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Wooley Bugger Question

Joined:
2010/4/12 21:50
From Perkiomenville
Posts: 225
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Hey guys, I have been fly fishing now for about 6 months and have yet to fish with a Wooley Bugger, all my fishing has consisted of dead drifting nymphs and midges and junk flies (san juan, green weenie etc.). I figured I should add some Wooley Buggers to my box but was just curious what size everyone recommends? I have read that I need to use fairly stout tippet such as 3-4x with the Buggers but how do I fish them? Is it as simple as casting downstream and across and stripping the Bugger back towards me? Do you typically use a splitshot above the Bugger to get the fly down? Any help would be appreciated.

Posted on: 2010/4/26 14:58


Re: Wooley Bugger Question

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2007/1/25 5:24
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Me and Little Lehigh used to be the only 2 guys in the world that hasn't caught fish on Wooley Buggers. A few weeks ago, I became the lone guy to be able to claim fame at that level.

I'm sure the answer is out there. I just haven't discovered it yet. But on another board, I once admited the same thing, and was taken to task by a New England expert about not knowing the proper way to fish a Wooley Bugger. To which I replied....."I didn't know there was a wrong way to fish a Wooley Bugger".

There's an answer there somewhere.

Posted on: 2010/4/26 15:39
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Re: Wooley Bugger Question
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2006/9/11 8:26
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Quote:

kyle1248 wrote:
Hey guys, I have been fly fishing now for about 6 months and have yet to fish with a Wooley Bugger, all my fishing has consisted of dead drifting nymphs and midges and junk flies (san juan, green weenie etc.). I figured I should add some Wooley Buggers to my box but was just curious what size everyone recommends? I have read that I need to use fairly stout tippet such as 3-4x with the Buggers but how do I fish them? Is it as simple as casting downstream and across and stripping the Bugger back towards me? Do you typically use a splitshot above the Bugger to get the fly down? Any help would be appreciated.




Buggers are very versatile. You can dead drift them like a nymph, let them swing in the current, and/or strip them in slowly or quickly. Try all three methods to see what works best.

As far as weight, I like my buggers weighted to keep them down deep, although sometimes the fish will chase them near the surface. If you flies aren't weighted a split-shot will work to get them deeper. I like to pin the shot right in front of the hook eye when I use one, but a lot of guys keep the shot 8-10" above the fly.

The most popular bugger colors are Olive, Brown, Black and White. They all work at one time or another. Olive or black is good in waters with hellgrimmites, while brown or olive imitates cray fish and sculpins well, and white is a good representation for many baitfish. Smaller buggers could imitate larger nymphs and a whole bunch of other stuff in the stream or river.

The saying "you can't fish them wrong" was "invented" when talking about buggers. Good luck.


PS - I just read Ol' Festus's post about buggers. Ol' Festus is a crafty fisherman, an expert fly tyer, and a deadly marksman with both gun and bow........but remember no one hits the bullseye every time......

Posted on: 2010/4/26 15:43


Re: Wooley Bugger Question

Joined:
2010/4/12 21:50
From Perkiomenville
Posts: 225
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Thanks any idea which sizes I should start with? I mostly fish smaller streams in the SE part of the state. Thanks for all your help!

Posted on: 2010/4/26 16:55
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Re: Wooley Bugger Question

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2008/10/25 14:19
From York County
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My absolute favorite bugger is olive with a gold bead head, and a little bit of green flashy material, anywhere from size 8 down to a 4. I usually fish them with 4x and maybe 5x tippet.

My next favorite is brown with a gold bead and some flash.

Other than that I like small black ones.

Fish them after it rains, for the next few days, like right now in the SE region. If I'm going to use a heavy bugger I use it where my other stuff can't go....deep.

I like to cast them upstream of a hole or deep run, giving them time to dive down to the bottom as they are drifting down stream towards the hole. And while drifting I always avoid any slack in the line. I let it drift into the hole trying to keep it near the bottom.

I might give it a few twitches and as it passes me and goes further downstream I let it hang in the current a little hitting pockets, when it reaches the end of it's drift I start to strip it in slowly, giving a trout one last chance.

My 4 year old caught his very first brown trout this year using a bugger, because I thought it would be the easiest pattern for him to try on a fly rod.

I picked a spot where there were a few trout holding position in the current and I cast the brown bugger, ((correction, it was a black and purple bugger, now that I think about it, Imagine that)) upstream and had him just hold the rod straight out in the current. I could see the bugger darting about in the current with my polarizers, and saw the trout swim up and take it.

Easy as that.

Also make sure it is a marabou tail bugger, they are the kind with the fluffy feathery material trailing behind the hook.

Posted on: 2010/4/26 17:00
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Re: Wooley Bugger Question

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
Posts: 4469
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My favorite bugger is size 10-16 black or dark grey tail with a couple strands of flash , black or dark grey hackle tied in at bend by the tip , convex side facing back , peacock herl or peacock herl dubbing for the body , palmer hackle to eye and have at it.

Posted on: 2010/4/26 18:46


Re: Wooley Bugger Question

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2007/1/25 5:24
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When Ol' Festus catches his first fish on a Bugger, the entire board gets a drink on Ol' Festus. My life will be complete at that point

Posted on: 2010/4/26 23:20
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Re: Wooley Bugger Question

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2007/4/8 20:43
From SEPA
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Quote:

Festus wrote:
Me and Little Lehigh used to be the only 2 guys in the world that hasn't caught fish on Wooley Buggers.


I wish to subscribe to your newsletter, sir.

Posted on: 2010/4/27 0:24


Re: Wooley Bugger Question

Joined:
2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
Posts: 4469
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Ol Festus n gfen come to Yellow creek in early june and i guarantee i'll have the Wild Turkey thankx.

Posted on: 2010/4/27 7:05


Re: Wooley Bugger Question

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2007/1/25 5:24
From Pa
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Wild turkey? That sounds interesting. I'll check my travel planner(the wife).

Posted on: 2010/4/27 10:58
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Re: Wooley Bugger Question

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13623
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Quote:

Festus wrote:
Me and Little Lehigh used to be the only 2 guys in the world that hasn't caught fish on Wooley Buggers. A few weeks ago, I became the lone guy to be able to claim fame at that level.

I'm sure the answer is out there. I just haven't discovered it yet. But on another board, I once admited the same thing, and was taken to task by a New England expert about not knowing the proper way to fish a Wooley Bugger. To which I replied....."I didn't know there was a wrong way to fish a Wooley Bugger".

There's an answer there somewhere.


You were correct in your response. Like other generic patterns, you have to stop thinking of it as a Wooley bugger when you fish it and think of it as whatever you want it to be. Is it a stone fly, is it a sculpin, is it a drown caterpillar ... minnow? Then you will have more confidence.

Posted on: 2010/4/28 9:36


Re: Wooley Bugger Question

Joined:
2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Posts: 6483
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Here's a few ways and situations to fish buggers.

Fish them in all sizes and colors for fresh stockies. I was tossing a sz 14 olive bugger downstream and stripping it back ever so slightly and got a strike on almost every cast. I caught 12 fish in a little over an hour. A white bugger is also good for this situation.

Fish them in high water in large sizes and dark colors and lots of weight. Dead drift them in high water and get them deep. The fish have difficulty seeing and a big form will stand out to them.

Fish them down stream and stripping them upstream. It resembles a fleeing baitfish and can cause some very nasty strikes.

Also a small olive bugger stripped slow in the pools can produce some wary wild browns too.

But like it was said, there's hardly a wrong way to fish them. They can produce fish in many instances.

Posted on: 2010/4/28 16:53
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Re: Wooley Bugger Question

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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All of what Ryan mentioned is good.

I'll add still fishing small buggers with oversized hackle in clear, slow water. Fish often swim over and pick them up. I used to fish the little lehigh a lot, and this was one of the best methods.

The best, and most fun way to fish buggers IMO is to pound the banks with giant ones. Size 2 or 4 4xl. It's especially effective in high water when smaller stuff like sculpins, crays, dace, fingerlings, etc are disoriented.

Posted on: 2010/4/28 17:03


Re: Wooley Bugger Question

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13424
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While I have caught fish on buggers, I will admit that its not many, and I don't use them often at all.

As was said, I see them representing sculpins, minnows, stoneflies, leeches, etc. The problem is, I have all those patterns. Every time I decide I'm going to try to imitate a sculpin, I end up reaching for the sculpin pattern before the bugger. Same goes for stoneflies, minnows, etc. About the only time I use them is for backup, if I run out of something.

Posted on: 2010/4/28 17:05


Re: Wooley Bugger Question

Joined:
2006/9/10 20:44
From Room 109
Posts: 3132
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Quote:

The best, and most fun way to fish buggers IMO is to pound the banks with giant ones. Size 2 or 4 4xl. It's especially effective in high water when smaller stuff like sculpins, crays, dace, fingerlings, etc are disoriented.


Slappin' the Hamster - Jay is correct. It is the most fun way to fish them.

http://www.paflyfish.com/modules/newb ... ype=&topic_id=495&forum=7

Posted on: 2010/4/28 17:50
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