Don's Fly Tying - The Dependable Woollybugger

[The Dependable Woollybugger]

October is woollybugger month in Western Canada! The great hatches of summer are over and moose are more likely to be the cause of lake water disturbances. But those great rainbow trout are surging with renewed vigour as they seem hell bent on feeding orgies prior to the long winter ice up of their lake surfaces. Fall colors are in bloom as aspen, cottenwood, maple and birch trees display their short brilliance of gold, orange and reds, making the country side a joy to behold! While many outdoors people are thinking of hunting gear, fishing in western Canadian lakes can be the best of the year! And one of the best producing flies for this time of year is the woollybugger! It is an easy fly to tie and can be effective in a variety of colors but my favorite is dark green and black and is the feature fly for this month's article. Try it, you will like it!



It is important to use invisible mending thread for this fly as it makes it possible to back wrap the palmered hackle without distortion or covering the fly body. Start by attaching your thread to the hook shank and tie in the black marabou tail projecting back no longer than the length of the hook. The fly shown has a thin tail but at times a much thicker marabou tail works better. To build a thicker tail, tie in several layers of marabou, a small clump at a time. Next secure a thin black saddle hackle tip first so that it projects outward about 1/3 of the distance from the hook bend. Next wrap the dark green chenille from the hook bend to the hook eye, being careful not to disturb the saddle hackle as you wrap past it. Then wrap the saddle hackle forward to the hook eye with enough space between wraps so that you can see the chenille underneath. Before tying off the saddle hackle, I always wrap the invisible mending thread back and forth once through the saddle hackle to add strength to the fly. Finally, add two or three turns of peacock herl to form a head at the hook eye, tie off, cement and you have finished a great autumn wet fly.

We have just made a dark green woollybugger which is my favorite color for large fall rainbows but a close second is a woollybugger tied with various shades of purple, favouring a reddish wine colour. I have also had success catching eastern brook trout with a brown woollybugger so experimentation is the key! Good luck and good fishing!

Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"

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