It is that time of year when our dry fly activity has slowed back down (on freestone rivers) and the best way to keep our rod bent is to find slow deep water and stare at the indicator. With most of our Freestone Rivers high and off color it is time to pull out the heavier tippet and big bugs. While I am not a huge fan of nymphing with worm patterns there comes a time when a fella has gotta do what he has got to do. And that means tying on the bright pink Squirmy Wormy. A lot of my friends have been employing the Squirmy Worm for the past couple seasons and after watching this dirty little worm go to work I have to admit I am a believer. Sure it is not the purest way to hook a trout on a fly rod, but purest went out the window when I mentioned indicator. While the traditional San Juan Worm gets the rod bent there is something about the Squirmy Wormy that drives murky water fish a little bit crazy. I was able to witness this first hand a couple weeks ago during a float down the Eagle River.
After talking up the fishing conditions on the Eagle, a buddy of mine from Utah met me at the put in with a dry fly rod and streamer rod locked an loaded. It was his first time floating the Eagle and I was eager to show him the magic it can produce. Of course when you want something to shine it doesn’t. That was the case that day, we hit every pocket with streamers only to get a few looks. The blue wings poured off and not a single rising fish. I truly think I am cursed. My buddy just happens to be a Spirit River Rep and we both agreed that it was time to bust out the Squirmy Wormy and go mid-evil on these fish. As soon as this pink beauty was deployed we had multiple hook ups and spirits were high –
but we did feel filthy. Despite the BWO hatch the fish were keyed in on Squirmy Wormy and payed now attention to our trailing sparkle wing RS2.
Since our water levels are going to continue to remain high and dirty for the next few weeks I highly recommend that you add a few (dozen) of these worm patterns to your fly box. You can buy the material from Spirit River or you can buy a squirmy squish ball at the dollar store and trim it yourself.