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Hello tennesseeflyfish... (whew that's a long name), for smallies try wooly buggers in different colors, including, but not limited to, olive, black and brown. Also try a black nose dace. I tie my dace with marabou instead of bucktail, I like it better. Crawdads, crayfish, mud bugs what ever you call them are killer too. Good luck

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You've gotten great suggestions-


To start out you could begin with some inexpensive materials and a few basic "styles" of lies like woolly buggers, clousers and bucktail streamers. And you can just vary colors of the basic materials to imitate a lot of different things.


To keep things simple, and inexpensive:


Woolly Bugger

Hook: size 8 Mustad 9672 or other 3xl or fourxl streamer hook

Thread: Black 6/0

Body: chenille in black, olive

Rib: gold wire

Tail: Marabou Black and olive

Hackle: black strung hackle or bugger pack

Weight: lead wire or substitute, and/or Bead Head sized to fit hook

Black tail/black body = stonefly nymphs, leeches and is a very productive pattern

Olive tail/olive body = damsel and dragon fly larvae, large nymphs, minnows

You can add brown chenille and some brown and "dirty orange" or rust colored marabou. Combining orange/brown marabou for the tail and brown body = easy crayfish


Clouser Minnow

Hook: size 2 3xl streamer hook, or if there's a chance you are going to be fishing saltwater, tie it on a saltwater hook like a Mustad 3four007)

Thread: Danville Flat Waxed Nylon Chartreuse, White

"Wing": Chartreuse and White bucktails

Flash: Pearlescent Krystal Flash

Eyes: Lead or substitute eyes

All chartreuse, all white, and chartreuse over white are all great

You can tie simple crayfish imitations "clouser style" using brown over your orange marabou, or brown bucktail (from the "wrong side" of a white bucktail) over orange marabou.


Bucktail Streamers

Hook: same as clouser

Body: pearl body braid, or similar in gold or silver

Wing: white or chartreuse bucktail

Flash: same as clouser

Topping: strung peacock herl

You can tie simple imitations to match a bunch of different baitfish:

Dace, shiners: white wing, or chartreuse over white with a topping of peacock herl

Small minnows: small baitfish on bugger hooks with white wing, or white wing topped with peacock herl (or brown bucktail from the "wrong side" as wing or topping over white)

Shad and Alewife: You can tie a simple "Bucktail Deceiver" using bucktail for the tail in place of hackles. All white with peacock herl topping, and all chartreuse (for stained, muddy water), or chartreuse over white, with white tail. With the addition of the tail, this will imitate larger baitfish than the simple bucktails above, but you'll be using the same hook.

Marabou Streamers: You can use Marabou in place of bucktail too. You can make a simple but deadly one with a body of pearl body braid, wing of black marabou, a couple strands of flash and a topping of peacock herl on both your smaller and larger hooks. Same fly with white, yellow, or yellow/red/yellow marabou is also very good. You can tie them weighted with some lead wire wraps or unweighted.


The woolly buggers and clousers will fish deeper in the water column, and the bucktail streamers will fish higher. Keep the flies sparse for easier casting and better action in the water. These are all pretty easy to tie, imitate a bunch of different stuff, and share a lot of the same inexpensive materials.


Hope this helps.



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Here are a few places to go for step by steps. Sizes, colors and some materials might vary a bit, but the techniques and proportions are good guides. Some of these are from sites that fish for trout or large saltwater fish, so the “recommended” size hooks might be smaller or larger. Just use smallmouth sized versions.


Woolly Bugger






For minnow imitations you can use a lot of different stuff for bodies including white or yellow chenille, mylar tubing, tinsel with or without an (oval tinsel rib), and even wool yarn. There are a million variations and you can get as complicated as you want. Here’s one for a popular pattern called a Mickey Finn. It uses different colored bucktail, and a tinsel body with a rib, and weight with lead wire, but the basic technique is the same. You might want to try some of these down the road, but red and yellow bucktail isn’t as versatile for as many things as white and chartreuse. Substitute whatever colored bucktail, or marabou for the wing, and some peacock herl for topping, add some flash and/or weight if you want to make your own version. But the techniques shown here and proportions are a good guide. If you don’t have a hair stacker, you can even tips of bucktail out by hand—I actually like them a bit staggered instead of like even a paint brush


Here’s a simple bucktail:



Here’s a Bucktail Deceiver to imitate deep bodied baitfish like shad:



Hope this helps





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:rolleyes: What everyone has said should keep you busy. Like I tell people joining the site Just Ask. Good fishing.

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black wolly bugger size 8 bead or cone head


about a fly box fully and you'd be good for a fishing trip


maybe some top waters but why bother when you've got a black bugger?

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