Some keep a few muddlers on standby for slow days when nothing else seems to be working, while others have elevated it to an artform complete with articulation, oddly-shaped hooks, artificial eyes that can see into your soul, and all manner of other artifice meant to imitate the slippery and the sleek. But at the end of the day, no one can deny the beauty and simplicity of the lowly Wooly Bugger, fly fishing’s equivalent of a blank canvas. The Bugger can be whatever you want it to be—creeping leech one day, darting minnow the next—and better yet, it can catch whatever you want it to catch. It doesn’t get much more streamer than that.


Sometimes it’s swinging a simple streamer through a riffle, sometimes it’s jigging a sculpzilla behind some tasty pocket water. Either way having a setup that can turn over these flies and control them in a variety of presentations is going to greatly increase odds of success – insert the R8 CORE 690-4FB. Paired with an ARBOR XL 4/5/6 and RIO Elite Predator WF6F/I/S3, this setup is the ideal answer for your all-around streamer needs.


It may not be for everyone, but no one can deny the visceral reality of searching for predatory trout with the piscine equivalent of a bratwurst. Whether they’re big browns in Arkansas, big ’bows in Alaska, or big brookies in Maine, there’s a reason they sport bellies like that. They’re the kind of fish that laugh at five weights and anything smaller than a size 2, and if it isn’t running away from them they’ll assume it’s either not real—or it’s too stupid to be bothered with. It may not be for everyone, but if you’re the kind of person who likes the kind of hits that require straight 15 lb. test leaders, then it’s definitely for you.


“You can pick a White River trout from those jaws, you know it’s a killer. We have sculpins here that are 5 and 6 inches long – so you don’t throw a size 10 woolly bugger – not on the big water. So we’re using legitimately 6-8” flies. I want a rod with power, I want a rod with accuracy, I want a rod that’s light. I don’t have time or bigger fly boxes to keep putting flies in trees all the time. I’m not going to catch any fish. What I need is a rod that I pick up and come down a bank at speed, and I have the complete control over where that fly and fly line is going. Dammit I want that fly on the bank, and I want it now - the R8 CORE 890-4 paired with a TROUT 6/7/8 and RIO Elite Predator WF8F/I/S3 gives me just that.” - Guide Steve Dally