Entomology and Fly tying – The Curious Case of the Woolly Bugger

7 Mar

During a pretty intense wiki-tear I stumbled on to this diagram from the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Swimming Mayfly Larva J.Brackenbury Journal of Experimental Biology

Kinematics and hydrodynamics of swimming in the mayfly larva, from the Journal of Experimental Biology, Feb 2004, vol 207. Article author J. Brackenbury

The diagram shows the various movements of a swimming mayfly nymph. After a quick look, I am reminded of how the marabou tail of a woolly bugger moves when retrieved with slight twitches.  These movements are also present in most marabou tailed damsel nymph flies.

I know it has been said that the bugger imitates nothing in peticular and everything in the river to some degree. Anglers believe the woolly bugger is taken as nymphs, crayfish, small minnows, and leeches. After seeing this diagram I think that imitating swimming mayflies with smaller woolly buggers is something I am going to try in the next year.

I think if I tie a few beadhead woolly buggers in size 14 on short shank hooks like a 1XH/1XS.  They might just look more like a natural mayfly nymph then I previously gave it credit for.


*Note – Wiki-tear – The crazy path through the internet that is taken during normal searching for knowledge or answers to questions.  Example: I was looking for the weather forecast online the other day and learned about the Battle of Blenheim.



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