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the Rodney Dangerfield of flies

Rob G

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I'm tellin' ya, it gets no respect......the black woolly bugger.


So I spend all winter tying up new patterns in exciting new materials and look forward to the new season. Then it happens, I hit this particular local stream and I end up throwing the whole fly box at them and nothing. I'm throwing top water, and bottom dredging crayfish and all sorts of cool minnow-like imitations.......zero. And finally as a last resort, I toss a plain Jane black woolly bugger, and Bam! 5 quick ones from that same area.


I come back a week later to the same stream and again, they get to see it all, again....... zilch, reluctantly I tie on Mr. Black Woolly and Bam! a few more nice fish. So a few days later, again same stream different location and there is no way that Mr. Woolly is gonna get wet, I'm determined to find something else that will work on this particular stream but again, not much action other than a few short hits on everything else and my patience wears thin and again it's Woolly to the wescue, at least a couple heavy ones partake. This particular stream seems to be an oddity but I continue to be amazed at the fish catching ability of this fly that I too often take for granted.


Thank you Russell Blessing from 67'


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it's one of the 5 that I never leave home without. So often we tend to think that newer is better and so therefore this 50 year old design must be outdated but yet it still produces. It kind of looks like a leech, maybe a baitfish, or a helgramite, or a crayfish, I really don't know but the smallmouth sees it as something edible, so I'm happy.

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This talk inspired me to get down to my bench and tye a few wooly buggers for the Kank on Sunday. Amazing the variety of materials you can use, depending upon whose instructions you follow. Now, if they work tomorrow.......

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Golden Salmon at my local mud hole wouldn't look twice at a white clouser the other day. Switched to a black W.B. and they were on it like a hobo on a ham sandwich.


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