Monday, February 19, 2018

Match The Hatch: Wooly Bugger Jig

The wooly bugger jig is a lure I started tying because I couldnt think of a way to fish wooly buggers on a spinning rod for schooly striped bass. When I lived in Connecticut I found that so many people were throwing deceivers and clousers for stripers as a result I wanted to throw something different to see if I'd increase my bites.  So I started throwing large wooly buggers in the same color patterns as we were using on the clousers. That got me to thinking, "How the heck can I use this pattern with a spinning rod and reel?" Well that brought me to the idea of tying wooly buggers on jigs (apparently I wasn't the first person to have this idea).  The wooly bugger jig was a perfect solution since I could cast with no problems and fish pretty much anywhere in the water column depending on the weight of the jig.

Fishing for stripers with bugger jigs opened my eyes to the possibilities of what I could be doing with it. So from there it became one of my go to baits for smallmuoth and rock bass.  Eventually it became one of my go to steelhead jigs as well when a guy walked up to me one day and suggested me tying it in smaller sizes and in pink for steelhead. That suggestion gave me a new and great pattern for huron river steelhead.

What makes the wooly bugger jig a lure that I keep in my jig box is the fact that it gives me a couple of options in use. The first being that it works great jigging it along the bottom imitating a
multitude of forage species.  However it works just as well with an attached single spinner blade from a beetle spin and fish it high in the water column for schooling fish like white bass and schooling smallmouth.  In areas where there are high round gobie populations I tie bugger jigs in an olive and black color pattern and slow roll them along the bottom with a beetle spin blade.  This pattern nets me quite a few smallmouth feeding along the bottom on gobies.

The beetlespin blade also comes in handy when I'm fishing with wooly bugger jigs for white bass on the Detroit River.  In the case of white bass fishing I tie my bugger jigs in white, chartreuse or with a white body and chartreuse hackle wrap.  Simply by finding where the white bass are in the water column and buzzing the wooly bugger jig just above them you'll limit out in no time.

For panfish I just downsize the size of my wooly bugger jigs anywhere between 1\8 oz and 1\32 oz and fish them below a slip bobber.  In some cases when i know crappie and bluegill are huddling under docs I'll shoot docks with bugger jigs as well with great success.

For steelhead I tie bugger jigs in black, pinks and purples.  Probably the most successful patterns are pink on pink, purple on black and purple on pink in sizes ranging from 1\8 oz to 1\32 oz.  I'm not really sure why these colors are so successful but I don't hit the water without these patterns in my jig box.  When fishing for steelhead I tend to cast upstream and either dead drift the buggers back or jig them back depending on what the fish want.  In addition to those to methods I'll drift wooly bugger jigs through the wholes below a clear casting bubble which often will get me a few bites.

Jig Heads: You can pick pretty much any jig head you want when tying wooly bugger jigs.  However i stick to only two types. I either used a plain collared ball head jig or an uncollared ball head jig. If you're tying for production or smaller sizes than 1\8 oz then the uncollared jigs will work best and give you the symmetrical and consistent wooly bugger jigs.

Body: Chenille is gonna be what you use for your body portion of the jig. It is the chenille that is
gonna give you the most color options and body options.  Don't be afraid to use the most outrages patterns of chenille for you bugger bodies as the fish may want something different that day.
Tail: The bugger jig tails are simply marabou and you match the marabou as best as you can to draw in any color differences between your body and hackle ribbing.

Rib: Your rib is gonna be hackle in whatever size that matches the size of your jig.   If you decided to use something other than hackle keep in mind that different materials behave differently in the water.  For example where hackle pulsates quite a bit with jigging motion schlappen tends to lay down as its a softer feather.

Flashabou is optional depending on if you want your jig to have any flash or not. I personally don't use much of it but it does make a huge difference in some cases.

How To Tie The Wooly Bugger Jig:

1 comment:

  1. Great job explaining the tying of a wooly bugger jig. I am new to jig tying and finding it to be much fun.



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