Fly Tying: Wooly Bugger

Article Contributed by Field Staff Writer M. Spencer.

One of the easiest, earliest, and most effective streamers to date, I doubt very many flies have caught more trout than the Wooly Bugger. Depending on the color and size, it can be tied to match any number of larger food sources that trout (and other species) depend on. Larger oranges and browns are great when fish are feeding on small trout, chub, etc. or crayfish. Smaller buggers tied in olive or brown are a great pattern to mimic a damselfly or larger mayfly larvae. White or grey Buggers are great when fish are keying in on baitfish, and a black fly is great in dirty water. Below are the step by step instructions to tie your own.


  • Hook: 2 or 3x Nymph or streamer hook of your choice.
  • Tail: Marabou
  • Body: Traditionally tied with chenille, I prefer to tie mine with a dubbed body.
  • Hackle: Dry, Saddle, or Soft Hackle of your choice, sized to match hook.
  • Bead: Optional



  1. Starting your thread behind the eye (or bead), wrap your thread to the bend and tie in your marabou tail.
  2. Tie in your hackle of choice by the tip.
  3. Using your dubbing of choice (or chenille), wrap your body forward to the eye (or bead.)
  4. Palmer your hackle forward in evenly spaced wraps to the eye or bead.
  5. Tie off, whip finish, cement.

One thought on “Fly Tying: Wooly Bugger

  • For years, our go-to fly for still-water trout has been a size eight or 10 olive, bead-head wooly bugger with a little flash tied in. Easy to tie, durable, and the closest thing we’ve found to a trout magnet.


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