The Woolly Worm

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by PatrickH, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. I just started fly tying and I'm tying flies from the bottom and working my way up, but before I considered a fly lesson complete, I want to tie a perfect one for a collectors piece.

    I need your opinions on what I could do better on this fly.
    I'm thinking a slightly shorter tail and do a better job on the wire wraps. I should have paid more attention on the angles of the hackle and wire when I wrapped this fly, but I will do on the next attempt.
    I also think red wire would look better?
    Maybe a little fatter by adding lead wire to the body.
    Or maybe I should just by a larger woolly bugger size 4L size 10 hook. 3L size 8 shown in the picture looks a little too short?

    gormaci, Kaiserman, Krusty and 5 others like this.
  2. Looks great to me, but I'm no expert. I've always been one who could tie flies to catch fish, but not necessarily flies that attract fishermen. That fly right there will catch fish. I can't offer much in the way of improvement suggestions, ill leave that to the experts.... just wanted to add that you're tying one hell of a fine fly for someone who is just starting out. Great work.
    Duane J and PatrickH like this.
  3. I don't use this too much anymore, but, when I did, I caught a hell of a lot of trout on the olive body pattern like this. Tie some up! Nice job.
    Olive bugger and PatrickH like this.
  4. That is a fine old school pattern that still catches a ton of fish. Looks great, fish it. The fish will eat it!
    PatrickH likes this.
  5. Yeah I used to catch a lot of fish on that pattern as well. Looks good! You have already mentioned the wire being slightly off if you're getting picky. The proportions look about right.
    PatrickH likes this.
  6. When in doubt, tie on a wooly worm! Nice fly, Patrick.
    PatrickH likes this.
  7. Thanks for the compliments :) If I am able to tie a better one then this one, I will post it up.
    Takes so long to tie a really nice one, but one I tie for fishing takes about 5 minutes..
  8. Hey Patrick,

    Great job with that fly. You'll do great tying if that's what your first looks like. That's a great pattern, and one that has saved the day for me several times. I wouldn't worry about tying on a longer hook, that's the correct proportions right there. A little shorter on the tail as you said, otherwise perfect. But even then, tail is not outrageously long as would likely be the case with a new tyer. Hackle and wire wraps looks great, and that is the hardest part. That fly will definitely take fish. Great job!

    PatrickH likes this.
  9. PatrickH,
    I never leave home without a good supply of woolies.:)
    gormaci and PatrickH like this.
  10. Agreed, those look great for a beginner or any tier for that matter. I like your commitment to a perfect pattern though!
    PatrickH likes this.
  11. looks great to me. I don't worry if it'e tied perfect or not and don't think the fish do either but if you want to tie one for display that one is just about right. I think red wire would set it off for a display fly. great work for a beginner, keep it up. that fly will catch fish.
    PatrickH likes this.
  12. PatrickH, that one is very nicely done. Any imperfections are only noticeable if you look at it for too long.;) OK, if its going to be in a collection, then you might want to get the tail length exactly right. If you're going to fish it, then the trout will nip it down.

    Hey Jack Devlin, wet grizzly hackle is my favorite for this fly. Also, either black or olive bodies, just like yours!
    I'm going to combine the two body colors and try grizzly over variegated olive/black.
    PatrickH likes this.
  13. I'm thinking the Wooly Bugger has surpassed the Wooly Worm in popularity. I use them both but prefer the Wooly Worm.
    I can't really think of a time when it didn't "produce" for me. I do prefer the WW tied with grizzly hackle.
  14. Thanks for all the compliments :)
    What would make the tail length better? Just a little shorter or the same length as the hook gap or? I'm thinking maybe 40% shorter and more even fibers? I think the head is a little too big too.
    The ones that aren't as good I have in a box to fish with, but still trying to get a perfect one. Woolly bugger is next. Such a simple pattern, but so hard to get perfect :confused:
  15. Many people tie these with a tail of red wool, others use a tuft of marabou cut off (square) to length, and some people use a more webby tail, usually of schlappen. The tail usually is about the length of the gape. But like I said earlier, that fly will fish just like it is. It's all a matter of personal taste, and of course the trout are the ones who will give it final approval when you fish it. Again, good job.

    PatrickH likes this.
  16. There isn't a thing wrong with your Wooly Worm. Good work! That fly will catch fishermen...which are one hell of a lot more critical than fish.

    I think it's important to remember that when a flyfisherman says he used to catch a lot of fish on a fly it only means he got interested in tying other patterns...not that the fly stopped producing. The Wooly Worm is a timeless classic that will consistently catch fish.

    Finally, there is no 'perfect' on a beer, it's a matter of taste. Flytying ain't the Westminster Dog Show, though some folks would like to pretend otherwise.
  17. That thing looks like crap!

    Whatever you tied up, just send them to me and I will be doing you a favor by getting rid of them. Can't even believe you would post a picture of that. How embarrassing!

    I'll PM you my address. I have a trip, um I mean, uh... I know of a place that I can "burn them up". :D
    PatrickH likes this.
  18. hahaha ;)
  19. Used to be one of my favorite flies. Carried them in several colors. Great sea run fly.
  20. That same pattern on a #6 hook with a lead underbody and grizzly hackle is a staple for carp fishing in eastern WA.
    Dave Kaiserman likes this.

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