Mar 10, 2021
I debated about even bothering to have a blog post on this subject, since pretty much everyone knows what a worm looks like and the patterns are pretty mundane. But then I thought, what the heck - and so here you go.
I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of san juan worms in their natural habitat - things are little frozen up here right now and there isn't much worm activity going on. But if you google "tubifex" you'll see what these critters are.
As for earth worms - get a load of this:
Yes, Selene and I use worms for composting kitchen garbage. Works great. I was hoping to catch some actually mating, so you could see that, but no luck, we think it is too cold in the house.
Ok, as for San Juan Worms (or any worm imitation, honestly, all you need is a hunk of chenille or vernille lashed onto a hook. Singe the end to taper it and you are good. The tan one here is described as "earthworm tan" which sounded good to me...
If you would like to expand your fly selection you can always go the route of a squirmy worm:
Which is literally just squirmy worm material lashed onto a hook with a tail. I get my squirmy worm material from kids toys, but you can also get it from a fly shop. I like the clear one as there are lots of worms that don't have a lot of color. That said, they tend to be smaller. Hence the following patterns.
I think you've all seen versions of this before - I like this fly because it sinks well and - in this case is clear, altho, of course, you can use whatever color you want. It is also simple - not that worm flies are complex.
But I saw a cool post by a guy on one of the fly tying facebook pages - a guy named Nick Thomas. He was using this to tie extended bodies on his mayflies, but it also struck me as a great way to tie a small clear worm imitation. It is just tippet material, wrapped around a needle, boiled for five minutes and tied onto a hook. We'll see how well it works.