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Old 04-02-2013, 05:30 PM
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Default Introductions/streamers

Hey guys, I figured I would introduce myself seeing as I have been a member on here for a while but never posted! I love all the great information on this forum! My name is Billy and I live in Missoula, MT. I've been fly fishing on and off since I was little but within the past 3 or 4 years have really hit the rivers hard. I have mostly stuck to dry flies until this past winter. I just couldn't stand not being on the water so I started throwing nymphs and had no idea what I was missing!

I do have a question about streamers/Wooly buggers though. Everything I have heard from a lot of people that streamers are where its at for big fish, and that a fly that most people could not go without is a Wooly. I have never had luck on them! Pointers are definitely needed! The way I have fished them is when I find a deep run, I cast them downstream, wait for them to sink, and then strip them back. Is this wrong, or are there better ways to fish them? I'm always looking for more ways to catch fish and would love to learn how to fish with streamers. Thanks for any information and for such a great forum!
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Introductions/streamers

Hi Billy,

I am not a Woolly Bugger guy but............ I fish streamers about 99% of the time. I like feather wing streamers and fish them by casting either across or quartered up to allow for a good sink. Then using various line control methods such as the greased line technique I guide the streamers on their course as they make a wide swing through the current. Many a trout, salmon, grayling and char have found themselves unable to resist the flies as they are presented in this manner. With practice you'll learn where to send them for the best in results.

Welcome to the discussion,

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Old 04-02-2013, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: Introductions/streamers

A wooly bugger is a great fly because you can fish it dead drift, like a streamer, or just moving it a little. Whenever you're fishing streamers, you need to mess around with different retrieves. Sometimes the fish just won't take them. In faster or deeper water you need a sinking line. Near the bottom is usually best.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Introductions/streamers

Wet fly swing for me most of the time, and I try to strip it back up seams and the like.

From what I understand the twitchiness of the tail is the big part of the fly, so I rarely fish them smoothy.

Other thing I do with them is to sort of tensioned-dead-drift them with random 6" retrieves - kind of like a bait fish drifting downstream, but moving itself around to feed.

Micro buggers (tied on a 1x long nymph/wet fly hook) are a good option to the often over dressed commercially tied bugger.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Introductions/streamers

Welcome aboard mtfisher!

Let's tackle that last question first... NO - not sure there is a wrong way to fish a Wooly Bugger. Having said that, there is a time and a place for everything.

I love Wooly Bugger's (Peacock Buggers actually) and fish them a lot like random user stated above. Always a lot of talk whether the Bugger is a streamer or more of a nymph... from my perspective I think it's a whole lot of both, but I think it excels at simulating a large nymph with an articulated body. For example, a black Wooly Bugger drifted on a semi-slack line looks a lot more like a dislodged stonefly nymph than a large stonefly nymph (fly) does. The magic is in that tail that curls and pulsates with the current. A large, long-bodied nymph tied on a long shank hook can't compete with this.

If you do a search we just had a Wooly Bugger discussion on here not all the long ago... lots of patterns and techniques shared there as I recall.

Stick with it... just need to stick a few fish and build some confidence in the fly. It will produce for you as it has for so many others.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Introductions/streamers

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Old 04-02-2013, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Introductions/streamers

as said above try to cast them up and across and dead drift some to gain some depth . then as the fly gets below and across from you begin to srtip it through likely holding areas.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: Introductions/streamers

Welcome to the forum Billy! Buggers are one of those flies that you tie to the end of your leader and fish. If you can think of how something to do with them, it will probably at one point or another get you a fish. Perhaps when you least expect it. You can swing em, strip em, drift em, nymph em, skate em (on the bottom), twitch em...almost sounds like Forest Gump and the ways to prepare shrimp!

There have been flies through the years that I never had luck with that others swore by. Persistence with them at one point or another has often paid off. Black and Black/Olive or Olive have always been my most productive colors and depending on the stream's other inhabitants, white. Stick with them, I'm sure you'll find yourself landing fish.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:57 PM
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Default Re: Introductions/streamers

Welcome! I've fished wooly buggers a lot for bass and only occasionally for trout but have had luck with them. 99% of the time I cast them across the current and strip it back or swing it in the current or some combination of the two. I try to get it to swing or strip through likely fish lies. Not just for big fish either. I've had trout strike buggers half their size. Usually they just strike the tails and miss the hook but fun to watch them chase it and strike.

One more pointer. If you're fishing trout and it starts raining, that can be a good time for them.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: Introductions/streamers

Thanks everybody for the replies! I will definitely try out some of the techniques you guys have described and see how it goes! I haven't given up on the Wooly and will continue to try new things with it. This is why I love this forum! Full of a lot of great information
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