Project Healing Waters: Olive Woolly Bugger

Woolly Bugger

In our 12th installment of online fly tying seminars, Colin took the veterans through tying the always versatile Woolly Bugger. This fly will attract almost any North American fish, in any condition, year round. For this session, Colin chose the most effective color for our area (olive) but also noted that black, white, or chartreuse can work as well.

The group started with a size 8 hook and added lead wrap to help get the fly down into deeper water faster. Other components included 6/0 thread, marabou (tail), flash (less is more), hackle (optional if you want more of a leech pattern) and chenille. By the end of the session, everyone was tying like a pro.

Story Time with Larry focused on what many consider the most productive form of fly fishing, nymphing. This sub-surface technique puts your fly where the fish spend the vast majority of their time eating and when done right — although not as visually appealing as dry fly fishing — catches a lot more fish.

Larry and the panel focused the session on the effective use of tandem rigs or fishing with a strike indicator. Whether using a tandem rig (with a dry fly on top and nymph below) or using a strike indicator, the goal is to get the nymph to bounce along the bottom where the trout expect it. Other insights included not letting the dry fly or strike indicator drag your fly, as this will cause it to look unnatural and thereby avoided by hungry trout. It is also imperative to keep the line tight for the set, so keep your rod tip up. If you have any questions or would like to participate in any of our upcoming fly tying sessions at Fort Detrick, please reach out to me at any time at or go to our Facebook page at Project Healing Waters — Frederick Chapter.

By Andrew Frutiger