205_*
  • Guests

Posted 20 March 2010 - 02:35 AM

Having confidence in the fly you're using is almost as important as the fly itself...great point!

#8 Steve-O

Steve-O

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32 posts
  • LocationVestal, New York

Posted 20 March 2010 - 02:59 AM

I learned to fly fish with a streamer on my line on a small stream in Owego, N.Y. I was taught to use a streamer just as you would any other fly...at the right time. Sounds obvious, right? Meaning early morning (before any hatch activity), early season (for the same reason), or colored up, high water along the banks. Very much as I would fish a small crankbait in a previous life. It's funny how few people seem to fish a WB anymore, yet they still produce good numbers and good quality fish. One year, a few years back, a hooked the largest brown of my Catskill fishing career on a WB on the Willo the morning after a good strong rain. The water was off color and the brute slammed my streamer in about 15" of fast water just above Buck Eddy at the old trestle. I had it to net twice before it took off one last time and got around my "netman" and broke me off. It was a pig...easily a 22"-23"er. I was depressed for the better part of the day.
Anyway, I still fish WB's regularly and always will. Like many fishing situations, let the fish tell you how to present the fly. Try dead drift, down and across, twitch it, a combination of dead drift and twitch, pockets, fast water, etc. I think the feeling of a trout hitting a streamer in fast water is every bit as exciting as a Drake dry at the head of a pool.
My favorite pattern is a color combination I started to tie about ten years and never stopped. It's basically a white with palmered olive grizzly hackle. White maribou tail with a strand or two of white crystal flash. Body is something called Ice Yarn (a very thin "flashy" white yarn). Orvis used to make a similar product called Diamond Braid. A dark bead head with a few wraps of peacock herl for a collar. When the fly gets wet, the hackle lays down over the ice yarn and gives it a very nice minnow look.
I thought I had a photo of one to post but I think it was on an old computer. Streamers definately have their place. Once the bugs start poppin'...forget it put them away. But early morning or off color water...grab your wooley buggers and your sinking tip line.

#9 Guest_frankm205_*

Guest_frankm205_*
  • Guests

Posted 20 March 2010 - 11:49 AM

Went to a seminar the other day with Loren Williams who fishes these streamers with alot of confidence. He opened my eyes on the different techniques he uses which were awsome. I always thought the across and down technique while stripping the line back was how we were supposed to fish streamers. I tried it a few times with no luck so therefor no confidence. Now with these new techniques I need to get out in the stream and give it another shot. Like everyone says they definately have their place, I just need to get better using them.

#10 dooberhoopa

dooberhoopa

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 231 posts
  • LocationPine Bush NY

Posted 20 March 2010 - 01:00 PM

It definitly has to do with confidence...my buddy swears by pheasant tails and i cant catch fish with em, i swear by prince nymphs and he cant buy a fish with them, so if i dont have confidence in something i wont catch fish with it...

#11 dead drift

dead drift

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 187 posts
  • LocationCatskills

Posted 20 March 2010 - 01:44 PM

wooly bugger is simply a crappie killer.
standard military survival lure.

#12 Guest_tim_y_*

Guest_tim_y_*
  • Guests

Posted 21 March 2010 - 02:43 PM

I fish streamers a lot, but in regards to Wooly Buggers, I go for the standard combos that you can make with olive and black materials. One that I will always make sure I have are black buggers with a grizzly hackle. I was fishing on the E last summer when nothing was taking. I was sitting in a run that I knew always had fish and couldn't get a take from anything in my box EXCEPT a black CH with the grizzly hackle. Almost every cast with it I would get creamed. I've never encountered fish being so eyed into one particular kind of streamer. My guess is that there may have been a ton of big stonefly nymphs in the water and that is what they were zoning in on. I too vary the retrieve. Sometimes that makes all the difference in the world.

#13 WINGNUT

WINGNUT

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 291 posts
  • LocationCornwall NY

Posted 21 March 2010 - 06:37 PM

Tim
You know me the Wooly is my friend. I fish a few streams where I rarely fish any thing other than a Black WB with green flash. Down and across sometimes prodcues when the fish are hot but Ive always done better casting up stream and bouncing it down. I also like casting in to pocket water.
Dave

#14 upinjewett

upinjewett

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 808 posts
  • LocationEAST JEWETT NY

Posted 22 March 2010 - 12:15 AM

Doober - Didn't mean to be a smart a-- about it - Just fool'n with ya - Actually I know what you mean - With me it's a muddler minnow. I've picked up a few with them, but not many. On the other hand, I've done well with a mini-muddler, go figure.

#15 Guest_FLORIDA DAVE_*

Guest_FLORIDA DAVE_*
  • Guests

Posted 22 March 2010 - 08:55 PM

I like a Chartruse Wooley Bugger with a red or chartruse head, with and without lead. I've caught just about everything on them from rainbows and browns in the Elevenmile Canyon on the South Platte to bass, bluegills and specks....my experience is that bass do seem to favor the black wooley bugger. strange how we all have our "go to" flies.......I guess we just fish certain patterns beter than others.

#16 jerseyjohn

jerseyjohn

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 666 posts
  • Locationnorthern new jersey

Posted 22 March 2010 - 11:59 PM

The wooly bugger is by far my favorite fly when fishing sub-surface. I tie them pretty good sized (I like size 4), and make sure I have a good puffy marabou for the tail. I always weight mine by wrapping lead-free wire on the hook shank. That gives a good "football" shape to the body too. I can't stand the commercially tied buggers...they just don't look the same. I have tied various colors, but black is always the most productive. Make sure you tie in ribbing wire (I like dark green, fine wire on my buggers), otherwise they won't last very long (the hackles bust after catching a bunch of fish on them). When I tie small buggers, instead of using chenille for the body, I like to use peacock herl.

It is just such a versatile fly...small ones would mimic swimming nymphs or stoneflies, larger ones mimic leeches and the silhouette could sometimes look like a minnow. For something that doesn't really look like anything, fish sure do like it.

Also, I don't often fish them slow. You can fish them slow and deep, but I have caught nice browns in March when there is still shelf ice while fishing faster than most people would fish at that time. I was actually fishing them fast enough that when the big browns struck the fly, I could see their wake and they would almost splash when they hit it. The point: vary the retrieve...don't assume they need to be fished slow!


agree, another pattern i do well with aside from black wooleybugs are white transluscent zonkers certain nights i recall hammering bbt in the e ..i like the white when there is moon..otherwise i rather sink a blk wooly under starlight.. i like streaming the mini muddler in fast falls
..did very well in the daytime with it.. but sometimes the hare or pheasant tail is all i need need.. the one pattern i have not had all that much luck with are early season stoneflies. I still buy not tie my flies.. I can't justify tying and trying experimental sizes and patterns .. rather get a llocal shop fly of the week and know i have the right bugs after burning a half tank of gas.

#17 Guest_tim_y_*

Guest_tim_y_*
  • Guests

Posted 23 March 2010 - 01:28 AM

Florida Dave,

I completely feel you on the "go-to" flies. When I first started fly fishing, I tied up these small wooly buggers, size 16 on stimulator hooks. Needless to say I caught my first trout on that - as well as 90% of the trout that season. That fly could do no wrong. Since then I've tied up some creations, some have faired better than others, but I can tell you that if I don't have confidence in them, they probably won't come out again that season.

Another rendition that I forgot to mention is a WB that I tie with a white marabou tail and ice chenille as a body. This is one of my favorite flies to fish just under the surface for smallmouth. The pattern I assume resembles a baitfish, and you can see it a mile away. You can see the fish come up underneath it and cream it every time. I've replaced the WB with the double bunny as my 'when all else fails' streamer, but all this talk has me wanting to tie a bunch up for the season.

#18 upinjewett

upinjewett

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 808 posts
  • LocationEAST JEWETT NY

Posted 23 March 2010 - 04:21 AM

JerseyJohn - I hear ya about the time factor with tying flies vs store bought. but if you ever have the time and a little extra money to get started, buggers would be a great pattern to start with. Buggers don't require exotic pricey materials, they are big enough to see and manipulate material easy enough, and the execuetion won't take that long to nail down. You don't need a fancy high tech vise. You'd probably be banging them out in no time with your own variations. Having said that, if you have other things you'd rather be doing, it's totally understandable. Speaking for myself, as a newbie tyer, the down side to tying for me is, it's another activity that can be as obsessive/compulsive as fly fishing. Depends on how much time you have !!

#19 Steve-O

Steve-O

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32 posts
  • LocationVestal, New York

Posted 23 March 2010 - 02:46 PM

Managed to find a pic of my version of a wooley bugger...a very productive color combination.
Posted Image

#20 upinjewett

upinjewett

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 808 posts
  • LocationEAST JEWETT NY

Posted 23 March 2010 - 03:05 PM

Nice - The Peacock Herl right behind the BH is a nice touch -




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users