The Woolly Bugger by Dennis Stead

by Mar 30, 2020

The Woolly Bugger is a fly that I consider a favorite in my fly box. As a streamer, it works great imitating a minnow or crayfish. In this blog post, Dennis Stead presents his version of the Woolly Bugger, except with a twist.

Woolly Bugger Materials:
Hook: TMC5264

Hook Size: 10
Bead: Black Ni 4.0mm, or 5/32”
Weighted: Lead or non-lead wire
Thread: UNI-Thread 8/0 color of body
Tail: Marabou
Hackle: Color to compliment the body
Body: Peacock herl and Madeira thread 

Woolly Bugger Instructions:

There are many ways to tie a Woolly Bugger and this is just one of those ways.

1.  First, we want to debar the hook, add the bead, and then secure the hook in the vise. You will then add 10 turns of lead or non-lead wire.

2. Next, put down a thread base to secure your lead. Try to cover the hook with your thread all the way back to the bend.

3. Tie in your marabou for the tail.

4. Then tie in your hackle feather and bring your thread to the front.






5. Next, tie in 3 peacock herl, and tie in the Madeira.

6. Take your thread, the 3 peacock herl, and the Madeira. Hold everything at a 45-degree angle and rotate your rotary vise. This will put a twist in the material.

It was both, Lefty Kreh and Gary LaFontaine who twisted their materials together before winding the body. It makes the body indestructible.

7. Afterward, you want to wind your twisted materials back to the bend of the hook, forming the body. Tie off with your thread. Then bring the thread to the front behind the bead.

8. Palmer your hackle to the front of the hook behind the bead and tie off.  Add some of Dave’s flex cement or a similar cement.  Pinch off any excess marabou.

Dennis says you can check out his fly tying video on YouTube:  Woolly Bugger

Dennis also says you can reach out to him that he would love to know what you think. You can email him at

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