Woolly buggers are popular baits for catching fish with the use of a fishing rod, line, and hook. The specific fishing method using woolly buggers is called fly-fishing. Woolly buggers are designed to look like a real fly or other aquatic organisms, which fish feed on. The materials used in making woolly buggers include hair, feather, and fur. However, a majority of woolly buggers available today are made of artificial materials, such as thick, soft threads. Woolly buggers come in a variety of colors, sizes, and weights. While most woolly buggers are olive-colored, they also come in black, brown, purple, or a combination of these colors. Choosing the colors of your woolly buggers depends on the types of fish you would want to catch. To make woolly buggers go below the water surface, their bodies are made heavy with a piece of wire, beads, or tiny, metal cones.
Many believe that woolly buggers were designed by Russell Blessing in 1967. These types were similar with the appearance of a Dobsonfly nymph. However, its true origin is not yet certain, because some literature dating back to 1653 already made allusions to the use of artificial flies in catching fish. The earliest literature written about using flies as fishing baits dates back to as early as 200 A.D. Another book credited to Dame Juliana Berners was published in 1496, and it contained information on how flies should be used in angling. Many 19th century literature contained drawings of an artificial fly, but the first known publication is attributed to John Denny in 1652.