Wooly Bug

This is a fly that I got from Brian Kinkaid in the early 1980’s.  We were both working for Mountain Bait and Tackle in Great Falls, MT.  It was a cross of two simple and popular flies – the Wooly Worm and the Girdle Bug.  I first recall the fly being used to catch carp in the Missouri River close to the shop.  What a blast that was.  That is where I learned to play big fish in fast water.

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Wooly Bug
Hook: 3x long 2x heavy straight eye size 4-8
Body: medium chenille
Hackle: Soft saddle hackle matching body color
Legs: medium round rubber
Tail: medium round rubber
Eyes: bead chain, antique bronze

Tie in the thread just behind the eye and lay a base the length of the shank. Cut 4 pieces of rubber, all the length of the shank. Tie in a piece of rubber at the bend, forming a forked tail. Next tie in the chennile. Next tie in the hackle, shiny side down. Tie in the 3 pieces of leg rubber perpendicular to the shank and evenly spaced from the tail to 1/4 the shank from the eye. Wrap the chennile forward, being careful not to wrap the legs under and tied it off just behind the eye (leave room for the bead chain eyes). Next wrap the hackle forward. Finally, tie in the bead chain eyes and whip finish. Apply head cement and you are ready to fish!

Since then I’ve used this fly to catch every thing from panfish to redfish.  It is my go to fly.  One addition I’ve made to the original is bead chain eyes. I have tied it in any color I think will catch fish.

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I always have some of these in my flybox & a size 10 olive is usually what I tie on first if I don’t know what the fish are taking. 

Fish on! Joel

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