Seal Bugger


New Member
me neither.... lol

i will post a better picture tonight once I beg my wife to let me use her camera. PRetty sure I will have to make her dinner first.

Big E

Active Member
Its a good try and will no doubt catch fish.

Here's some things I would be critical of....

The marabou doesn't look right for some it the end of a blood quill or did you cut it or something....why is it all matted is it still wet?
You've thread torqued the marabou to the opposite side of the hook instead of sitting on top. Put the boo at a 45 degree angle when you tie it in and pinch it on top of the hook to make it stay.

Your dubbing is way too thick and also needs to be brushed out. Your hackle is a bit long and palmered should either palmer it to the back and bind it off with wire wraps or wrap it forward while stroking the fibers back.

Head isn't clean, also not built up.

Is the underbody weighted?

Don't take this personally, I'm just being critical to help you be a better tier. I'm by no means a great tyer and have room for loads of improvement. That's what makes tying interesting...there's always something new to learn or a technique to master, etc.

Keep that fly and tie 2 dozen more of the 25th fly to this one and enjoy the satisfaction of how much you've improved.

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
Learning this in front of the world is brave.

I have the cup of flies from my first class and they all have the same problem your fly does. The good news, as Big_E posted, this fly will catch fish!

You have all the major parts of the fly attached to the proper locations on the hook, and the fly looks like it'll hold up to more than one fish. This is good.

Big E gave good critique, so work on those items. I often find - LESS is better than more when it comes to applying materials. (Seal Bugger may be the exception however) ha


Braided wind knots are my specialty
I like to tie in the tip of the hackle I'm going to palmer then at the head I'll put an extra couple of wraps of the hackle. It makes a nice taper from thin at the tail to thicker at the head. Maybe I'll be brave like you and put up a picture of what I mean.
I also don't tie them on dry fly style with the fibers pointing forward. That may be just me, but I find it gets better action in the water.
Well done, I'd fish it.


New Member
seems like when I tic the hackle toward the back of the hook, the hackles flair forward but when I tie the hackle on the front of the hook and go backwards, it flairs toward the back of the hook.

Funny thing... I thought I needed more dubbing.


New Member
Big E: Yes, the tail was still wet and it does look a little funny. I think I used a piece that I cut away from before. Is that a no no?

The under body is not weighted. This is something I am having a tough time understanding. If you have a full sinking line, sink tip and a dry line, does the fly need to be weighted? Couldnt you use a full sinking line or a sink tip to get it deeper? What is the advantage of a weighted fly?

And no worries, I dont take it personally. I have so much to learn and having so much fun doing it, it is great. I have worked two jobs for the last 7 years and now I need to have a little fun for myself. That is why I got into fly fishing and tying.
re:marabou tail . I`ll echo Big E`s comment about the marabou not looking quite"right" . I think the scissor cut tips of marabou never look correct . A better method is to pinch the excess length off . It looks more natural that way . And I think that you`ll have issues with the marabou fouling around the hook shank due to the length of the tail . When I tie bugger type patterns with marabou tails , I measure the length of the tail by simply folding it over the top of the fly to gauge length , and then pinch off the excess length to be a bit shorter than the length of the body . **(a few turns of thread around the bare hook shank , but under the marabou can aid in the prevention of having the marabou foul around the hook too , if that makes any sense:D) .

Keep at it though . Your tying skills are progressing nicely .

This is a two-part tutorial on tying a seal bugger. I don't use as much glue as he does :) but you get all the technique that results in a good final product. Rickard's patterns are definitely a "less is more" type deal.

Theses are a few that I tied last winter. I'm by no means a good fly tier but these all caught fish in the Columbia Basin lakes. The first two are seal buggers, the next two are stillwater nymphs.

Big E

Active Member
seems like when I tic the hackle toward the back of the hook, the hackles flair forward but when I tie the hackle on the front of the hook and go backwards, it flairs toward the back of the hook.

Funny thing... I thought I needed more dubbing.
Turn the hackle over and you'll find it goes the other direction. Also as someone else said, be mindful of the taper so the larger taper is at the front and not the rear as you have it.

Dubbing needs to be pulled apart to seperate the fibers and then you should only put a little on. Kelly Galloup suggest that if you take the dubbing you are going to apply and toss it in the air, it should float. A lot too depends on the type of dubbing you use. Some will be 'spikier' than others...I would venture a guess you didn't use seal dubbing and also not a very good alternative. While this is no big deal, using 'spikier' dubbing gives the fly a whole different profile than what you've created.
seal dubbing.... interesting. Guess it is another trip to the fly shop.

So..... the larger hackles need to be toward to eye of the hook and the smaller hackles toward the back?

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Chef, I was taught, and have visually preferred my hackles tied in by the tips, dull side down, then wrapped forward such that the dull underside faces the tail and that generally puts the slight curvature of the hackle toward the rear. As you tie more of the same pattern, just like Big_E said, you will fast see the progress. They will all catch fish. See how "buggy" and fuzzy the dubbing is on Troutpocket's buggers...awesome. You can likely get a little wire brush, pick or other tool to pick out the dubbing and make it really fuzzy looking. No wonder how his buggers catch fish...