Fishing | Fly tying | Video spotlight

The Woolly Worm

Tying the Woolly Worm.
The Woolly Worm in its early stages.

The Woolly Bugger’s less-sophisticated cousin, the Woolly Worm, is an excellent searching pattern for subsurface trout, and it has the added benefit of being an excellent pattern for panfish, like crappy and bluegill.

Above, Tim Flagler ties a really durable version of this venerable pattern. If it’s meant for non-stop action on bluegill, it needs to have some staying power to survive constant strikes. That’s why it might appear, in the video, that Tim’s accomplishing a bit of overkill with the thread wraps.

Nevertheless, no matter you choose to tie the Woolly Worm, know that it’s a versatile fly that can be fished both on the dead drift or stripped in as a streamer. You can add weight to it with non-lead wire or a bead-head, too, which is a good option in still waters where panfish tend to hang out.