The Wolly Bugger is one of those patterns that will catch anything that swims. It seems to be mainly a fresh water pattern used for Trout and Smallmouth. If tied properly (right size and proper hooks) I'll bet you could catch anything from panfish to Tarpon with a Bugger. It is also really easy to tie. For Trout I like purple, Smallmouth I like brown, and have done well in saltwater with white.
2nd Bounty Hunter on that. Weighted, unweighted, big or small. Everything eats them! My favorite for cold water smallmouth, Black lectric-bugger. Just a big, 3 1/2 inch black bugger with some dark purple flashabou running all the way down the sides, nose to tip of the tail, under your palmered hackle. Spring/summer I like olive, brown and dark tan. Jeez, I fish a lot of white ones to and oh yea chatreuse in the heat of summer. Get the drift Pete? They are a must have pattern. There is no way you couldn't tie a 4-5 incher in chartreuse on a size 1 or 2 saltwater hook and not catch Stripers. In fact i'll tie some big ones up and give it a whirl, super easy casting as well.
When I tie them weighted I'll put a few turns of red thread at the back of the head, unweighted no red.
Guys, poor wording on my part. I should have mentioned salt water/striper use. I tie them in olive, white, olive/black, black. I have used them in fresh water only. LMB eat them like candy in a 6 or 4 hook. I have never tied them weighted, but I was wondering about the thoughts of larger ones for striped bass. Looks like I need some purple stuff. I'll bet with a gold cone, and some white and pink they would be dynamite for bouncing on the bottom for fluke. As a matter of fact, I had just finished a couple black with Grizzley hackle for freshwater, and that is what made me think to do the post
I'm one of those guys who doesn't have much luck with wooly buggers. The few I tie are large, 4 to 6 inches long and off beat variations, like the White River Demon and Chili Pepper. I've caught snapper blues on smaller WRD's, 2-4 inches long. I haven't broken out the large ones out for salt water. The closest thing to a wooly bugger I fish in salt water is the top fly in the picture.