Wisconsin Fly Fishing for Trout

Tying A Killer Woolly Bugger Pattern

One of the most productive fly patterns ever created is the woolly bugger. It is has been used on lakes and streams to catch trout, steelhead, bass and panfish. Woolly buggers represent a lot of various aquatic food forms, such as hellagramites and when fished right trout and other fish species can't resist them.

Over the years I have adapted several other fly tiers techniques to make my woolly buggers more seductive and more durable. Especially in the Spring and Fall seasons I find these killer woolly buggers extremely effective when fished slow and deep in the drift lanes where trout are waiting to intercept food.

Killer Woolly Bugger Pattern Dressing

Hook: TMC 5263 Size #6 to #8, or similar
Thread: Uni-thread 6/0 or 8/0
Tail: Nature's Spirit Marabou with strands of Krystal Flash
Ribbing: long soft hackle feather wound over chenille
Body: Speckled Chenille
Bead: Gold, Silver, Copper or Black Tungsten Cone Head

Step #1: I use a tungsten cone head bead and then I add a tungsten bead that fits inside the cone head. I buy both from CompetitiveAngler.com because they have the best quality tungsten beads I have ever used.

tying a killer woolly bugger step #1

Step #2: I then fill the tungsten conehead with Loon UV Clear Fly Fisnish Thick.

tying a killer woolly bugger step #2

Step #3: I harden the Loon UV Finish with my Loon UV light.

tying a killer woolly bugger step #3

Step #4: Then tie the thread on all the way back to the hook bend. Tie on the color marabou desired for the pattern. Then add 2-3 strands of the desired color of Kystal Flash, which I tie in and then fold the excess strands back over itself and secure with more thread wraps. This keeps the Krystal Flash from being pulled out by the teeth of the fish.

tying a killer woolly bugger step #4

Step #5: Tie in the long soft hackle feather and then the chenille.

tying a killer woolly bugger step #5

Step #6: Wrap the chenille forward. At this time if I want a hot spot behind the tungsten conehead I change thread to the color I want for the hot spot. (Below, I switched from using white Uni-thread to a red Uni-thread.)

tying a killer woolly bugger step #6

Step #7: Last, wind the soft hackle feather forward, tie off, add a few mre thread wraps and whip finish.

tying a killer woolly bugger step #7

Step #8: Turn the fly over and dap some head cement or super glue to secure the thread wraps.

tying a killer woolly bugger step #8

Step #9: My favorite colors for tying killer woolly buggers are black, olive and white.

tying a killer woolly buggers
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