Some Mini and Micro Buggers for the Small Stream Box

‘Tis the season for replenishing sections of the fly box that have been found wanting. The past few days I worked on streamers for my small stream box. While I like to try new flies, I’ve decided on a simple approach this year: proven patterns that will have me covered in variety of situations. So, here we have small Woolly Buggers and variants, sizes 8 and 12, with tungsten and brass beads (and some thread heads) in three basic colors.


I’ve color-coded the tungsten beadhead flies with red thread — you can see that on the black bugger in the front right. It’s a simple way to keep track of what’s heavy and what’s not. I’ve also swapped out chenille for Ice Dub on the body. You can find the basic recipe for these small buggers here.

The olive flies on the left are Tim Flagler’s Squirrel and Herl Bugger. The original is un-beaded, but I added tungsten heads to two of them. Hopefully Tim is not too horrified. You can find a tying video for this buggy pattern here.


7 comments on “Some Mini and Micro Buggers for the Small Stream Box

  1. joseph ganun says:

    Nice stuff. I resorted to a hunt for the smallest buggers I could find last year, since I don’t tie my own stuff. So far I have found #16’s which do well for me in spring creeks and one of the smaller NJ creeks.

  2. Peter Varkala says:

    Ha! I thought I was all clever lone wolf with my experimenting with “micro” streamers this winter. Thought that was my secret weapon, but apparently I’m not the only one who has wandered down this path. So funny, the squirrel and herl bugger was the basis from which my experimenting began.
    I’ve settled on olive in size 10s or 12s , but add 2 pairs of micro barred rubber legs in the upper 1/3 of the abdomen and like them cut long – almost tail length. Also a single 180 degree flaired deer hair collar, but fairly sparse, not too thick. I actually just hit up Upcountry for 2 new colors of micro pine squirrel.

    • Steve Culton says:

      Check out my ICU Sculpin on this site — you might like that one, too. Glad you’re experimenting and having fun.

      • Peter Varkala says:

        Didn’t see a tutorial on this pattern (perhaps you should do one) – seemed like a pretty straightforward tie though based on your posts. anyway, just got around to trying this one out on a small wild trout stream in NY after burning through several of my recent A-team patterns with no responses. This is a great pattern – caught or at least interested a fish in just about every pocket and pool. I’m not sure what the fish were responding to in the pattern – seems like a fairly generic attracter. I used a fl. orange tungsten head, but I don’t think that was critical. In any case, thanks for the recommendation and inspiration. Turned a no fish day into a fish day.

      • Steve Culton says:

        Peter, that’s great to hear — thanks for taking the time to comment. Lots of bite triggers on this one: bright bead, high contrast, flash, webby hackle. Who knows what fish think it is other than something that they must have right now! I use this fly a lot on small streams. Try dunking and jigging it in the white water at the head of a plunge pool.

  3. […] the turnaround point, I switched to subsurface, with the intent of running tungsten bead head micro buggers through the deeper recesses of select pools. White first. I felt a nip, then on the next cast saw […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s