Woolly Bugger Fly

Woolly Bugger

Versatile streamer, imitates prey items, lifelike movement, suitable for various conditions.

How the Woolly Bugger is tied

The Woolly Bugger is tied on a standard streamer hook, typically ranging from size 2 to 10. The tail is created using marabou feathers, which provide a lifelike motion in the water. The body is made from chenille or dubbed fur, wrapped around the hook shank. A hackle feather, often from a saddle or neck, is palmered over the body, giving the fly its characteristic bushy appearance, although not all woolly buggers are tied like this (see pictures). Optionally, a bead or cone head can be added to the hook for added weight and flash.

What the Woolly Bugger mimics

The Woolly Bugger imitates various aquatic and terrestrial prey items. These can be leeches, baitfish, crayfish, and even large nymphs or drowned terrestrial insects. By adjusting the size, color, and materials used, the Woolly Bugger can be customized to match specific prey items in different fishing environments.

Where the Woolly Bugger is used

The Woolly Bugger's is essentially used everywhere, from rivers to ponds to saltwater. Its adaptable design allows it to target multiple fish species, such as trout, bass, pike, and saltwater species. It primarily focusses on predatory fish, although the smaller patterns can also be used to fly fish for species like carp. The fly can be fished using different techniques, including dead drifting, swinging, or stripping, depending on the desired presentation and the target species' feeding behavior.

Also see our article on Fly Fishing with Woolly Buggers.

Fly tying video for the Woolly Bugger

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Fish you can can fly fish for with the Woolly Bugger

Arctic Char


Brook trout

Brown Trout

Cutthroat Trout

European Flounder


Golden Trout


Largemouth Bass

Marble Trout



Rainbow Trout


Sea Trout

Smallmouth Bass


Twaid shad

Insect orders relevant to the Woolly Bugger

These are insect orders of which one or more species are mimicked by the Woolly Bugger.



Dragonflies and Damselflies




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