The woolly bugger fly
is used around the world and works well when fly fishing
for trout. The dark green versions could imitate dragonfly
nymphs swimming under water darting from place to place.
In Argentina and Chile
we like to use the woolly bugger when casting to the edges
of a lakeshore. We start from drifting possession and strip
the fly out into the deep water. When
you cast into the shallow water just beyond the drop off,
it can catch the attention of a big trout that has been
laying in wait for his prey.
fly hits the water, especially being weighted, the fish picks up on the sound
and begins to look for what fell into the water. As you begin the strip the fish
gets aligned with the sound and begins to look for the prey. If the fish sees
the fly directly from the back as the fly is swimming out into the lake he will
rush up to get it generally with his mouth open just before he strikes.
is advantageous to have the fish coming behind the fly,
as it is difficult for the trout to identify just what is
swimming away. To have this happen it is necessary to begin
the strip as soon as the fly hits the water, not letting
it sink but a few inches under the surface. The strip should
be fast and jerky or with an abrupt pause in order to get
the fly to pulsate or to make the tail fan out and in. However,
trout can come from any place, deep down or under cut banks
or even under your boat. When
this occurs, sometimes the fish will get a good look at
the fly swimming from the side view and he might swim past
the fly or swim up on it and shy away.
is always best to keep up a steady strip no matter what the fish does. You can't
convince every fish, but you will find that your best presentations generally
will convince some.
We like to use this fly pattern tied to a
long hook making it look longer. Weighting the fly is important as you need to
have the fly under water at once when completing the cast otherwise you are continually
waiting for the fly to sink and besides when non-weighted, flies do not swim as
well as the weighted ones. The sizes that we like to use are tied on no. 2, 4
and 6 hooks. The best all around colors seem to be the dark olives, blacks and
browns in that order. Perhaps the light at the time of day might give the fly
pattern a certain appeal. So really you should have different colors on hand and
Bring to Argentina/Chile a half dozen of
each color and size. I try to stay away from shine on these flies. It is a good
idea to make them look as drab as possible. Many fly fishermen are using the bead
head versions and it has been effective, but the shine has turned fish away as
well as attracted them. Lead heads are being used to sink the fly but it is hard
to cast and you find yourself ducking a lot. I think the old way of wrapping lead
wire around the hook is the best and most balanced, making the casting easier.
They do not have to be heavily weighted.
The woolly bugger is
the fly that is probably used the most when you are in a
hurry to find out if there are any hungry big fish around
to be caught. I had as many as five trout try to get this
fly at the same time. Disappointingly they all bumped
into one another trying to get the fly and I didn't catch
one of them. This showed me that this fly pattern
is an attractive and appealing imitation meal to the trout.