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Woolly Buggers

Woolly / Wooly Buggers for Bass and Trout

Sometimes described as a fly that cannot be fished incorrectly, the Wooly Bugger can pass for anything from insect larvae to baitfish. It lends itself to a variety of different cast and retrieve techniques and is used to devastating effect by anglers everywhere: from slow, still backwaters, to fast flowing rivers, to tidal flats.

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Showing 1–32 of 35 results

More about the Wooly Bugger

As with some other universally popular flies, there is some disagreement as to the correct name, let alone the origins of the Wooly (or even Woolly) Bugger. A household name among anglers since the mid-1980s, it’s often credited to Russell Blessing, who himself said that he had the idea to adapt a pattern called ‘The Blossom’ in 1967, and that his seven-year old daughter came up with the name. There are those who say it is a descendant of the ‘Woolly Worm’ pattern popularized by Yellowstone fly shop owner Pat Martinez, who may have tied it as early as the 1940s. Others still will mention a 15th Century Old English fly called the ‘Black Palmer’. One thing is certain: the combination of a long hackled body and marabou (stork feather) tail is what proves irresistible to both bass and trout.

A ‘go to fly’ for Bass or Trout, in fresh or salt water

Blessing’s original pattern was conceived as a Bass fly and tied in olive and black, making it a good likeness for the nymphs of damsel flies, stoneflies or dragonflies, as well as leeches, tadpoles, newts, salamanders and even crayfish; lighter colors will pass for sculpin, minnow and other small fish. Of course, Trout love to eat all of these just as much as Bass do. Today’s Wooly Buggers come in many colors. There are many different variations on this winning theme that imitate many of the different animals that constitute the diet of both most fresh and salt water game fish.

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