Skip to main content
Russell Blessing, Fly Life, Wooly Bugger, fly tying

Russell Blessing holding a Wooly Bugger. Photo by Fly Rod + Reel.

The Wooly Bugger; the perfect fly, let me count the ways

By Skip Clement

If you tie flies for a living like a pro fly fishing guide or captain, you probably don’t need Kelly Galloup’s tips. But if you tie for your consumption, friends, and family, it’s a good idea to roll through the video at least once.

This a must video for newcomers . . .

The fly Galloup instructs us on is the most productive freshwater fly of all time; Wooly Bugger. Kelly lays out how to manage a fly tying, especially material, spatial relationships on a hook, the importance of repeatability, and that taking your time with each fly is how you get good at tying and ‘Enjoy The Process.’

These are original Woolly Buggers as tied by Blessing. Notice all black, different sizes and weight/size of beads. Courtesy of Russell’s son.


  1. Thread: Black Danville 210 
  2. Hook: Daiichi 1710 (or any 2X – 3X long streamer/nymph hook)
  3. Tail: Black Marabou
  4. Pearl Flashabou
  5. Body: Medium Chenille (Black or Variegated)
  6. Hackle – Black Rooster Saddle or Schlappen
  7. Rib: Gold Ultra Wire
  8. Head: Black Thread

Tips to listen for

• Don’t rush

• Thread control means each turn same pressure

• When back wrapping, stop at same point on shank everytime.

• Keep all hackle – marabou same lengths

• Learn to back-warp.




Author Skip

More posts by Skip

Leave a Reply