How to fish a wooly bugger in still water?

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Taylor-J.A.-Peterson

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Any tips? I'm New to fly fishing.. I've only evr caught fish on a dry, Like to learn how to fish with wet flies too. Thanks a lot to those who reply.
 
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Growbug

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I have had success with basic jerk retrieve.
Pull in about 3" of line, 3 sec pause, pull, pull, pause, pull, pause, etc. etc I try to keep the movement and pauses a little erratic.
Most hits have been just at the moment i am about to start the next pull, as if the fish is anticipating that its meal is about to speed off again.
 
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beaverfan

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I fish them pretty much the same but I do it a bit slower for the most part. A jerk of 3-6 inches every 6-12 seconds. Doing it sporadically like Growbug.
 
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OnTheFly

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The different things a wooly bugger imitates all swim. They swim short distances at a time then stop so pausing between strips is necessary to make the fish think it's the real deal.

In a float tube or pontoon boat: use intermediate sinking line and 10 to 12 feet of tapered leader and 6lb tippit. 4lb if you like. Let out about 40 feet and troll slow.

From the bank or a stationary spot on the lake, cast out and let the fly sink until you think it's roughly 6 to 10 feet down. Strip back 12 inches at a time and pause every third or so strip. :)
 
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OnTheFly

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I have had success with basic jerk retrieve.
Pull in about 3" of line, 3 sec pause, pull, pull, pause, pull, pause, etc. etc I try to keep the movement and pauses a little erratic.
Most hits have been just at the moment i am about to start the next pull, as if the fish is anticipating that its meal is about to speed off again.

I'll bet this method works with soft hackles for you as well. ;)
 
Irishrover

Irishrover

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Any tips? I'm New to fly fishing.. I've only evr caught fish on a dry, Like to learn how to fish with wet flies too. Thanks a lot to those who reply.

All the advise you have recieved so far is good sound stuff. The whole design of a wooly bugger is built around movement/stop----movement/stop. It allows the feathers to imitate the bugs. Strip your line and the and the hackle feather flatten out, pause and they spring back up. The hackle feathers that are palmered down the body and the maraboo tail give life to the wooly bugger. The only thing that I do differently is, I usually tie on a small soft hackle behind the wooly bugger with about 18" of leader. Small for me is size 14 and down. Adding the soft hackle behind give the fish a second chance if it missed the wooly bugger and also another choice if it's not interested in the wooly bugger. I've picked up a lot of fish on that trailing soft hackle.;)
 
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snowrdr

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The best results I've had with wooly buggers is from my pontoon casting toward the bank. The key is to let it sink the desired amount before starting to strip it in. Most strikes come before the 3rd strip during a pause... :cool:
 
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Growbug

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movement is exactly the key, and everyone will have different timing perferences.
check out this youtube vid which shows a leech swimming.
The pause in our retrieve is what triggers the bite. The pause seems to mimic one of these natural baits which is either injured or in distress.
Keep in mind that the lure will STILL be moving through the water during your pause. The stripping of the line towards you gives the lure the quick burst of speed, then it coasts, sinks and fluffs up during the pause.
Sometimes the take will just feel like the lure has snagged a rock, or the line goes heavy. SET THE HOOK.
The times when the fish grab and run, they usually set the hook themselves. I have lost far too many fish thinking that my line had snagged or i had snicked a rock or branch.. THEY WERE FISH!!!
So... i now work on this .... " If the line does ANYTHING that i am not expecting.. ITS A FISH!!!"
 
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OnTheFly

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All the advise you have recieved so far is good sound stuff. The whole design of a wooly bugger is built around movement/stop----movement/stop. It allows the feathers to imitate the bugs. Strip your line and the and the hackle feather flatten out, pause and they spring back up. The hackle feathers that are palmered down the body and the maraboo tail give life to the wooly bugger. The only thing that I do differently is, I usually tie on a small soft hackle behind the wooly bugger with about 18" of leader. Small for me is size 14 and down. Adding the soft hackle behind give the fish a second chance if it missed the wooly bugger and also another choice if it's not interested in the wooly bugger. I've picked up a lot of fish on that trailing soft hackle.;)

Whoe!:shock: There should be a warning label for this method. Wooly Buggers catch so many fish to begin with and by adding another attractor with a hook may lead to starvation or dying of thirst. Therefore the line must be taken out of the water periodically to eat and drink.:D
 
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Hooked on fishin'

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Great thread guys! Now I think I might actually be able to catch a fish on a bugger! I have occasionally tied one on when my little nymphs wont seem to work, but I was unsure of how to fish them. I was doing it almost right, just need to slow my presentation waaay down! Great tips!!
 
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