I would argue that almost any version of a woolly bugger will out fish any other streamer out there. Even if somebody is fishing a pattern that is truly representative of the baitfish in the specific lake or river they’re fishing I would still take a woolly bugger in black, brown, olive, white, or any combo of the colors, such as the one I have pictured above, over the realistic pattern. I think people tend to forget a few things when it comes
One: trout have brains the size of a pea!!! We give them too much credit. They’re not “smart”. They just have urges to eat, or not to eat based on certain factors. Sometimes nothing you can do will make them eat. They’re simply not looking for food all the time regardless of what you throw at them. Other times almost anything you throw at them makes them eat when they are searching for food... of course this varies a little bit depending on the water we’re talking about...
Two: trout are curious. They put things in their mouths all the time. Don’t believe me? Watch any good underwater footage of a trout in a river. They are always biting things that are food and not food, sometimes spitting it out and sometimes not.
Anyways... woolly buggers are amazing flies. They imitate so many things tied in different sizes and colors. Definitely one of the top 5 greatest flies ever created for trout and possibly for any other species too. Tie them and fish them. Period.
Love the fly, like your thoughts Tyler.
Wouldn’t always agree in every situation but I’ve experienced the “impressionistic works better than imitative” phenomenon myself many times.
I’m always glad when someone posts their opinions. Your post provoked the following thought:
Fish live in their aquatic environment and if they grow old and large, it’s because they have adapted well to it. We fishers can’t totally (maybe not even minimally) understand this process. As we humans are always trying to understand behaviors, we tend to “humanize” our experiences using our own preconceived notions. We “fit” our explanations to allow us to try to understand the things we see.
I fish heavily pressured waters and I know that trout do “learn” and it’s not just an instinctual response that I’m seeing.
Eugene Gendlin wrote “Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning......”. I think that all of our “understanding” is nothing more than our “fitting our experiences” to the world around us.
Enjoyed your thoughts immensely. The fly is super but the thoughts accompanying are even better. Thanks for posting.
No problem Bill! I got a little carried away with what I was saying... but I totally agree with you that fish can learn and it’s not always an instinctual response to eat something. I also fish heavily pressured waters out here in the Sierra’s, shoot what isn’t anymore really, but I see the same types of behavior from “educated” trout from time to time. To me that’s also what can make fishing more fun sometimes but also frustrating...but that’s the name of the game right? Anyways, that was exactly the type of response from somebody that I was hoping for. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
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