Getting Dirty with the Dirty Worm

Let me get this straight, you’re sick and tired of watching all the “pros” tag fish, while you’re stuck watching from a distance throwing rocks in the water in a sad attempt to bring them bad juju. Well, my fair weathered friends, I’m here to help. I want to let you in on a little secret, the bait fishermen were right all along, worms work.

Now, you might say to me, “fly fishing is a purist sport, and I would never tarnish its wonderful image by using such a dirty method.” I suppose then, the first thing you’re going to need to do here is throw out all your morals and begin to think like someone who wants to catch more fish. Okay, so you’ve sold your soul devil, now you’re ready to start fishing the dirty worm.

I need to put something to rest right away. Worms aren’t just found in your local bait shops refrigerator, they are found naturally in water systems. Furthermore, when I say worm, I’m not just talking about those giant dew worms you used to pick up after a rainstorm and throw at your little sister either. There are a number of worm species living within your local fishing holes, and I’ll tell what, fish love them!

So, what’s so special about using a san juan worm? First, it’s a really simple pattern. The san juan is a great pattern to start tying with. Realistically, all that’s required is red thread and red ultra-chenille. I suppose you will need a vise, bobbin, and scissors too, but semantics. I can almost guarantee if you tie up a san juan worm, you will catch a fish on it. Think about it, catching a fish on a fly you’ve tied yourself, swoon! You can even go simpler if you want for that first fly and tie a wired worm. This entails a hook and some red wire, it’s really that simple. I’ve even heard of people using straight red hooks and catching fish. Crazy, right?

How should you fish these majestic flies? As usual, get them deep. Keep adding split shot until you lose as many flies as you’ve lost hair on your head over the years. The natural worms found in water systems will be found in the sandy soul. At point some get dislodged and bounce along the bottom of the river systems. You are trying to represent this when nymphing a worm. There is old saying, fishermen who lose the most flies catch the most fish. Now, I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but I can tell you I’ve either caught lot of fish or I’ve lost my mind. At this point, it’s probably the latter.

If you decide to fish worms in still water, you again will need to be close to the bottom. Fish will dig emerging worms from the soil as they cruise along the lake bottom. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t fish worms higher in the water column. Fish are stupid, sometimes they just eat something that looks good. Almost as if you saw an ice cream sandwich float by you and you thought, “well, this doesn’t look odd at all,” and grabbed yourself a little levitating snack.

To all those fishermen wanting to catch fish on flies they have tied themselves, get out there and sell your soul to the fishing gods. Tie yourself up simple san juan worms and make a memory you’ll never forget.