Bass Royal Wulff

Bass Royal Wulff

  • By: A. K. Best
  • Photography by: A. K. Best
Bass Royal Wulff

My son-in-law called a few years ago, wanting to go bass fishing. I told him about a few bass ponds near Boulder, Colorado and we decided to meet that afternoon. Imagine two identical boxes: one full of bass bugs, the other with big dry flies I use in Labrador. Neither box was labeled. I grabbed the Labrador box by mistake. Imagine my surprise after I strung up my rod and opened the box. Nothing but size 2 Royal Wulffs and some huge caddis imitations. The big Royal Wulffs worked so well on two- to three-pound bass that I had to give some to my son-in-law. A lucky mistake.


Hook: Mustad 3366, size 2 (1.25 inches long, gap .25 inch)

Thread: Danville’s Monocord, black

Tail: Black moose body hair

Wings: White turkey T-base, divided

Body: Butt: 6 or 7 peacock herls; Waist: Single-strand red floss; Rib: 32-gauge brass wire; Shoulder: 6 or 7 peacock herls continued from butt

Hackle: Reddish-brown dryfly hackle. At least 12 turns

  1. Put the hook in the vise and attach the thread one hook-eye space behind the eye, wind to the end of the bend and clip off the tag.
  2. Clip and stack a clump of moose hair (about 30 hairs), attach to the hook at the end of the shank, lash forward to within one hook-gap space behind the eye and clip off the butts.
  3. Clip the center quill from a wide T-base feather. Fold back each side until what’s left is as wide as the hook shank is long. Fold the two halves together and firmly tie to the hook immediately in front of the clipped tailing. Divide and wrap each wing half with thread near the base. Apply a drop of head lacquer on the thread wraps only.
  4. Tie in peacock herls by their tips immediately in front of the tailing.
  5. Tie in brass wire.
  6. Make three or four turns of peacock, then tie down with two or three turns of thread. Tie in floss and take four or five turns; tie down with two or three thread turns and clip off excess floss. Continue with three or four turns of peacock, tie down, clip off excess peacock, and reverse wind the brass wire forward. Tie down with four or five turns of thread and clip off excess wire. Be sure to save enough room behind the wings for several turns of hackle.
  7. Tie in hackle butts in front of the wings.
  8. Begin winding the hackle, making the first turns behind the wings, then cross forward under the wings and continue winding hackle in tight turns. Be sure to save one hook-eye space for the head.
  9. Apply a couple coats of head lacquer.