How do you fish a wolly booger?

wolfglen

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I've always seen the worm with a small red tag tail, that's how I learned to tie it at least. Bugger with marabou tail of course. And typically the hackle on the worm is palmered so the fibers angle forwards instead of backwards.
That was the original pattern, from back in the 1899;s when it was called a wooly worm. (I was very young then Ha! Ha!, My mother told me that when I was born, it took the doctor a half hour to scale me)
 

learning2fly

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I like this thread. Lots of good information! I find that I go through a series of retrieve styles until I get a hit. Sometimes they want long slow strips, other times they want a fast escape strip, other times they'll only hit on a swing. Dead drifting a bugger during big stonefly/salmonfly hatches can be a killer too! Black buggers and leeches are a must have for my box.
 

wolfglen

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I like this thread. Lots of good information! I find that I go through a series of retrieve styles until I get a hit. Sometimes they want long slow strips, other times they want a fast escape strip, other times they'll only hit on a swing. Dead drifting a bugger during big stonefly/salmonfly hatches can be a killer too! Black buggers and leeches are a must have for my box.
You just don't know what a fish is going to like from one day to the other, unless you are another fish and then it's probably questionable!
 

learning2fly

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You just don't know what a fish is going to like from one day to the other, unless you are another fish and then it's probably questionable!
You've got it! I usually do well with the basic top ten flies plus a few of my own. I do get flustered sometimes when I don't have the right stuff but the bugger is one I'll try last.
 

rodteague

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I can't disagree hardly with anything posted so far; my only additional tip could apply to any fly that is either retrieved or presented on a dead drift. As your fly finishes the tail out down stream, lift your rod tip slightly and hesitate before lifting the fly out of the water to begin your back cast. This move can generate the predatory response and you may see a swell behind the fly or get a strike. Fish are curious and many times will follow your fly all the way to the tail out. I do this every time before lifting my fly and almost always see some sort of action as a result.

If I see just the swell; I'll present the fly exactly the same way and let it tail out. Just before lifting the rod tip I'll give the fly a couple of short jerks and I almost always get a strike either with the jerking motion or as I am lifting the rod tip before pulling the fly from the water. This little addition is very effective with WB's and steamers; but will work with nymphs as well. It can make a big difference on a relatively slow day.

EDIT Wow, didn't notice how old this thread was..... sorry for dredging it up.

Best Regards

Rod
 
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mdsict

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When you fish one of these, what are you matching it to in terms of color and/or size?
 

ejsell

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It mimics leeches most closely, I suppose. But also can work like a small fish or insect, depending on how it's worked.
Or crayfish. I like to tie mine in colors similar to molting crayfish and add rubber legs. Works great for smallmouth, carp, rock bass and crappie.

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nevadanstig

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Or crayfish. I like to tie mine in colors similar to molting crayfish and add rubber legs. Works great for smallmouth, carp, rock bass and crappie.

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Yep, buggers in the browns/reds/rusts colors are killer patterns out here during the molt!
 

arreflections

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This plays well into a common theme I see in a lot of discussions here. What makes a fly fishing attempt successful? Is it the fly or the presentation? People who have success fishing woolly buggers in so many different ways remind me of Tenkara anglers who will use a single fly with many different presentation styles. Both groups of anglers appear to back up the argument that success has more to do with presentation than the fly.

Does the wooly bugger require less manipulation by the person compared to other flies for an effective presentation? Is it the maribou, cheneille, flash, hackle, wire around hook shank or combination?

Ever switch out to a different fly like a soft hackle, other streamer, or teeny nymph when the bite is on? Always wanted to test this out myself but when catching fish I seem to forget.
 

ia_trouter

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Does the wooly bugger require less manipulation by the person compared to other flies for an effective presentation? Is it the maribou, cheneille, flash, hackle, wire around hook shank or combination?

Ever switch out to a different fly like a soft hackle, other streamer, or teeny nymph when the bite is on? Always wanted to test this out myself but when catching fish I seem to forget.
I don't know that the wooly requires less interface from the angler, but it is a forgiving fly. You can impart action into it, or not, throw it about anywhere and it will get you some fish if you use it often. I get a similar result with a partridge and whatever wet fly on clearer water.

As to your last question,as a relative newcomer to this, I definitely switch out flies when the bite gets hot. IMO it's the best way you learn which patterns are generally effective on your waters. If you only use your other flies out of desperation when the bite is tough , then of course you'll lose confidence in them. The wooly is a highly effective pattern, but I only use it when I have to. I (and many others before me), have found few things anywhere nearly as good when the stream is blown out and the water is very dirty. A Simi-Seal leech also does well, but it is just another dark leech with a large profile. I believe they can see these flies MUCH easier then say a size 16 nymph, wet or dry fly.
 

wjlapier

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Last Friday green Woolly Buggers were the hot fly of the day. Most fish I've caught on a fly since I started flyfishing--less than a year. It sure was fun. I don't know very much about fly fishing but I do remember some of what I've read here or saw on youtube. I just give the slightest movement to the line and the woolly bugger moves enough to get the fish's attention. I did switch out to other flies i had to see if they would take anything else, but mostly rejections or bumps. Back to the woolly bugger and they started biting again.
 
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