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chuck145 12-27-2005 11:10 AM

Wooly buggers
I received a box of umpaqu(sp?) wooly buggers for Christmas. Some are plain, others have a bead head. I expect the bead head to sink; but, is the plain wooly bugger suppose to sink? I put one in a glass of water and it floated until it soaked up water then it sank. Sink or float, what kind of action do you give to a wooly bugger? How do you fish it?

BigCliff 12-27-2005 01:44 PM

Re: Wooly buggers
The buggers with the bead head should definitely sink quicker than the ones without them. The other buggers should sink as well, as they probably have leadwire wrapped arounf the hook shank under the chenille and hackle that is also wrapped around the shank. The lead might not be there, but the traditional/typical wooly bugger definitely has it.

Bead head buggers also have a different action than those with lead wrapped around the shank. The weight being up at the head makes it move more like a lead head jig compared to the lead-wired ones that sink in a more level fashion.

As far as fishing them goes, there are different schools of thought. You will get the most action ouf of the bead head versions if you tie them on with a loop knot and retrieve them with quick short strips. Try to let the fly sink down to where you think the fish are and begin your retrieve from there. If you think the fish are feeding on crawfish, then try letting the bugger sink down to the bottom and make it move like a crawfish, complete with the puffs of mud. Gamefish will often key in on these puffs.

Most any fly with marabou will float until it soaks up water. I usually pop them down into the water and then grab them and squeeze the tail to get water into all of the fibers. If you think marabou is bad, wait til you try some flies with zonkers/rabbit strips. The hair acts like that marabou did and the leather its attached to actually has little air bubbles in it. You'll need to either squeeze it very well to make sure its fully soaked or use xink or spit to sink those flies.

fshfanatic 12-27-2005 01:52 PM

Re: Wooly buggers
Wooly Buggers will catch any fish that swims. It is basically an "Atractor" patern and imitates anything from helgramites to leeches.

I fish them on a sinking line either drifting or with a "strip strip pause" retrieve.

tie one on 12-29-2005 10:38 AM

Re: Wooly buggers
I tend to agree with each answer you have received. Wooly Buggers will catch almost anything that swims. Did any of the Wooly Buggers have different color heads, other than a bead head ? ( Let's say pink or orange ) This type are supposed to mimick egg sucking leechs, good for steelehead. This particular fly is meant to go down towards the bottom, so a slow stripping retrieve works best. ( as stated in another response ) I have even seen these flies basically tied upside down so the hook itself is facing up so as not to snag as easily on rocks or debris. Great all around bait, best colors are usually black or olive here in West Michigan.

Tie One On

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