LEARN TO TIE A WOOLY BUGGER
Fly fishing is a great fishing hobby that lets you express your creative and crafty side through fly-tying. One of the most successful flies for a variety of species, the wooly bugger is effective and simple to tie.
Start by wrapping the upper end of your hook with black thread. When flies are made with a lot of material, they tend to float, so you may need to add some weight. Tie the weight toward the eye of the hook to make the hook flip up like a bass jig. This can help you avoid getting caught up on the bottom of the river.
Wrap your thread halfway down the hook and attach your feather. Measure the feather along the hook, and then lay it across the back of the hook and wrap the thread around it. To bulk it up more, grab some chenille, which is soft yarn, and lay that along the top of the feather. Then, tie it down.
Finally, use a hackle, or a more durable feather, along the back of the hook and secure it with thread. Wrap the rest of the chenille around the body of the hook, hiding the thread. This will give the wooly bugger more mass, which will create more water vibrations for the trout to sense.
Then take the hackle, which is hanging off the end, and wrap it around the top half of the hook, where it will spike up and give your fly fishing more bulk. Wrap the hackle a few more times with your thread to secure the feather to the fly.
Finish by wrapping the thread around the eye of the hook. A whip finisher can help you tie a few half hitches to ensure the trout won’t rip the fly to shreds on your first cast.
CONSIDER WHAT THE TROUT ARE EATING
A small portion of the time, trout will take a bug right off the surface of the water. Most of the time, trout prefer to feed subsurface, and they’re usually eating nymphs. The term “nymph” refers to many bugs in their larval stages.
If the trout aren’t hitting your flies on top of the water, change out your fly to what most closely resembles what’s hatching in the area, and then cast into pools and behind rocks and other outcroppings. If you dangle a nymph in front of a trout long enough, it will likely take the bait.
If you’re fishing a river or lake that you’ve never been on, the easiest way to find out what the trout are eating is by going to the local tackle shop and asking the experts there. Usually, tackle shops have a hatch chart, which tells you what kind of bugs hatch during each season. The chart will also show you which flies most resemble what’s hatching.
Another great way to home in on what the fish are eating in a particular area is by heading down to the water and looking around. Pick up some large rocks and look for bug eggs in the loose dirt. Check spiders’ webs to see what kind of insects they’ve caught. Then find a fly in your tackle box that matches the ones you’ve observed.
The clarity of the water will let you know how bright your flies need to be. If the water is very murky, you’ll need a more colorful fly than you’d need for fishing a crystal clear stream.
Fly fishing is a beautiful sport that lets you enjoy nature, catch and release beautiful trout, and express your crafting skills through fly-tying. If you’re just picking up the hobby, know some handy casts and what the fish are eating.