Introduction: Fly Tying: Wooly Bugger

For most of us, The Wooly Bugger requires no introduction. It has probably caught more fish than any other fly out there. It is a must-have in any fly-fisherman's arsenal and It is a great beginner fly because it is relatively easy to tie and introduces several techniques that are important in future flies.


-Matching colors of marabou, chenille, and saddle hackle (or grizzly hackle)

-Matching thread color

-Streamer hook and bead of choice

-Gold Wire

-Lead wire

Step 1: Preparing the Hook

Begin by sliding a round bead or cone-head bead onto a hook of your choice and starting your thread, a large range of streamer hooks are standard for tying a Wooly Bugger.

To add some weight to the fly, add about 15 wraps of lead wire to the hook shank and push them up inside the bead.

Step 2: Adding the Marabou Tail

1. Select a piece of webby marabou feather and wet it.

2. With your thumbnail, tear off the very tips of the marabou feather to create a more even length.

3. Tie in the marabou so that it extends about the length of the entire hook off the back of the shank.

Step 3: Preparing the Hook to Wrap

In order to create an even bodied Wooly Bugger, it is important to maintain an even body.

1. Cut the extra marabou in line with where the lead wraps end on the hook shank.

2. Secure the remaining marabou to the hook so that the thread tapers off of the lead wraps evenly onto the where you tied in the marabou.

3. After you have created an even body, tie in a piece of gold wire all the way back to the tail.

Step 4: Wrapping the Chenille

1. Strip a small portion of the chenille off of the string it is secured on and use this string to tie the chenille onto the rear of the hook without making a bulky spot.

2. Wrap the thread all the way up to the bead and begin to wrap the chenille evenly around the hook.

3. Secure the chenille right behind the bead and cut off any excess as close as possible.

Step 5: Wrapping the Hackle


1. Prepare a saddle hackle by stripping off all of the strange fibers near the base of the feather.

2. Tie in the feather with the shiny side facing the front of the fly.

3. Make 2-3 wraps with the hackle right behind the bead then make about 4 wraps along the shank of the hook.

4. While holding your hackle tight next to the marabou, begin wrapping the gold wire tightly towards the bead in the opposite direction you wrapped the hackle. This is called counter-wrapping and secures the feather extremely well.

Step 6: Finishing the Fly

Secure the gold wire and whip finish several times. Experiment with colors like olive, black, white, purple, and brown. This fly benefits from being attached to your line with a no-slip loop knot to give it a little bit of extra action.

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable, be sure to comment and check out my other fly tying tutorials!