The Squirmy Wormy Fly


The original squirmito was created by Dave Hise of Casters Online. A better worm fly and variant of the more widely known San Juan Worm. Known for smashing strikes and reported to be one of the only flies that trout will actually pursue… the Squirmy Wormy. Can be used for any fish that eats worms. The San Juan worm has won more than it’s share of one fly tournaments and the squirmy should also. The Squirmy Wormy is what I consider a better variant of the San Juan Worm.


Tied with silicon strands that feel like rubber and have excellent wiggly action. If you get or have squirmies do not leave in a hot car. If tying squirmies do not use any type of adhesive or UV resin as the material will melt. Well tied flies should catch more than a couple of fish, survive some hard bites, and last more than 100 casts. Hooks the fly is tied on should be known as well… as many low-quality, no-name, unbranded, poor performers are out there. A good hook is a Mustad, Dai Riki, MFC, J Stockard, for starters. There are many premium brands one can use but do not expect anyone that ties commercially to use them unless asked and if you are willing to pay extra and wait longer. The silicone should have a larger diameter than rubber legs, stretch 5X length before breaking, and not be brittle or cracked. Any dubbing on fly should adhere evenly with few strands sticking out. Any beads… if used… should be of non-toxic material. NO head cement or resin should be present. Sili material should be cut even not ripped. If the thread is showing on body and creating sections on material then fly is inferior and will be destroyed on hard bites as the thread will cut it. Some tyers do wrap the material on the hook… I do not. IF material is not wrapped it should not lay under the hook… this is a skill that many do not master… the pinch… and then the material “rolls” to the sides and under the hook creating a godawful looking mess… If wrapped should be even sections not stretched too tight.


Any nymphing rig should work with your fly fishing rig, double nymph with strike indicator, a big floating fly for indicator with a dropper, or just the squirmy, adding split shot if needed. For spinning, spincast and casting rigs… use a spoon/spinner such as panther martin, mepps or other with hooks removed and fly tied on as a dropper. I myself use a spinning bubble 10lb test mono with a swivel and tie 3lb tippet or mono to swivel about 18 inches long. You may also use rubber bands knotted to the line in two places one 18 inches above the nymph/wet fly and another at desired depth to stop the spinning bubble. You use the wedge type spinning bubble to add water so you can cast a fly with gear other than a fly rod. This works with most flies you cannot cast with spinning, spincast or casting gear due to the weight issues. OHH… Almost forgot if you have never used spinning bubbles use the clear ones that have a clear tube through the center that wedges and allows for adding of water for casting weight… use just enough water to cast. You may add split shot close to your nymph if there is current so you can get it down. Fishing a pattern on a creek and catching 100 brookies or cutthroats does not mean you have a good pattern. Fish in most creeks here in Montana will touch anything that hits the water from pine needles, grass or tree bark pieces.


The way I tie is like the Tightline Productions video on YouTube and Orvis sites.

Materials list are included on the Orvis site. For My red worms, I use Quick Descent dubbing though any dubbing of the same color as squirmy material should work fine. This is not an exact science. I will mention… again… do not use any type of glue, cement or resin with this fly as the reaction melts the material. I half hitch and then use two 3 turn whip finishes to finish. There are many patterns using the squirmy material just Google around and find one you like. Most techniques are covered in the Fly Tier’s Benchside Reference.


You will find that many shops handle this pattern or one that is similar. If you buy just look for the tell tale signs of poor quality I covered earlier… enjoy and tightlines!

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