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Old 08-09-2005, 11:21 AM
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Default The single most productive.....

In a recent post in another thread, Big Cliff said this about the Wooly Bugger. "I find it to be the single most productive freshwater fly."
This struck me because, although I am sure that he is correct, I rarely use the fly.
For me, if I had to choose a single most productive freshwater fly, it would be the Bead Head Hare's Ear. I suspect the difference is a matter of two things. 1) the fly that we have confidence in gets used the most, and 2) we fish in different water types for different fish.

Anyone else have a fly they consider "the single most productive freshwater fly"? I think it will be interesting to see the different flies from different people and areas. Similar to the "if you could only take three flies" post of some time ago but more specific.
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Old 08-09-2005, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: The single most productive.....

Part of the reason I think the Wooly Bugger is the most productive fly is that it is so adaptable. I have had success with them from sizes 4-14, from black to white, unweighted to spin-castable. Its quite productive for trout but, I think it works even better on bass and sunfish.

It's not my first pick for trout. That would probably be some sort of small dense nymph with peacock herl.

I guess to be honest, I should say that 98% of the buggers I fish have bead or cone heads. I think the flash and the action helps alot. It gives them a more crawfish-like posture as well. I suppose there are some situations where a lead wire weighted bugger that sinks levelly is the better option, but I haven't found that yet.
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Old 08-09-2005, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: The single most productive.....

i have never really had much luck with wolly buggers either. manily because i hardly use em. id rather use a simi seal leech, or a mickey finn or diamond carey. but i have been trying to use them more for bass and panfish.
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Old 08-10-2005, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: The single most productive.....

For stillwater situations, I would have to agree with Big Cliff. I am from AZ and you will never find me without a brown or black wolly bugger on the end of my line. Whether it is bass fishing in a small lake in S. AZ or in the white mtns fishing for browns and bows, I will have a wolly bugger on. It is a confidence thing for sure. Now rivers, that is a different can of worms for me. I also agree, a bead head hares ear or pheasant tail would be my first choice on a stream in Az. I just moved close to the san juan so that is a different story there.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: The single most productive.....

Ive always had great luck on the elk haired caddis. i do mostly stream fishing, and if there are bugs out, caddis are usually among them. this fly lands me lots of fish. with bigger elk hairs that float well, i can get away with dropping a phesant tail nymph(flashback) no bead. this setup slays fish in my experience.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: The single most productive.....

I have to agree that the elk hair caddis is one of my favorite dries and the copper john has to be my favorite and most productive nymph. Now, I have caught fish on a wooly bugger, and it is still a staple in my fly box, but I fish a freestone river and with a small elk hair caddis and a copper john in my box, I am confident I can catch fish.
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Old 09-29-2009, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: The single most productive.....

I would say the Copper wire head Flashback Pheasant Tail (as shown in Randall Kaufmann's books). It has a small negative buoyancy. Therefore, it drifts well, and you can swim it at a desired depth. It also has enough flash to stimulate most fish (cold and warm water), and it is easy to make in a variety of sizes and colors.
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Old 09-29-2009, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: The single most productive.....

The Whitlock Sclupin, fish it wet, um um good. Grease it up with Mucilin and you have a hopper pattern.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: The single most productive.....

My single most productive fly changes like a female local news anchor's hairstyle. I can't say that I have a single pattern that dominates my fishing successes.

But here is a comment on the Woolly Bugger's versatility. As a gag for a friend who refuses to fish buggers, I tied a dozen size 2/0 Woolly Buggers for a Mexican Tarpon trip. For whatever reason, the Tarpon would not look at the flies that normally worked there. He stopped fishing and let his guide fish. The guide tied on one of the buggers and started hooking up. For the rest of the trip, he used the buggers.

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Old 10-03-2009, 11:18 PM
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Default Re: The single most productive.....

For me the single most productive fly has been a clouser style black marabou leech pattern I tie. I have caught tons of big walleye and big smallies with it. Right behind it would have to be clousers.
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