At the Bench: a Mini-Woolly Bugger

When water is high, a black mini-Woolly Bugger is a go-to fly. I wrote in a prior post that I would share the details, and so, I wanted to keep my promise.

I read somewhere that black is the easiest color for a fish to see. I also read that a fly that “moves” water hits a trout’s lateral lines. Perhaps that is why a black WB can be successful.

I used to tie a version with all sorts of bells and whistles. Over time, I’ve stripped it down. I add black/pearl Krystal flash for subtle shine and a red-thread collar to provide contrast suggest gills. I counter-wrap everything with 6x tippet for durability. A competition-style jig hook rides point up and helps reduce snags.

This fly is simple, but it really works. The savage 15.5″ rainbow from a prior outing fell for it. Drift, pulse and/or swing it to trigger a strike. Have some Stoneflies and Squirmies with it, and you should be all-set for anchor nymphs during a high-water outing.

Here is the materials list:

  • Hook: Competition-style jig nymph, size 8 or 10
  • Bead: Tungsten, 5/16″ 3/16″
  • Tail: Marabou, black
  • Thread: Orvis 6/0, black
  • Feather: Hen, black
  • Body: Chenille, black, medium
  • Ribbing: Black/pearl Krystal Flash and 6x tippet
  • Thread collar: UTC, 70 denier, red

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2 thoughts on “At the Bench: a Mini-Woolly Bugger

    1. Yeah! Totally crazy, but needed at times.

      Edit: Oops, typo. 3/16″. I edited the post. But, Allen Fly Fishing makes them to 7/32″ or 5.5mm (link here).

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