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Old 05-15-2008, 02:58 PM
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Default fishing wooly buggers (beginner's question)

Hi all,

I'm going to be fishing a weighted wooly bugger and I'm trying to get it deep into some pools but my floating line will be in contact with some current.

My first question is how I ought to be fishing a wooly bugger. Should I let it go with the current? Should I only be expecting a bite on the drift or should I expect a bite on the retrieve too? Should I ever be retrieving upstream while anticipating a bite?

Secondly, how do I feel a bite since I won't be able to see my lure (muddy water) ? I am making the assumption that the current will be putting some slack into my line even if I'm retrieving it...so I won't directly feel the bite. The only possible ways I can imagine telling if I have a bite is if the leader seems to have stopped even if the current is still pulling the line, or I may just have to occasionally reel the line in enough to feel if there's weight (the fish) on the line. Are my assumptions correct? Are there other ways to tell?

Help would be greatly appreciated.

jbu
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: fishing wooly buggers (beginner's question)

I am no expert but when I fish a bugger I cast it out across the river then if there is a current I let it swing into it and give it a few strips as I retrieve. if no current I cast across and let it sink to desired depth then give short lil strips like a leach or minnow swimming along. basically when you are stripping it and get a bite the strip will set the hook. when I have caught bass and suff on it I stripped it like usual and all of a sudden it was tight lines. I give it a lil hook set just to make sure its set good and thats about it. you are good to go. I think they almost hook themselves cause they just engulf the whole fly. also a another thing to watch for is you tip of you fly line. look at it as a strike indicator. if it looks like it gets tugged set the hook. have done that before also.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: fishing wooly buggers (beginner's question)

I usually fish mine across and slightly downstream and strip it in always staying tight to the fly so I can feel the strike. One cool trick when there is faster water between you and your fly is to let the current create a downstream belly in the line and strip it back. The fly will be upstream from the belly of line and will be pulled downstream as you strip, which would be more natural of a wounded minnow.

I think I read somewhere that if you fish a bugger upstream you should strip it back faster than the current. Don't let it dead drift with the current because the marabou tail collapses around the body and doesn't look natural. I can't swear to the accuracy of that but I remember it from somewhere.
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: fishing wooly buggers (beginner's question)

Lakes: slow and short stripping retrieves work for me.
Streams: As described in the other posts.

I've always found that most species hit a moving bugger pretty hard...at
least the ones I detect .
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Old 05-16-2008, 02:11 PM
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Default Re: fishing wooly buggers (beginner's question)

The way I fish a woolly bugger is I basically look for a prime lie-whether it is a deep pool, a riffle, a feeding run-I cast the fly out there and as it sinks I just watch my indicator, which I generally tie to my leader to approximate the water depth. When the indicator stops moving naturally, or when it goes underwater for a second, I just set the hook and pull the fish in. Dead drift is pretty important and you may want to learn how to mend line if you haven't already-it's hard to describe in words, you might just have to watch some one do it. I do not generally flyfish on very muddy streams, I generally go after trout. So I can't guarantee that a woolly bugger would work in a stream where I couldn't see the rocks on the bottom at least when the sun is out.
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