Thank you for visiting our fly tying blog! Here you will find free step-by-step instructions for fly patterns that we have found to be very successful while fishing on the Tributaries of Lake Erie known as " Steelhead Alley." You will also be able to see step-by-step instructions for warm water, tube, trout, and destinational fly patterns. If you would like to request a pattern tutorial that you do not see,please send requests to

Saturday, March 19, 2011

McCrae's Mohawk Bugger

I got a call from Greg this morning asking me to do this step-by-step breakdown of the woolly bugger that he mentioned on the SAO blog the other day.  The first question he asked was "Do you have a name for it?"  "Sure", I said - "it's the white woolly bugger with blue and chartreuse dubbing."  I guess this wasn't satisfactory, so after a few minutes we settled on the "Mohawk Bugger."

I should also start by saying that in my opinion, very few flies out there are truly original.  Most are inspired by other patterns, with an added step or two, and a different, catchy name.  This woolly bugger is no different.

I used to spend a lot of time tying flies in the attic of a local fly shop that is no longer in business.  In that attic I watched a few guys who were far better tyers than I crank out a lot of bugs to fill their boxes.  One night up there, after a bunch of Budweisers (and possibly some bourbon), a white woolly bugger tied with blue flashbou, pearl body brite, and a mallard flank collar came off someone's vice.  Just about every bugger I've tied for steelhead since then has been some variation of that original pattern.

The Mohawk Bugger
 Hook: Daiichi 2220 or 1750 Size 6-10
Bead: 5/32 Gold
Threat: Red Uni 6/0
Tail: Marabou
Body: Ice Dubbing and Palmered Body Brite
Wing: Chartreuse and Blue Senyo's Laser Dub
Collar: Saddle Hackle

Step 1 - Getting started: Thread bead on hook, lay down thread base, and tie in marabou tail.

Step 2 - Creating the body: Tie in section of pearl Body Brite, dub the length of the hook with pearl ice dubbing.  Palmer body material forward stopping just short of the bead.

Step 3 - the "mohawk":  Tie in a clump of chartreuse and blue dubbing and secure.  Push dubbing toward the bend of the hook so that it lies like the picture above.

Step 4 - the collar: Tie in a saddle hackle, wrap a few times, and secure.  Whip finish, then fish.

This fly fishes well in a variety of water conditions, and is best when dead drifted under an indicator.  At the end of your drift allow the fly to swing briefly at the end of your drift.  As the fly swings upward off the bottom it can trigger a feeding response from steelhead which results in some incredible strikes.  For swinging or fishing the beaches, consider upsizing the fly.

Any questions on this fly or the step-by-step tutorial can be directed to Brett McCrae who can be reached at .