There can be little doubt that the ubiquitous Woolly Bugger is one of the easiest to tie,
as well as most productive flies that has ever been conceived. It is a simple fact!
Now there are hundreds of variations on the Woolly Bugger out there in the world of the
fly tier, and we are not going to offer another one here. We are however going to simplify
this fly even further than you ever thought possible.
OK, OK, maybe you have a right to think we are finally off of the deep end. But it can be done.
In fact, many of you may already be employing this trick. Production numbers soar when it is
employed and the fly suffers not for the shortcut.
Traditionally a Woolly Bugger is tied with a marabou tail, a chenille body, and a palmered hackle.
You of course can weight it if desired, or counter wrap it with copper or other wire to add some
sparkle and/or durability as desired, but these do not affect the basic tie.
We are going to tie a Woolly Bugger with only two materials, marabou and a palmered hackle. These
are all that you need to produce a fly that you will find every bit as effective as the traditional tie.
You will also be utilizing all of the material you paid for, and throwing far less money into the
You can tie single, or two color flies with this technique, just as you do with chenille. And flash,
wire, lead etc may be added to suit your particular circumstances and preferences.
OK, here is the technique illustrated: (Only the basic fly is shown with no embellishments).
First lay down a thread wrap as usual.
Tie in your wire, or flash or other over wrap at the rear of the hook. (if desired).
Tie in your hackle. (Tip first works best for movement).
Now, twist your marabou into a rope-like strand and wrap it forward to the tie
off point just behind the eye of the hook, tie it down and trim the excess.
Tie in your marabou tail.
If you are using some flash, palmer or lay it forward and tie it off, clip the excess.
Palmer your hackle forward and tie it off, clip the excess.
Wrap your wire forward over the hackle for durability if desired, trim and tie it off. (if you are
not using wire, skip this step).
Build your head and tie off.
Cement the head and go fishing.
This same technique works with bead heads, cone heads, lead eyes,
bead chain or whatever you need to weight your fly with to get
down to where the big fish lay.
Quit wasting materials when you tie flies to fish with. Tie a
great fly faster, and spend more time fishing!
Now there is the best tip yet!
If you have any tips or techniques, send them along, most of this
material has been stolen from somebody, might as well steal your ideas
too! ~ George E. Emanuel
(Chat Room Host Muddler)