I'd guess the majority have used them. It's a very popular and effective fly. I've mainly used them fishing for bass but also for trout. What kind of fishing are you doing? That will help people offer pointers. I've generally cast them across the current (towards the bank) or slightly upstream, let the line come taught, then swung them down and below me perhaps with a bit of a strip so they swing through likely holding areas. There are many other ways to fish them depending on your target species and type of water.
Buggers are perhaps the most versatile fly ever made. if your fishing for trout it would double your chances if you used a dropper fly. the most conventional way to use a dropper on a woolly bugger is to tie it off of the back. another way to set up a two fly rig for a woolly is to put the smaller fly (nymph) on first with the bugger trailing it. this simulates a small bait fish chasing a swimming nymph or smaller bait fish. I learned this tactic on the hiwassee in tennessee and it has worked all over the place.
Do any of you guys use or have used wooly buggers on here. And if so do they work well and any tips on using them would be apreiciated.
Thanks Gavin Millen....
It should be everyones must have fly. Two sizes in black,rust/brown,olive and white and you will catch just about everything on them. Fish them like a streamer strip them after the swing, or dead drift them like a nymph. They mimic so many things in the water the list is endless. They are easy to tie,durable and fun to fish. One of my first go to flys.
Ditto to what everyone else said. A couple of sizes (say, 6 and 10 or 8 and 12) and a couple of colors (black and a lighter drab color like olive, rust, or brown) should do it. For more variety, carry some with beadheads and some unweighted.
Fish them any of the many ways you would fish a streamer or nymph. One tactic that nobody has mentioned yet, but works well for me, is to fish them down and across on a wet-fly swing with a sink-tip line. Tom Rosenbauer thinks they imitate small crayfish on the bottom.
The Woolly Bugger is something of an enigma. It does not fit the design parameters to be called a streamer, but can be fished like one. Likewise for a nymph pattern. and even the wet fly, yet it can be fished as any of these. Even trying to classify it as a generic bass fly is programmatic, because every fish I know of attacks them viciously under the right conditions, including carp, walleye, pike, catfish, some marine species, and I'm told even salmon are not immune to it's charms. In fact, the only classification I can come up with that really fits it is ultra-successful. So much, in fact, that some places have actually considered banning it from their watersheds.
Credit for the Woolly Bugger's birth is usually credited to Russell Blessing of Harrisburg, Pa. in 1967. He wanted a smallmouth bass fly that closely imitated the local helgramites. In actuality, the Woolly Bugger is a modification of an older Fly called the Woolly Worm designed by a California Fly Fisherman, Don Martinez, in the late 1920s, which itself is a modification of a much older British fly called the Palmer Fly, that dates back to before the time of Izaak Walton in the 1500s. It was originally designed to imitate the Woolly Bear caterpillar.
If there is a wrong way to fish this pattern, I have not found it, yet. You can strip it in, hop it in, or just let it drift. You can fish it in fast water, slow water, clean water, dirty water, in cover, or out in the open. You can fish it deep, or shallow, and anywhere in-between. Using an extra-long shank hook, and omiting the weight, you can tie the pattern behind a popper, or deerhair head, and use it as a topwater "chugger". I have even tied this pattern onto the back of jigheads (they are super-deadly tied on stand-up jigheads...), and in-line spinners, and used it with an ultralight spinning rod, and it works just as good. It is as close to a fool-proof fishing bait as there is, even better than live bait, in most cases.