Young Kheiran has dropped the gauntlet and issued a challenge to all fly tyers. The challenge is simple. Just tie a Wooly Bugger fly and try to talk through the tying process. Oh, yes, you’ll need to use a cheek retractor while you do it. Watch her video below and let us know if you create your video answering the challenge.
The creation of the Wooly Bugger streamer is credited to Russell Blessing from Pennsylvania. It is said to have been created as a bass fly and tied to resemble a hellgrammite or dobsonfly nymph. Its precise origin is unknown, but is clearly an evolution of the Woolly Worm fly, which itself is a variation—intentional or not—of the British palmer fly, which dates back to Walton and beyond.
Woolly Buggers have proven to be a most versatile fly pattern and the original has spawned countless variations. It can be tied to imitate pretty much any prey item, depending on the hook size it is tied in, the colors used and any other elements that may be added. The buggers may represent large nymphs, baitfish, leech, drowning terrestrial insects, worms, crayfish, shrimp or crabs.
This is one of the earliest forms of the fly and is tied using an olive body with black hackle and tail. Enjoy.
Woolly Bugger (Russell Blessing)
Hook: 2xl – 4xlstreamer hook in size 2-8
Thread: Black 6/0
Weight: .030 lead or similar optional
Tail: Black marabou
Flash: Pearl crystal flash
Rib: fine copper wire
Body: Olive chenille med
Hackle: Black saddle hackle
Head: Black thread
There are thousands of variations of Russel Blessing’s Woolly Bugger out there, and I like to tie a few for a couple of my boxes. I’ve even been known to tie a few up for my pike box. Here is a cool variation from Lou DiGena (http://flyandfin.blogspot.com/) that I really liked and wanted to share. I am picky about my own buggers and hate seeing poorly tied or monotone flies. Patterns that incorporate grizzly or badger hackles with a nice taper in the hackle are always welcome in my box. Lou uses pearl braid as the body material here and when the hackle is wrapped to sit between the wraps of the braid, it will really add some durability to the pattern. That combined with the counter wrapped wire will make sure it sees many fish before it needs to be retired. Enjoy the show and drop by Fly and Fin to thank Lou for the video! Also be sure to check out their other content on their youtube page.