The Squirmy Wormy is one of those flies that might be slightly embarrassing to tie on, but you’ll get over that once you’ve caught a few fish on it. Originally designed by Dave Hise of Caster’s Fly Shop in Hickory, North Carolina (although he spelled it “Wormie”), the fly is an obvious variation on the famed San Juan Worm. What sets it apart from its forbears is the use of rubbery material for the body. Tar Heel State anglers kept the secret to themselves for a while, but soon the USA Youth Fly Fishing Team was using the Squirmy Wormy to win the 2014 World Youth Fly Fishing Championships. In fact, one international team tried unsuccessfully to get the pattern banned from competition.
Traditionally, the two biggest problems with tying what seems like a simple pattern have been 1. controlling the rubbery material, and 2. wrapping the rubber without the thread cutting through it. Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions has come up with a simple, elegant solution that solves both problems at once. After watching this video, you’ll be able to churn out Squirmy Wormy patterns by the dozen in no time!
And if you’ve got the bandwidth, make sure watch Tim’s videos in full 4K resolution. You’ve never seen fly tying look so good.
Hook: Scud/pupa hook (here, a Dai-Riki #135), size 14.
Thread: Red, 6/0 or 140-denier.
Underbody/overbody: Red Superfine Dubbing.
Body: Red Sili Worm, half a strand.