Monday, November 25, 2013

The Conspicuous Woolly Worm

Black Woolly Bugger
Some of the most productive flies ever invented were Woolly Worms and Woolly Buggers. Surprisingly, they are easy to tie but are sometimes passed over in favor of more elaborate patterns. They were designed to suggest a Hellgrammite, an aquatic larva of the dobsonfly, but they can also imitate stoneflies, caddisflies, leeches, nymphs, caterpillers and bait fish, to name a few. Newer variations include the Egg-Sucking Leech, Bead Head Buggers, Optic Eye patterns and the Ochoco Special.  They can be fished in a variety of ways, such as twitched, dead drifted or swung across the surface.

These versatile flies can be tied in a variety of colors, sizes and shapes, and with a variety of materials including chenille, peacock herl, yarn, fiber tails and rubber legs. Applying your own variations may also produce surprising results. The following recipe is for the Black Woolly Bugger which is simply a woolly worm with a marabou tail.

Hook:     9672 sizes 8 to 4
Thread:  3/0 Monocord
Tail:       Black marabou
Body:     Black chenille
Hackle:  Black saddle (palmered)

Tying Instructions:

Step 1. Tie in a clump of black marabou at the hook bend.

Step 2. Tie in palmered hackle and black chenille.

Step 3. Spiral the chenille ahead to 1/8 inch of the eye.

Step 4. Depending on the hook size, wrap 4-8 turns of hackle forward about 1/8 apart. Finish the head and tie off.  

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