Most folks consider the Woolly Worm to be derived from the English Palmer Fly, which was popular with anglers as early as the Eighteenth Century. This American version may have originated in Arkansas as a bass fly, and in the 1950s, a friend from the South sent one to Don Martinez, a commercial tier in West Yellowstone, Montana. The story goes that Martinez would walk around his small fly shop tying Woolly Worms with a small hand vise, much to the delight of his customers. The pattern can be fished any way you want–as a wet fly, as a dry fly, or as a nymph–and it’s effective in all parts of the water column.
In this week’s video from Tightline Productions,Tim Flagler walks you through the process of creating an attractive a durable Woolly Worm. By using superglue and counter-wrapping both the chenille and hackle, Tim locks everything down, which will allow the fly to survive many fish mouths. Pay special attention to how Tim cords and uncords the thread for the most effective wraps.
Hook: 3X-long streamer hook (here, a Lightning Strike SN3), sizes 10-14.
Adhesive #1: Superglue.
Weight: Lead-free wire, .015.
Thread: Black, 8/0 or 70-denier.
Tail: Red Angora rabbit yarn.
Body: Black Ultra Chenille, micro.
Hackle: Grizzly saddle hackle.
Head: Tying thread.
Adhesive #2: Head cement.