beadhead micro-bugger

 

The wooly bugger is one of the most popular patterns when searching for big fish and there is not hatch to match. They are a great pattern for chasing just about anything that swims. One problem: they are usually only available in sizes large enough to frighten most brookies. The "plunk" that they make when they hit the water usually sends native brook trout scattering for cover. I started tying these after an early season trip to the Rapidan River in Virginia. It was a cold day and the fish were hunkered down deep in their pools. After kicking over some rocks in the stream, I noticed big brown nymphs and tiny crayfish. I figured a wooly bugger would work well but the ones in my box were for smallmouth and too large to cast with my 7' 3wt. I went home and started tying. The next trip I was rewarded with some nice trout caught in deeper water that I normally left for the spin fishermen. Now the beadhead micro-bugger is in my box every spring. Great fly for the early season and very easy to tie. You will find these hanging from streamside trees and bushes all over the Northeast and throughout the Blue Ridge.

 

instructions

Materials List

  • thread: brown, black or olive depending on color choice
  • tail: mini marabou (the mini-er the better)
  • body: micro-chenille
  • weight: lead free wire; thinnest gauge available
  • hackle: match body color; at least one size down from hook size

Instructions

Start with a size16-12 nymph hook. We will be using a 16. Put the bead on BEFORE you put the hook in the vise.

Normal start to things. Wind the thread over itself to secure.

 

I am sticking the lead-free wire into the larger hole of the bead and securing the wire over the length of the shank.

NOTE: Use lead free wire. It may not sink as fast but lead is dangerous to the fragile environments that hold wild trout.

Here the wire has been secured most of the length of the hook shank and the thread wound back to just behind the bead.

Half hitch or whip finish just behind bead. This will allow us to use a rotary vise when we wrap the wire. If you are not using a rotary vise, it will at least keep you from breaking down and crying as you fumble with the wire.

Using my rotary vise to wrap the wire.

Stop just short of the bead to give yourself some room to secure chenille and hackle.

 

Wrap back over wire to get ready for the tail.

A big ole clump of mini marabou is loosely tied (very loosely!) This lets us tug on the feathers until the tail is the correct length. Once we have the desired tail length, secure it with a few more wraps and trim.

Tail is secured and trimmed.

Tie in hackle feathers for body wrap. Use at least one size smaller that you would for a dry fly.

 

 

Tie in micro-chenille alongside the hackle.

Wrap thread forward and half-hitch or whip finish to make it easier on the wrapping.

 

Using the rotary vise to wrap the chenille. Space it evenly as it will serve as a guide for the body hackle.

 

Body is complete and ready for hackle.

 

 

Whip finishing or half hitching is absolutely necessary before wrapping if you plan to use a rotary vise to wrap the hackle.

 

Using the rotary vise to wrap the hackle in the grooves created by the micro-chenille.

Finished hackle is tied off just behind the bead.

Wrap additional thread behind the bead to make sure everything is secure.

Whip finish or half-hitch several times to finish. If you have never used a whip finisher, give it a try. After about 20 minutes your will wonder how you lived without it.

Apply cement to finish your fly.

completed beadhead micro-bugger

The finished Beadhead Micro-Bugger is a great cold weather fly to fish when the native brook trout aren't rising. Fish as a dead drift nymph or try stripping it through deeper pools. Easy to tie and very versatile.

 

 

 

 

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