Photos and text by Peter Frailey
I fell in love with the Fur Bugger
the first time I tied it. To me
this variation is buggier and more
nymph-like than the standard
bugger. Indeed, much of the time I
fish them like nymphs, dead-drifted
over the bottom. But if swing ‘em to
the surface after the drift is
completed and you’ll nail fish, too.
Hook: Size 6 to 16, 2xl or
Thread #1: 3/0
Weight: 6 to 12 wraps lead
Tail: Rabbit fur
Thread #2: 3/0 or thinner,
same size or downsize from Thread #1
Hackle: Rooster saddle
feather or two hen neck feathers
Ingredients shown in photos:
Hook: Tiemco 5263, size 10
Thread #1: Olive Danville
Flat Waxed Nylon
Weight: Lead wire, .025” inch
Tail: Olive rabbit fur from
Thread #2: Brown Danville 3/0
Hackle: Two brown Conranch
hen neck feathers
Body: Olive Krystal Dub
instructions are also available at
flyanglersonline.com where the Woolly Fur-Bugger
was posted as a
"Fly of the Week" in April, 2005
background on this fly, read Flies With a Story:
Step 1: Prepare the hook by
pinching down the barb, wrapping the shank with thick thread and
adding 8-12 wraps of lead wire. I use wire that is about the
diameter of the hook shank.
Step 2: Form a cigar-like
underbody by completely covering the lead wire with wraps of
thread. Taper the body at both ends of the lead wire. Thick
thread covers the lead wire quickly and will help cinch down the
rabbit fur tail.
Step 3: Tie in a bunch of rabbit
fur with just a few turns of thread. The tail should be about as
long as the hook shank. Shown here is fur removed from about 1” of
an olive Zonker strip. (You will notice that to create a
bugger-length tail you will need to work with a short tie-in area.)
Step 4: Add a touch of head
cement or nail polish to the rabbit fur butts.
Step 5: Tie down the butts
tightly. This will squeeze the head cement into the fur and swirl
it around the shaft, creating a secure bond.
Step 6: Use a whip knot tool to
place a whip knot at the back of the body, right over the cemented
area and cut off the thread. Coat the entire thread-covered body
with a layer of nail polish. This will help keep the lead from
discoloring the dubbing after it becomes wet from fishing.
Tip 1: Remove the hook from the
vise and set aside to dry. (I like to stick the hook into a
discarded chunk of Styrofoam.) Repeat the process with five more
hooks. After preparing six hooks, re-insert the first hook (which
should then be dry) into your vise, and move to step 7. Keep tying
until you have completed all six flies! For me, that’s a nice 1 to
1˝ hour evening activity!
Step 7: Re-start using thread #2
and dub about 1” of thread.
Step 8: Create a few wraps of
Step 9: Tie in the first hen
neck feather, by the tip.
Tip 2: If you choose
feathers with barbs of a length about 1˝ times the hook
gap, a hen neck feather
will typically give you three palmered wraps around a dubbed body.
So, you will need two hen feathers to complete the job. Or, use one
rooster saddle feather.
Step 9: Dub the body to
|Tip 3: If you prefer, strip off
one side of the hackle before wrapping to provide a softer result.
Step 10: Palmer the hackle
forward to mid-shank, making two complete wraps. I stroke the barbs
toward the rear, using my left hand, as I palmer forward. Tie off
Step 11: Tie in the second
|Tip 4: Different colored hackles
will create a two-tone appearance.
Step 12: Dub the front half of
5: If desired, use a different colored dubbing for a two-tone appearance.
Step 13: Palmer the second
hackle forward, making three complete wraps. You will now have made
a total of five wraps of hackle from back to front. In the photo,
there appear to be only four wraps because the fourth and fifth
wraps are side-by-side in front of the dubbing, to create a subtle