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> > Fishing buggers, when and how do you fish them?

AdirmanMay 20th, 2012, 6:47 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 505

Not really a big wooly bugger user cuz I guess I just don't believe in them that much. Have used them before in the past and caught a few here and there and when I've had success, usually i'm fishing them dead drift on a nymph rig w/ the bugger on the point along w something smaller like a hares ear as a dropper. Just don't really buy into fishing them more ala streamer style w/ a retrieve cuz I say to myself: they don't look like a minnow, not like a mickey finn anyway, so, they should be fished slower and deeper! Well, yesterday, I observed an elderly gentleman on the Willow getting some action w/ a bugger (don't know color he was using)fished w/ a hand twist retrieve and rod tip jerk combo. I would say his retrieve rate was moderate, not fast, but not slow either and he didn't let the bugger sink that much. The bugger was probably in the top 2 feet of the water column; also, this was in slow moving water! Now, he was missing the takes but he was getting them on a fly that I NEVER would have selected given the time (noonish), water speed (slow) and style of fihing he was using at the time! Learn something new every day!!
Jmd123May 20th, 2012, 2:22 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
My favorite Woolly Bugger for trout as of late is thus:

Olive thread for tying
Size 10 Mustad 9672 streamer hook
Underbody weighted with non-toxic wire
Olive grizzly marabou tail
Peacock herl body
Natural grizzly hackle palmered from front to rear, then counter-wrapped with fine green wire

Fishing these just like a streamer, with irregular strips and jerks, has already caught me several nice trout this season on my local streams. For lake and pond fishing, I also use the same basic pattern in brown & grizzly, using brown grizzly marabou for the tail, brown chenille body, natural grizzly hackle counter-wrapped with copper wire. Fished the same way, I got a nice fat 12" brookie out of the feeder creek to [REDACTED] Pond a few days ago.

They work, man, trust me. And no, they don't imitate minnows. However, they DO imitate sculpins quite nicely! And, fished the right way, possibly crayfish as well - let them sink and then retrieve with sharp strips and jerks like a swimming crayfish.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
AdirmanMay 20th, 2012, 2:54 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 505

Thanks for the info buddy; you think you would fish it a little different on a larger river or not? Also, you think you let it sink all the way or maybe about mid depths to imitate the sculpin or crayfish?

Thanks again,

Jmd123May 20th, 2012, 3:11 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
I generally throw my WBs across and down, try to let them sink for a little while depending on current, and then strip/jerk them back to me, aiming for cover such as logs, overhanging vegetation, undercut banks, slots, seams, holes, etc. In swifter current I would throw a bit more upstream to give the fly time to sink before beginning to strip. In a small, slow stream downstate, I threw them straight upstream, let them sink, then stripped them back down to me to imitate the movement of a crayfish on the bottom. Doing that might also imitate a large dragonfly nymph as well.

I would always advocate letting them sink as long as you can stand to - fish will hit something right in their faces before they will come up for it, but an agressive fish will hit a Bugger swinging across not far below the surface.

Good luck! When they hit, trust me, you'll know it!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
BaetisMay 22nd, 2012, 5:37 pm

Posts: 7
I'm with Jonathan...the most success I've had with a bugger for trout is to cast downstream slightly and swing the fly directly below you. Let, the fly(marabou) pulsate for several seconds in the current.Than, in short, quick strips retrieve the fly back to you. You will get takes on the swing and retrieve - be ready, the takes are hard.

Another technique that works well for me is when you know where a trout is holding...swing the fly down towards the trout than perform a quick strip right in front of the trout's nose. This will often trigger hard strikes.

Also, don't be afraid to play around a bit with the swing etc. Try letting the fly swing below you, than instead of retrieving, guide the fly to the near bank and retrieve from there. This works well if you have a lot of fallen trees/boulders on the near side.
PossumpointMay 27th, 2012, 8:46 pm
Northern Virginia

Posts: 3
Had some success with a # 8 olive WB fished at about 2' deep along a line of rip rap stream stabilization. Pulled 5 small browns (10' - 12") out, striking out from under the rocks. The flow was slow to moderate and I was stripping the fly past the rocks.

This is the very same fly I caught a 17" LM Bass on the week before. I hooked a log and left that fly behind in Stoney Creek, Shenandoah Valley, VA.
Learn all you can, it's a one way trip.
AdirmanMay 28th, 2012, 6:12 am
Monticello, NY

Posts: 505

Were you fishing down and across as well?
PossumpointMay 29th, 2012, 9:43 am
Northern Virginia

Posts: 3
Tried down steam and stripping back up and pulled one of the 5 that way. Best way was casting up stream and letting the WB drift parallel to the rocks. Across stream I didn't detect any strikes.
Learn all you can, it's a one way trip.

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