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Woolly Buggers are everywhere.

It would seem that the infamous Woolly Bugger figures prominently beyond the fly fishing world.

From time to time I’ll employ either Google or Bing to explore the depths the interweb using the search phrase “woolly bugger”, mainly to see where my fly fishing books show up in the search results.  It’s sort of like using an actual woolly bugger pattern to search the depths of a particularly fishy looking hole, prospecting for a hungry fish.  As one would expect, the search results produce nearly countless sites for the actual woolly bugger pattern: retailers selling flies, tiers offering recipes for creating the pattern, tips on how to fish the woolly bugger, etc.  Occasionally an interesting result turns up that has nothing directly to do with fly fishing.

Take, for example, the Woolly Bugger Roaster of Fine Coffee.  This site caught my attention because I do like a good cuppa joe, and obviously the name was intriguing. One has to assume that the owners are fly anglers because your average non-angling person wouldn’t know what a woolly bugger is, let alone name their company after the heralded streamer pattern. There is no direct declaration of the founders being fly fishing folks, but I’m willing to go out on a limb and wager that the assumption is a safe one.  A quote from their website says it all:

“More than half the enjoyment of fly-fishing is derived from the beautiful surroundings.”

-Charles Orvis


Another interesting find in the world of the woolly bugger is the Blackfoot River Brewing Company‘s Woolly Bugger Ale. Their offerings are “Real Good Beer, Made by Real Good People.”  I’ve not met the people, or sampled their beer, but anyone willing to name a product after the woolly bugger is top notch in my book. Since the brewery is located in Helena, Montana, it’s another safe bet that the founders have been known to angle with a fly. Montana is, afterall, mecca for trout fishing. The Missouri River, as it flows near Helena, is reported to have a few fish in it.

Boise, Idaho is home to the Sockeye Grill and Brewery, where one of their offerings is…(drumroll please)…Woolybugger Wheat Ale, which they have this to say about: “This American style wheat ale has a light grain flavor with a low hop profile. It’s light bodied and very thirst quenching!”  Sounds worthy of the name, Woolly Bugger, or rather, Woolybugger.  So many variations on the name it can get confusing!

It would seem that beer makers seem to appreciate fly fishing, or perhaps vice versa, because we have another brewery who produces a malt beverage named for the woolly bugger. The Grand Lake Brewing Company of Grand Lake, Colorado, offers their Wooley Booger Nut Brown Ale.  Again we see a disparity in how the name should be spelled, which was discussed in the previous entry here. No matter how you spell it, a wooly bugger is a wooley booger is a woolly bugger. Not sure about the “booger” spelling though.  In Olive the Little Woolly Bugger, our favorite streamer fly is taunted and teased by a group of snobby dry flies. One such fly, Randal the Royal Coachman, insults Olive by calling her a Woolly Booger.  Not nice, Randal, and that’ll come back to haunt you. At any rate, I’m sure the Wooley Booger Nut Brown Ale is excellent.  Unfortunately their website needs some help.  Perhaps the owners of Grand Lake Brewing Company should hook up with the next woolly buggerish company…

Wooly Booger’s Web Design. It would seem not all afficionados of the woolly bugger are coffee and beer makers.  Again we see the curious reference to “booger”, which always conjures up interesting images.

Woolly Bugger Studios is home to a couple of creative folks who also had the good sense to name their business after the ubiquitous woolly bugger. Photographer Lark Gilmer Smothermon and editor Charles Smothermon set up shop near Sheridan, Montana and they even got the spelling right ; )

Wooly Bugger Productions of Medford, Oregon, offers creative audio recording services for a wide variety of needs. If I ever land a deal to produce an animated TV show featuring Olive the Little Woolly Bugger, I’m going to contact these folks first! On their website they make it clear that they’re fly anglers:

“Depending on what part of the country you live in and your recreational hobbies, a Wooly Bugger could mean a few things. For us, it’s a “fly” that fly-fishermen use to fish for Steelhead and Trout. That’s where our logo comes from! Our second passion, after production, is fishing! We wanted to give the business a name that people would remember and that would reflect a bit of our lifestyle here in the great Pacific Northwest. We had a great time creating our cool mascot!”

Cool indeed- your business sounds great, folks!

I wasn’t able to find an actual website for Woolly Bugger Farm in Wartburg, Tennessee, but they do have a Facebook page. I decided to “like” the page so I can find out more about this curious farming operation, which apparently grows soap (or rather, they make soap and sell it under their Woolly Bugger Farm label). I doubt they grow woolly buggers, but perhaps they have a stream running through their property filled with hungry trout? Looks like a cool operation nestled in a beautiful setting.

Another interesting find is Wooly Bugger Media, a company offering media planning and buying services. If I ever have an advertising budget, I’ll have to inquire with them about a media blitz.

Thankfully another result that shows up (on the first page of results) when searching for “woolly bugger” is my own website, olivethewoollybugger.com. I hope you’ll check it out some time.

If you’re the proprietor of a business or organization that makes use of the Woolly Bugger (or some variation of the spelling) in your name, leave a comment here. I’ll shout you out in a future blog entry.  After all, we woolly buggers have to stick together- there’s a lot of water to cover out there.


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