Fly bodies created using wraps of delicate materials like pheasant tail fibers and peacock herl can easily be cut by trout teeth and unwind, rendering the fly all but useless. Counter wrapping with wire, thread or tinsel over top of the delicate materials will greatly increase the fly’s durability.
Counter wrapping means wrapping a second material in the opposite direction, over top of the first. The second material crosses the fibers of the first numerous times and really stands out, enhancing segmentation.
Wrapping the second material in the same direction as the first, although helpful, does not cross the underlying material as often and tends to sink in, making segmentation less visible.
This modified woolly bugger illustrates how counter wrapping can be used multiple times in a single fly. The peacock herl is wrapped normally from back to front. Then a hackle feather, although wound in the same direction around the hook shank, is wrapped from front to back, so it counter wraps the peacock herl below. Finally, a wire rib is wound from back to front thus counter wrapping the hackle stem to produce an extremely durable bugger.