Video: How to Tie the Olive Woolly Bugger


Written by: Phil Monahan

The Woolly Bugger really needs no introduction, but if you didn’t see our post on the fly’s inventor, Russell Blessing, check it out here. I doubt that there’s a single trout angler who doesn’t have a few Buggers in his fly box, but that doesn’t mean they’re as well-tied as they could be. Whether you’re a new fly tier looking for a simple pattern to get started on or you’re on old hand who wouldn’t mind creating better-looking, more durable Buggers, this video from Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions is for you.

Flagler walks you through the steps to create an elegant and durable Woolly Bugger that looks as good or better than the store-bought ones. His method is not as simple as the one you may use now, but the extra complications are worth the effort. In the course of his instruction, Flagler also shows you how to make the tail look better by stripping the tips of the marabou blood quill, how to avoid the unsightly bump at the rear of the body, how to properly prepare your hackle, and how to use the thread as a rib to make the fly hold up to more punishment.

And speaking of Olive Woolly Buggers, if you haven’t checked out Kirk Werner’s children’s books featuring a Woolly Bugger named Olive, you should do so. There are currently three books in the series, and they make a great way to introduce kids to the outdoors and the sport we love.

Olive Woolly Bugger from Tightline Productions on Vimeo.

Olive Beadhead Woolly Bugger


Hook: 4X-long streamer hook (here a Dai-Riki #700), size 2-12.

Bead: Gold, 5/32-inch. 

Thread: Brown olive, 6/0 or 140 denier.

Weight: Lead-free wire, .02.
Tail: Olive marabou blood quill, tips removed.

Body: Olive chenille.

Hackle: Olive grizzly.

Adhesive: Head cement.

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