We’ve all grown out of fishing with worms, right? Well, maybe we shouldn’t have, especially when this time of year rolls around and runoff strikes, sending a winter’s worth of snow down our rivers in a murky torrent.
When high water hits and scours riverbanks, worms that dwell in the earth often find themselves waterborne, drifting at the mercy of the current, where hungry, opportunistic trout are waiting for them.
Now, we don’t have to go full-on, dig-them-from-your-grandmother’s-garden wormy. Instead, tie on the oft-disdained San Juan Worm, add a bit of weight and see what happens. The San Juan Worm (and other worm patterns) imitates a natural food source for trout (and other fish, too, frankly—I have a friend who caught a Bahamian bonefish on a pink SJW) that is often in the water during runoff. There’s not a damn thing wrong with fishing it, either.
As we stive to “match the hatch,” remember what natural prey are in the water for trout at any given time of the year. This time of the year, particularly here in the West, there are worms in the water. Why wouldn’t you match that hatch?
— Chris Hunt