This post is intended for the fly fishing nerds who read my blog
I recall when the San Juan Worm was all the craze. Well, craze might be a little strong, but it was the latest thing for catching trout, particularly when fishing high, discolored water when the fish are likely to be feeding near the banks and worms are washing into the flow, theoretically. Then anglers started fishing them at any time, usually as part of a multi-nymph set up. Basically chenille on a hook.
Of course, I jumped on the bandwagon and tied a few in both the popular red color and a more natural light brown. Perhaps I didn’t fish them as diligently as I could have, but these never caught fish for me and now I think I carry one in each color, which I never use.
Now the popular worm imitation is the Squirmy Wormy (ridiculous name, I know) and what I have heard is they can be a nightmare to tie thanks to the soft plastic material used. I was not in a rush to produce any of these thinking why struggle with the material when they probably won’t work any better than the San Juan Worm. That was until I watched a Tim Flagler video (included in the Orvis link at the beginning of this paragraph) with a method for managing the soft plastic by giving it a base of dubbing to sit on and to tie it down. This material beside being, well, squirmy it can also be easily cut with tying thread. The dubbed thread can minimize this.
So, while waiting for the Super Bowl to start I gave Tim’s technique a try.
I am definitely going to give these a serious effort, especially during our Western runoff, and I may tie some with a bead for added weight. My purpose of writing this post is to clarify that Tim’s technique with this material definitely helps, however, it isn’t fool proof. When you begin the initial wraps to tie the worm material down it still tends to pull it to the far side of the hook. Also, doing a pinch wrap with dubbed thread is not as easy as Tim makes it look in his video. Bottom line: Tying the Squirmy Wormy with this technique is still a little fussy.
There are a number of YouTube videos on tying the Squirmy Wormy, so check them out. In particular, Fly Fish Food has a couple of variations. Their videos are well done and the techniques are clearly explained.