Tying the Wooly Bugger

There are a few flies that are in just about everyone’s fly box. Tried and true patterns that are sure to “save the day”.

Dry patterns like the Elk Hair Caddis, BWO and Adams…

Elk Hair Caddis, Black

Parachute BWO

Parachute Adams


Nymphs like the Prince Nymph, Copper John and Pheasant Tail…

Prince Nymph

Copper John




And of course a classic streamer pattern Wooly Bugger…

Wooly Bugger, Purple



The wooly bugger can catch a diverse variety of fish species. I’ve caught all kinds of stuff on them. You can tie them for trout, larger for bass, and smaller for those wild and native trout. A great friend of mine, Ed Felker, has shared some of his catches using my wooly buggers on his blog Dispatches from the Potomac.

He’s caught bass on the Potomac….


He’s even caught brookies on one he tied himself the night before while we stayed in a┬áMongolian Yurt at Rose River Farm….


A while back, I created my first video tutorial for anyone, disabled or not, to see how I tie wooly buggers. As you’ll see from the video, I tie them with estaz instead on hackle. I’m all about durability and getting your money’s worth. Although hackle gives a great swimming action, the estaz has its own unique movement as well. And it lasts! A smallmouth won’t destroy it after one bite. So sit back, grab a vise, and enjoy the video. And if you don’t tie, watch it anyways. Now.