[Video] Daddy, what is a Wooly Fly?

Ok, so I couldn’t find a video of a Wooly fly so a Woolly Bugger will have to do. This version, one of probably a 1,000 or more woolly fly patterns out there, is presented by Scott’s Virtual Fly Tying. I like Scott’s fly tying videos because he gives you the recipe for the fly, something not everyone does – thanks Scott, keep the videos coming!

So What is a Wooly Fly?

Good question; one that my 5-year old, Jack, asked me the other day and to be honest I could not really answer. Maybe you can help. I know of the Woolly Bugger, arguably one of the most versatile and effective fly patterns ever created, and the Woolly Worm, which is believed to have evolved from the British palmered flies, but not a Wooly Fly per se.

Woolly Wisedom

Perhaps if I owned a copy of Woolly Wisdom by Gary Soucie, which reportedly has over 400 Woolly Bugger, Woolly Worm and related woolly fly patterns, I would know what a Wooly Fly is. But alas, I don’t (I know shame on me).

Perhaps you know? If so, please leave me a comment below so I can put Jack at ease!

Happy tying!

About the Author Ken Sperry

Ken is an avid fisherman of 40+ years who loves to explore and is on a quest to map the best places for fly fishing in America. He created DIY Fly Fishing and the DIY Fly Fishing App to share this information and help you find new places to fish. Have a question? You can get in touch with Ken here.

Ken Sperry (SperryWater) « [Video] Daddy, what’s a Wooly Fly? « Chat Catcher says

[…] 2009-12-18T22:08:08  New blog post: [Video] Daddy, what's a Wooly Fly? [link to post] […]

Gary Soucie says

Because of the Woolly Worm and Woolly Bugger, the term “woolly fly” applies to both of them and to related patterns (mostly palmered flies). At least in fly tying and fly fishing. The Woolly Worm pattern was, of course, named after the woolly bear caterpillar, sometimes called woolly worm. Perhaps you can impress Jack by informing him that the ratio of black to brown in a woolly bear’s bristles have nothing at all to do with the severity or temperature of the coming winter.

Here another one for you to dazzle jack: When the word “Ugly” is appropriately applied to a fly’s name, it implies that the hackle is cut short–not that the fly is less than nice-looking. But for some reason, contemporary tiers are applying the term literally.

KLS
Ken Sperry says

Wow, thank you for replying Gary! Jack will be very impressed. I foresee a long conversation about “Ugly” flies; I may need to save that one for when he is a little older or when I have a few hours to answer the ‘but why’ line of questions that will surely follow.

Thanks again for replying, I’m humbled.