Woolly Bugger Question

trev

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So, I have always used woolly buggers as "Bulky tail could suggest a segmented body... in other words, instead of a "tail" a bulky bugger tail could suggest the back half of a hellgrammite, crawfish, sculpin, stonefly nymph, or dragonfly nymph. "
I don't think of them as a style so much as a pattern, as a pattern they were intended as hellgrammites and function very well as crawdads. Similar flies that are not exactly woolly buggers are to me "palmer flies" , however if I think of all palmer flies as being "wooly buggers" then I'd say no tail at all or at least no marabou at all is my most common way of tying these.

All the sparse tailed woolly buggers I have encountered or tied eventually got the tails pinched off very short to become woolly worms at which point they did produce better.

I hadn't really considered that going from swift water to pond water or even going from clear water to turbid water would affect how these should be tied, again back to my perception of a "pattern" rather than a "style", and because I only fish this pattern in hellgrammite and crawdad waters.
Having read this thread, my conclusion is it don't matter, if it suits you it's perfect.
 

bigjim5589

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So, I have always used woolly buggers as "Bulky tail could suggest a segmented body... in other words, instead of a "tail" a bulky bugger tail could suggest the back half of a hellgrammite, crawfish, sculpin, stonefly nymph, or dragonfly nymph. "
I don't think of them as a style so much as a pattern, as a pattern they were intended as hellgrammites and function very well as crawdads. Similar flies that are not exactly woolly buggers are to me "palmer flies" , however if I think of all palmer flies as being "wooly buggers" then I'd say no tail at all or at least no marabou at all is my most common way of tying these.

All the sparse tailed woolly buggers I have encountered or tied eventually got the tails pinched off very short to become woolly worms at which point they did produce better.

I hadn't really considered that going from swift water to pond water or even going from clear water to turbid water would affect how these should be tied, again back to my perception of a "pattern" rather than a "style", and because I only fish this pattern in hellgrammite and crawdad waters.
Having read this thread, my conclusion is it don't matter, if it suits you it's perfect.
Trev, and comparing your reply with mine and others, it just proves that we're all looking at them in similar manner, but our perception of them, ( style, patterns, etc.) may be different. None of how we tie them will be wrong, for us. I still tie & fish some Woolly Worms too occasionally, because to me, they represent different things than the buggers represent.

There are other flies too, as you've mentioned, palmer flies, that are similar, but not the same. A Seaducer is similar, but it's not a bugger. There's a New Zealand fly that I like, called a Fuzzy Wuzzy, that is also similar, but not a bugger. It's used to imitate a type or prawn if I recall correctly, just as some folks here use a bugger to imitate crayfish. I use it for bass, and have no idea what they believe the fly to be. It only matters to me that they'll grab it, same as it matters to me about buggers.

We both agree, that it's up to the person tying & fishing them to decide what they may represent, and how best to tie them for their fishing purposes. If it then works for them, yep, it's perfect. (y) (y)
 

LOC

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I'm getting ready to tie some smaller woolly bugger patterns. In the past I've been told that I put too much marabou in the tail. I can't say if the criticism was accurate or not. Is there some simple way or guide to determine how dense or how sparse the tail of a woolly bugger should be tied - or some benefit to tying the tail sparse or thick?
The guide you should use will be your own judgement. Tie the fly place it in water or even a bathtub and see how it swims!
If you like what you see and they are catching fish don't listen to some dude telling you how your flies should be...
 

zesto

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.....There's a New Zealand fly that I like, called a Fuzzy Wuzzy, that is also similar, but not a bugger. It's used to imitate a type or prawn if I recall correctly.....
Yes, it's quite a deadly pattern on rainbows and browns. When tied on a #4 hook in the darker body colors and fished in short, slow pulls it's an excellent night fly and probably represents the koura, a small freshwater crayfish, which the larger trout especially love. It also could imitate a cockabilly which is also top shelf cuisine for brownies. In other body colours and smaller sizes it's an excellent day fly. There is also a very good fly named the Red Setter which is tied the same as a Fuzzy Wuzzy but using ginger squirrel tail and hackle instead of black and with an orange body. Both flies have accounted for many, many thousands of trout in NZ.


 

bigjim5589

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Yes, it's quite a deadly pattern on rainbows and browns. When tied on a #4 hook in the darker body colors and fished in short, slow pulls it's an excellent night fly and probably represents the koura, a small freshwater crayfish, which the larger trout especially love. It also could imitate a cockabilly which is also top shelf cuisine for brownies. In other body colours and smaller sizes it's an excellent day fly. There is also a very good fly named the Red Setter which is tied the same as a Fuzzy Wuzzy but using ginger squirrel tail and hackle instead of black and with an orange body. Both flies have accounted for many, many thousands of trout in NZ.


Zesto Thank you! I am also aware of the Red Setter and have tied & used it here for bass, and have tied that style in other colors not typical for NZ. There are a number of other NZ flies that I've used as well here. My first introduction to NZ flies was back in the 70's in a magazine article. I could see then that they had a lot of potential for use here.

Styles of flies, no matter where they originate, can be adopted/adapted. I brought up the Fuzzy Wuzzy, ( and your mentioning of the Red Setter), because these are similar types of flies to a Bugger, at least similar enough that they could be used in similar situations and possibly produce as well. I'm also fond of the Scottish Loch style trout flies, with palmered hackle bodies, which are more similar to a Woolly Worm in their design. I enjoy tying & fishing various types of flies, although I've primarily targeted bass with them, rather than trout, because bass have been more readily available to me. I have no doubt that some of these flies might produce very well for trout too here in the US.
 
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