This pattern has been fishing so well lately that it deserved another post, and a fly tying tutorial. It is so easy to tie, and awesome in the water that it has a permanent spot in my fly box, as it will in yours if you try it out.
Yesterday a few of my friends and I decided to fish some local private ponds that are know to nurture giant trout. Ten minutes into it we were catching an occasional huge trout between five and ten pounds. After some time things slowed down and I decided to switch from nymphs to streamers. I opened my box and quickly realized I had neglected tying streamers, particularly wooly buggers, this winter. I only had one leftover from last fall, a dark purple wooly bugger. I tied it on and realized I had found the golden ticket. I started sight fishing to a few large trout loitering in a corner of the pond. Some turned, others ignored, but soon I found a 6+ pound rainbow that couldn’t live without that purple wooly bugger. I pricked him on a voracious take, but he spit the fly as fast as he had inhaled it. A few minutes later as a nice rainbow was tailing the same fly, an even larger rainbow appeared out of the dark and hammered my bugger… I didn’t miss him and I landed one of the largest trout of my life.
The sad part of this story happened about a half hour later when I hooked into what would have been my largest fish of the day, and after an immediate 3 foot aerial he unaffectedly swam my dark purple wooly bugger to the depths of the pond, leaving me stunned and out of wooly buggers. Not surprisingly after I got home last night I couldn’t go to bed until I had a dozen wooly buggers tied up. I also put together a Wooly Bugger Tutorial you can find on our tutorial page. That way if anyone is like me and doesn’t have stash of buggers ready to go, here are some tips on tying them up. The ice is off a lot of reservoirs here in the west, and the rest will be icing off here shortly. Do yourself a favor and don’t get caught unprepared or you might end up sitting at home very late tying wooly buggers after what could have been an even better day fishing.
Prince nymphs have been consistently catching fish since their creation many many years ago. Here is a simple variation that is a great addition to anyones flybox. I personally believe the bloody prince is easier to tie than the traditional prince nymph. I won’t venture to say it catches more fish, but there are those days when the fish do take it unceasingly. I made this video right after getting my rotary vise, so it is a little slow going, but I hope it still gets the basic instructions across. I often tie black biots for the tail instead of the pheasant tail fibers, but both versions catch fish. This again is a great winter/spring fly. Give it a try, and add a new pattern to your arsenal.