Woolly Bugger

This is a very versatile pattern that will catch fish on virtually any lake or river. The key to its success is plenty of action, provided by a closely palmered hackle and a tail of soft turkey maribou.

It also has a heavily weighted underbelly formed from close turns of lead wire. These are applied before the thread and can either be held in place with strong glue or by tight thread wraps.

The woolly Bugger is tied in a variety of colour combinations, usually natural ones such at black, brown and olive, and can imitate anything from a leech or dragonfly nymph to a small fish.

View/download tying instructions


  • Hook: Size 2-12 extra longshank
  • Thread: Black
  • Body: Olive chenille
  • Weight: Lead wire
  • Hackle: Black cock saddle hackle
  • Tail: Black turkey marabou and pearl Crystal Hair

Source: The Fly Tyers Bible, p.190-91

Bead head woolly bugger
Don Dixon
Don Dixon says:

“It works well on carp and flathead & flounder love them as well, so they are suitable for both fresh & saltwater.”