Saturday, January 9, 2010
Bugger-men KNOW... Do You?
In 1967, seeking to imitate a hellgrammite (dobson fly larva) Pennsylvania fly-tier, Russell Blessing, added a marabou tail to a Woolly Worm; a simple act, but one quickly spawned a cult-following. A cult whose mantra, “when in doubt pitch a bugger,” caught on quickly and soon became gospel to fly flingers around the world. I personally know anglers so far gone their fly boxes contain little else. And make no mistake Buggers do catch fish and not just trout either. Bugger-men routinely catch a wide variety species including bass, pike, carp, steelhead and, well, the list is long and no doubt growing even as we speak.
Like the Adams and the PT nymph the variations are endless—bead-head Bugger, Crystal Bugger, cone-head Bugger, lead-eye Bugger, Electric Bugger and on and on. It seems every season a hot-new must-have model graces the catalogs and fills bins of the local fly-shops. Still, as new buggers come and go the idea any bugger works so long as its black lives on.
The best thing about buggers is you can hardly fish them wrong: dead-drift; down and across swing, wet-fly style; add a jigging motion to the retrieve; pitch it quartering or straight up; strip it fast, moderate or slow. The trick, if you can call it one, is to just keep it wet, since sooner or later any method works. Popular thinking dictates “buggers work best in low light, murky water, etc.” True to a point but since bugger fishing is after all fishing; probably a really bad idea is to bet the entire farm.