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-Marc V-

Wooly Buggers or Muddlers

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Has anyone had any success with Wooly Buggers or Muddlers? I hear a lot of people use Wooly Buggers with success, but everytime I use them I get nothing.

Is there a particular way to fish them that I'm missing? Usually I just cast them and let them drift. I've also stripped them, and also tried dead drifting them down into pools. Tried rust color and olive green. All with no success. Am I just hearing fish stories, or do people actually caught trout with these?

Also as long as I'm here. Anybody use mice patterns in the Minnesota streams with any success?

Thanks!

------------------
Heart lies with the fly.

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Welcome Marc!

Now is getting to be the time of year for muddlers - as a hopper pattern. Fish them as any dry fly and try to place your casts near grassy banks. Find one with a cut edge and cast right next to the bank. Other times of year you can use them as a streamer or put them on bottom as a sculpin. My wife caught a ton of brookies out west in an alpine lake, stripping the heck out of a muddler.

Wooly buggers have yielded me more crappies than trout. I don't use them too much in streams but this spring they worked as a good attractor for me. Before then I began to wonder - as you are - whether they're really any good. Then I tied on a beadhead bugger and cast at the head of a pool. It got down in the fast water and then I allowed my line to tighten and they took it on the emergence.

Sounds like you are trying different things. Experimentation is what makes this sport great...especially when it pays.

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I've done real well using wooly buggers. I usually use a beadhead bugger. I strip them fairly aggresively. Favorite color is black with a little krystal flash. It was probably my best fly this winter and early spring.

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Thanks for the tips on the muddler. Maybe the hoppers will be out this weekend to give it a try.

I sit and dream all week in my desolate cubicle about what I could try next to get the trout to bite on the fly.

The way I see it anyone can throw a spinner at 'em, or pitch a worm. Which I also enjoy doing from time to time (depending on stream condition and my frustration level). But it's truly a feet to fly fish for the finicky fish with success. I have buddies that dabble in it, then give up because of line tangles, sloppy casts, not knowing what fly to use, ect. I can't give up for some reason. Gotta catch'em on the fly.

------------------
Heart lies with the fly.

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I understand your passion for fly fishing. It is an addiction of the best kind.

However, I caution you not to offend anyone who employs other methods. There are anglers on this site to which I owe many thanks for their insights on fish behavior and trout haunts. Not everybody will tell you about the hot spots. These are the same people who land (and release) some dandies on spinning gear.

I'm sure you didn't intend to offend. I may be a little sensitive on this subject. Fly guys have to pay particular attention to avoid the elite trap. There are a lot of snobs out there. Oftentimes I get the hairy eyeball by other anglers when they see my fly rod. I try to talk to these folks extra long so they know some fly fishers are not too bad.

Sounds like you're in it for the pursuit. It's a noble pursuit, fully as noble as it is humbling.

Keep 'em tight.

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No, tie flyer, I definitely do not mean to offend! I will use the spin as quick as the fly, and not shun anybody for the fishing methods they use (unless illegal). I have taken some tips from this site about different colors to use on spinners for the Root from Jim W. about white, purple and black, and plan to use them. I do know what you mean about some fly guys who won't even look at you as a for holding a spinning rod.

What I meant to convey is the challenge that it's been to catch them on the fly, and the enjoyment I've found in making it work a little so far.

Many apologies if my comments rubbed anybody the wrong way. I see it as a good thing as long as fish are being caught and people are having a good time doing it (which makes me wonder sometimes why I put up with the frustrations of the fly in the first place).


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Marc - that must the hat you forgot in my truck last weekend, how much is it worth you you? LOL I'll be sure to leave it in the truck so it makes to camp on thursday. Good luck to all on the water - I'll be next to the guy in the atlas hat, wearing a blue vest and brown wads. Be sure to say hello if you happen to see one us tangled in the trees!

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I fished muddler minnows frequently years ago, but fell away from them when I started to tie my own flies and discovered that muddlers are, to say the least, a challenge to tie. Great fly, though.

Woolly buggers are among the deadliest of flies, so don't give up on them. My favorites are all black and all olive on a 3XL streamer hook in size 8 with a gold conehead and a weighted shank. The fly can be cast upstream and stripped back slightly faster than current speed or it can be cast across and down on the swing.

I also tie some non-conehead, non-weighted black woollies for use in quiet, clear flats where the fish spook at the "splat" a weighted fly makes. I use red thread so that I can use the head of the fly to recognize that it's unweighted.

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Point well taken tie flyer. I'll be fishing with Marc this weekend and enjoy every opportunity to do so - especially for trout. We're (at least myself) just getting into the fly arena, its great to watch eachother with different patterns and casts and see what might be working (or not working). I enjoy working past the poor casts, tangles, and frustration and finding fish on the end of the line, especially with a good friend who's willing to learn as well. (although I'm afraid that there will always be the threat of a crushing tangle looming in the trees behind me just as I'm trying to squeeze that perfect cast!) I share the interest and am finding a growing passion for the fly - I think what I like the most is the infinite amount there is to learn and the opportunity to be creative in your presentation.

Perhaps that's what I like most about the stream trout fishing - being able to be versatile. Not only is the river in a constant state of change but so must be the angler. Be it changing from fly to spin, spin to worm, or back to fly again there is always the question of what might work better. The greatest is when a productive change is made. On my last trip, we changed from an unproductive fly on one section to a very productive spin on a different section of river - a change that produced the most and biggest fish of the weekend. And, although on a spin, what I enjoyed the most was how the precision spin casts proved to be the most productive at that time. Spin fishing has its place and can be a productive finess tactic in its own right - often out fishing a fly (especially in my hands!).

Nonetheless, I'm very much looking forward to getting back to the trout water and experimenting with curious anglers all weekend who share a passion for the trout, however they make it in the "boat" - like all fishing, versatile is key! I'd like to get my first trout on the fly this weekend, what do you say we put down the spin after a while and work the fly for that fish of mine Marc?



[This message has been edited by d.roy (edited 07-13-2004).]

[This message has been edited by d.roy (edited 07-13-2004).]

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Very well put, d.roy.

Marc, didn't mean to chastise ya. I think you guys have the right attitude.

Good luck this weekend!

p.s. I'm not really qualified to tell anyone about having "the right attitude".

[This message has been edited by tie flyer (edited 07-13-2004).]

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I am looking forward to catching some larger trout on the fly. So far the largest I've caught on the fly is about 10". I have a little 3wt rod that I would love to get a 14" or better with. Can't imagine how fun that would be after the fight a 10" made on the little rod.

Good luck to everybody. I'll be the one on the stream with a kacki colored Atlas Snowshoe hat on with light green waders and hopefully a fish on the end of my line.

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Hey Marc,

A challenge for you. The next time you go out use nothing but woolly buggers. Well, unless there is a major hatch coming off. Bring a bunch of them cuz you're going to lose some.

The rule is: If it looks like you will lose your fly, that's where you want to fish. Undercuts and snaggy dark water. Runs near deep water are good too.

Dead drift it, strip it, and swing it. You probably won't catch as many fish, but I think you'll find that the fish you do get will average larger than with 'regular' flies.

Speaking of hoppers, I saw my first baby hopper near a Wisconsin creek about a month ago. It won't be long 'til those Madame X, Dave's hoppers, and muddlers will bring those normally cautious big 'uns rocketing to the surface. Think hopper, dropper as a searching pattern. Have fun.

------------------
stu

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