I’ve chosen only one streamer pattern, and there’s a good reason-I’ve never needed another. In fact, I’d venture that, day in and day out, over a huge range of conditions, there isn’t a more effective pattern for taking trout, especially big trout, than the Woolly Bugger. It can be fished down-and-across like a conventional streamer, cast to the bank and stripped in, retrieved with short twitches, or (my favorite) dead-drifted right along the bottom, where it might be taken for anything from a sculpin to a stonefly nymph. The essence of its success is the superior mobility of the hackle and marabou tail; it doesn’t just look alive, it acts alive.