Salmonfly.Net Salmon and Steelhead Fly Tying Guide  In Memory of Yuri Shumakov 

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Wooly Bugger

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Wooly Bugger

Name Wooly Bugger
Category Steelhead/Salmon
Hook Your preference of salmon/steelhead hook, size 6 to 2/0. Weighted with Heavy Lead-Free Wire
Tail Marabou in color of your choice. Use either the same color as chenille,
or a complementary color
Body Chenille in any color you wish. Popular ones are black, green, olive, and brown
Hackle Matching Color. The best looking Wooly Buggers are constructed with quality hackle. This can cost a little more, but you will be able to tie a better quality fly that is more attractive to fish.
Head Pre-waxed in black, brown, olive, or any other color that you wish

The wooly bugger is perhaps the most widely used and widely copied fly for all species of trout, steelhead, and salmon. It is also tied in a great variety of colors. I got away from some traditional colors here to show you that you don't have to be restrictive with colors. The chartreuse body and tail, and hot pink hackle here are not so common for trout but they are especially attractive for salmon.

Tying Steps

  • Place hook in vise. Wrap thread around hook from just behind eye to 3/4 back towards hook shank. This will provide you with a nice bed of thread on which to wind your lead wire.
  • Wrap wire around hook. Make sure it is tight and wraps are together. Wrap thread over front, top, and end of lead to secure it to the hook.
  • Tie in a clump of marabou feathers on that back 1/4 of the hook that doesn't have lead wrapped around it. Next, you will tie in hackle feather and chenille on the area directly in front of the marabou tail. Wind thread forward to a point just behind the hook eye.
  • Wind chenille forward on the hook. Wrap it tightly so you have a body that is of uniform width throughout. Tie off chenille and trim extra chenille. Wind hackle forward in even wraps and tie off behind hook eye. Trim excess.
  • Form the head of the fly by wrapping thread around and behind hook eye.
  • Whip finish and cement.

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