“This Isn’t Montana, You’re Not Norman Maclean, And the Woolly Bugger Isn’t All That”

May 4, 2012 By: Benjamin Clary

Pros:  It’s not difficult to tie, it is extremely adaptable, it serves as a great “searching fly,” every single fly shop will have numerous variations.  Cons: It is too simple?  Kent Klewein is in the pro-woolly-bugger camp.  The fly may be simple, but it is flawlessly designed.  “When you take the time to break apart the woolly bugger and study its design closer, you’ll notice each element of the fly carries both equal weight and importance, and they all play off each other brilliantly.

For Kent, though it ultimately comes down to versatility.  “Go ahead, tie on a super realistic stonefly nymph and argue it will do a better job of imitating stoneflies than the woolly bugger. You’ll catch fish, I won’t argue that, but when you do tie it on, you’re limiting yourself to strictly imitating stoneflies. Tie on a woolly bugger and you’ll not only be imitating stoneflies, but also another half dozen other food sources. I’m not telling you what to fish, but doesn’t it make sense that the more food sources you can imitate at once, the better the chances you’ll find one of them, that day, on the trout’s menu?”