The Woolly Bugger is a stillwater staple and most effective lake boxes are stocked with a variety of sizes and colors. Indeed, you'll find countless iterations of the Woolly Bugger and we have pretty much and entire fly drawer at the shop dedicated to many of our favorite Buggers. If I had to pick just one, however, I wouldn't hesitate to select the Thin Mint (aka Twin Lakes Special) in a handful of sizes. This fly imitates a staggering variety of common fish snacks like dragonfly nymphs, leeches, crayfish and even various baitfish and catches trout, bass, panfish and a variety of species in both lakes and rivers. It ranks among my favorite redside shiner patterns for Ross Lake.
Though the Thin Mint is far less imitative than flies with distinct eyes and other baitfish triggers, it captures many of the key features that predatory fish get excited about, like profile, a pronounced dark lateral line you'll see on the redside shiners, and that magical ability to pulsate and push water. I like to play around with different body hues and marabou colors the tail, sometimes using Peacock Eye or Black Peacock Ice Dub or substituting the olive marabou with burgundy or burnt orange for a different look. Day and day out, however, the original pattern as featured in the tying video accounts for more than its fair share of fish and deserves a prominent spot in every fly angler's box.
Confluence Beer Pairing: I've been enjoying the Twin Sisters Mexican Lager lately when I settle into an evening tying session. It's a crisp and delicious refreshment that pairs amazingly well with the hot weather when you're poised at the dining room table, bobbin in hand, shirtless and sweaty with errant tufts of brightly colored marabou sticking to your glistening chest.