I don't think there is a fly fisher who has not fished the "Woolly Bugger". This fly that was created by Russell Blessing of Pennsylvania is probably recognized everywhere in the world, and has accounted for more fish than any other fly pattern. The effectiveness of the "bugger" can be attributed to the marabou tail, which every bugger has. This material comes alive in the water and will draw strikes even from lazy fish. Other materials vary on this fly. Bodies from various types of chenille, dubbings, along with wire or tinsel ribs. Some are weighted with lead wire, cone heads and bead heads, and a host of colors. These flies represent a lot of various forms of fish food. Bait-fish, hellgramites, nymphs, and leeches to name a few.
Woolly Buggers are tied on hooks ranging in size from 4 to 8, with some perhaps bigger and some in size 10. I would think size 8 to be the most common size used. I have started tying these in sizes 14 and 16..."mini buggers". The material list is pretty much the same accept for the colors of the marabou tails. Mustad 9671 nymph hooks are used with a peacock body. The hackle is black or grizzly and there is a brass bead. I think these mini buggers will have a good chance at taking trout from small streams, especially brook trout in winter.
Black mini bugger with gray tail.
Black mini bugger with olive tail.
Black mini bugger with black tail. I believe the black and the olive are the most popular color combinations. The flies are tied on #14 hooks.
A black mini bugger tied on a #16 hook.