Bugger 'em! Summer Steelhead!

…this summer steelhead fell for Brian's Purple Wooly Bugger…

Deke Meyer once told the group, "A spey fly is a fancy Wooly Worm".

If that's true a spey fly is a Wooly Worm with sophistication. A Wooly Bugger is a Wooly Worm with a marabou tail and less sophistication, but more wiggles. I guess it all depends on whether you're into wiggles or sophistication.

There is no secret. Summer steelhead go for Leeches and Wooly Buggers. They're definitely into wiggles.  

Several colors of Wooly buggers are proven for catching both winter and summer steelhead. If I had only one fly to fish steelhead with, year round, it could just as well be

a Purple Wooly Bugger with a liberal amount of purple Flashabou tied in the dressing. Other proven colors are maroon, black and olive.

A Wooly Bugger with Flashabou tied up both sides of the body and extending the length of the tail is called a Flash-a-Bugger. The Flash-a-Bugger may be the most productive steelhead fly series ever designed. Funny thing is, it was first used as a bass fly.

There are a number of reasons why the Flash-a-bugger is such a successful design. Predatory fish are triggered by certain kinds of prey movements. They like prey that is alive, fresh meat. It is even more enticing if the prey is injured or disoriented. The easier, the better. The wiggle and flash built into the Wooly Bugger type of fly mimics this vulnerability. Steelhead, like most predators are capitalists.

Most steelhead rest near the bed of the river. They like places, which will hide them. During the bright light hours of mid-day they seek out holds in deeper faster water. These fish seldom rise to the surface but will often take a fly presented at their level. A weighted Flash-a-bugger fished deep and slow with moderate length leader and sinking tip fly line can be a deadly combination when the sun is on the water.

The Krystal Bugger series is heavier in weight because they are tied with lead eyes. They will fish deeper than Flash-a-buggers and have proven themselves in very bright light conditions.

Don't underestimate the Flat Leach in low light conditions. This is a sleeper fly for low clear water.

These are all easy flies to cast.


The Fly Fishing Shop, Welches, OR

1(800) 266-3971

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