Firetail Wolly Bugger
By Chad Mason

fotm septembet 2017

Translated by CARL WUEBBEN

In an ideal world, fish would always be active. Getting them to strike would be a matter of imitating their favored food. Now, welcome back to the world we live in. some days fish put their bellies on the bottom, or hang lazily suspended, seeming to vegetate like hungover fraternity pledges. What then? It’s time to stop thinking temptation and start thinking provocation. Trout, panfish, and bass are sometimes a bit lethargic. At such times, you can almost bounce a non-descript imitative fly off their noses, and they won’t budge. Then we must reach deeper into those pea brains (theirs, not ours) and provoke a deeper instinct. Certain visual cues seem to awaken a predatory, territorial, self-defensive or other striking impulse in fish. Incorporate fluorescent colors into your favorite streamer pattern, the wolly bugger with accents of chartreuse, hot pink, fluorescent orange, or purple, the firetail wolly bugger is designed to provoke strikes from reluctant biters.


HOOK – 2x long, heavy wire, size #6 or #8
THREAD – black 6/0 (140 denier)
TAIL – black marabou over chartreuse marabou or any other fluorescent color
BODY – medium chartreuse chenille (or the color you used for the tail) followed by medium black chenille
HACKLE – wide, webby, black saddle hackle
COLLAR – black hen-back (saddle) feather
NOTE – Fluorescent orange, hot pink and purple are other good colors for the bright part or the tail and the rear section of the body.


  1. Debarb hook-mount in vise – start thread in at about mid shank and tie in your chartreuse marabou for the tail – about 1 ½ the hook size hanging out from just before the hook bend and you can tie down the rest of the feather onto the hook shank to form a thicker body if you want to. Then tie in the same amount of black marabou on top of it to complete the tail. Clip off the tag ends with enough space in front for a collar and the head. Bring your thread back to the hook bend and tie in a black saddle hackle by the tip. Just leave it be for now you will use it latter.
  2. Now grab your medium chartreuse chenille and tie it in right before the bend of the hook – clip your tag end off then make two close wraps and tie it off and clip off the tag end. Tie in your medium black chenille and clip you tag end off and bring your thread forward to the eyelet then wrap your black chenille closely forward and tie off at about one eyelet space from the eye (remember you still have to put in a collar and a small head so don’t crowd the head) clip of the tag end.
  3. Spiral wrap the black hackle at the back of the hook forward and tie off by the head- clip the tag end off (as you wrap the feather stroke the fibers rearward).
  4. Tie in a black hen-back (saddle) feather where you ended your black chenille by the tip and clip off the tag end. Now take two or three close wraps of the feather forward stroking the fibers rearward with each wrap then tie off and clip the tag end off. Take a few tread wraps over the base of the front part of the feather collar to lock them in a slight rearward position- make a small head – whip finish and clip you thread off – add a little head cement and you’re done.