Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tying Time - Variation on a Variation part 4

Well, I think this theme has just about run its course, I'll finish with a flourish of three more variations.
The first one is a variation on my rootbeer bugger. It has an orange glass beadhead. The orange could look like an egg, or just a shiny attractant that flows with the other colors of the fly. I like the glass beads for some of our shallower streams. It sinks the fly, but not as deep as brass or tungsten, so it won't get hung-up as much. If it isn't getting deep enough, just add a pinch of tunsten putty.

The second fly is my yellow/olive WB with a green glass bead. Gives a little flash and will sink the fly gradually.

The last one is the old standby olive WB with an olive glass beadhead. Nothing spectacular, but maybe just that little bit of distinction that will trigger a strike.

What variationsdo you tie?


  1. Gerry,
    I tie a variation I learned from a book called the Soft Hackle Wooly Worm..though it is really more like a WB. I am fairly new to fly fishing and tying. I had a lot of good success with it this past year. The credit to this fly goes to the author Rich Osthoff.

    Hook: 2x nymph (I use size 12 and 14 mostly)
    Weight: lightly if you want (I use some copper ribbing wire)
    Tail: Rabbit fur from a zonker strip (sometimes I add krystal flash in with it)
    Body: rabbit fur dubbing w/ some antron mixed in
    Hackle: (1) genetic hen hackle 1x hook gape, (1) genetic hen hackle 1.5x hook gape

    For colors I use black fur with grizzly hackle. The author does some nice variations where the hackle colors changes from from to back since (2) feathers are involved.

    Add weight if you want
    Tie in tail. I usually go for about a hook shank length
    Now tie in the smaller hackle
    Dub about half the hook shank
    Wrap the hackle forward to the middle and tie off.
    Tie in the larger hackle and then dub forward
    Wrap hackle and tie off then form a head. Now brush aggressively with a dubbing brush to "fluff" out the dubbing into the hackle.

  2. Oh one more thing I had wanted to ask... On some of your flies I notice you use larger hackles on some smaller, in what situation do you use one type over the other?

  3. Woolly buggers are usually considered "impressionistic" rather than "imitative." I don't follow any hard and fast rules, but go for variety. In general, I will fish the fluffier hackles in faster water, and the smaller ones in slow pools and ponds. If I use a larger hackle, it is always real webby so it will "streamline" on the retrieve in the faster current.