Fishing Fly tying

Fly tying: The Squirmie Worm

With all the new synthetic tying materials available today, it’s becoming easier and easier to craft patterns that are at the same time wickedly accurate imitations of natural fish food and oddly surreal.

A couple weeks back, my son and I spent eight days chasing pike in northern Manitoba, where I put to use the new-ish Orvis Dragontails. The little wiggle in the fly on the retrieve was irresistable to both pike and walleye, and, while I was clearly fly fishing, there was a dark question in the back of my head: “Am I cheating?”

That’s kind of how I feel about the Squirmie Worm, tied above by Josh Diller of Frisco, Colo. It’s clearly a fly. It clearly imitates a red worm, which is common on most trout streams. But the material—the Squirmito from Caster’s—might make a traditional fly caster feel as if he or she is chasing trout with an unfair advantage.

Regardless, the fly tied above is super effective—I love to fish “The Worm” in high water, when there are actually worms sloughing into the rivers as runoff erodes muddy banks. But it works all year long, frankly, and it’s worth having a handful in your box.

And it’s not cheating. But maybe… don’t tie it on your tippet in front of anybody.

— Chris Hunt

By Chris Hunt.