How to Tie: WOOLY BUGGER

What You’ll Need

Hook

5263 TMC size 2-10

RIB

Gold, sliver, or copper wire

THREAD

Uni-thread 6/0 color to match body

TAIL

Marabou that matches body. Add crystal flash if needed.

Body

Chenille (olive)

WEIGHT

.20 lead wire

HACKLE

Brown saddle hackle

Step 1

Go ahead and wrap your thread on. I like to weight most of the shank when tying mine, but you can do whatever you desire. You will need to leave enough room in the back to tie in a tail with some tied down on the hook shank. You don not want to tie in your marabou tail on top of the lead wire. I leave some room at the eye so I don’t have any crowding when I finish the fly off. A good way to get this right is count the amount of wraps you do and center it. For those who don’t know what size wire to use for what size hook, here is the rule of thumb. Whatever size diameter the hook shank is, that’s how big the lead should be. For most streamer hooks a size 4-8 typically use .20 or .25 lead wire.

Step 2

Start your thread in the front and wind on top of the lead at an angle to the back locking the lead into place. Wrapping at an angle will keep the thread on top of the lead instead of going inbetween them. We call this a thread dam, when you build thread wraps on each side of the lead in one area keeping the lead from sliding. Cut the tag end off and your ready to tie in your tail.

Step 3

Measure the tail the length of the shank. Go ahead and cut it before you tie it in. Butt the tips up to the lead in the back and tie it in. Make sure you wind all the way to the bend. If you notice the lead and the marabou are the same size in diameter keeping the base even and smooth. That’s really important because I see alot of tyers build a high part where they tied everything in one area and create an uneven look.

NOTE:

Always prep the chenille and peel off some of it to the core. You only want the core to be tied on the shank.

NOTE:

I’m using a microbarb hackle but the key is to split the hackle evenly and then tie in-between them.

Step 4

This step I’m not using wire but if you do this is how to do the step. Tie the wire in, but make sure you tie it the whole length of the hook shank. This will lock it in and keep it from slipping when you go to wind it forward. Sometimes if you only tie in the back with the wire it will slip out from to much tension from starting to wind it foward.

CONTINUATION STEP 4

This step I’m not using wire but if you do this is how to do the step. Tie the wire in, but make sure you tie it the whole length of the hook shank. This will lock it in and keep it from slipping when you go to wind it forward. Sometimes if you only tie in the back with the wire it will slip out from to much tension from starting to wind it foward.

HOW TO TIE WOOLY BUGGER FINAL STEPS

Step 5

Wrap the chenille up to the eye. Make sure you always leave enough room to tie the fly off.

Step 6

Palmer the hackle up making each space the same all the way up the fly. You can do as many turns as you want. I don’t like to do too many though. If you start to see your hackle barbs going every direction instead of the nice laid back look. I can probably tell you what caused it twisted the stem of the feather around while winding it up. When you wind the feather up make sure that you don’t twist it.

Step 7

Whip finish and glue it. I like to use gloss coat.

Keynotes: Using flash for the body is a great night fly pattern that really produces a lot of strikes. I like pearl and shades of olive greens for the body. I wanted to touch on marabous as well. There are all types of marabou but the one I have found to work the best and make a really good looking tail for wooly buggers is the “Wooly Bugger Marabou”. It really cuts out the guessing game on how much and how long. That’s already been done for you from the factory. Just grab a piece and you’re good to go.