I’ve been tying San Juan Worm patterns for a few years now with Spirit River’s Squirmy Wormies, and fish love them because of the life-like movement the material has in the water. That being said, I’ve had problems finding certain colors like fluorescent pink, chartreuse, and the right color green. My buddy and guide Erik Ashlin turned me onto Kids Puffer Balls. They’re a spin off from the famous “Koosh Ball”, that many of us enjoyed playing dodge ball with in the 80s and 90s, and they come in just about any color you can imagine. You can find them at your local Dollar General and Walmart stores for $5 or less, and you can tie at least 100 flies from just one of them. Probably more like 200 worm flies.
In a pinch, Erik points out, you can snip one of the legs off, and tie it on a hook with a simple overhand knot. No bobbin, vise, or tying thread is needed. Just cinch the knot down evenly on the hook and the material will stay in place. Personally, when I have the time to tie them at the vise, I like to tie one leg on each end of the hook and wrap a couple strands of Spanflex around the middle of the hook for a smooth proportioned body. That’s just personal preference though, either tying method works. You can also just thread each leg on the hook, dab some superglue on the hook, and push the two legs together. Wah-lah, you’ve got a great worm pattern without ever having to pick up your bobbin.
Don’t just tie San Juan Worms, I’ve been using them for inch-worm patterns, caddis larva, and even wrapping the hook with them for bright bodies on my nymphs. This is a cheap and versatile product that you should be able to find several purposes for in your fly tying. We hope you enjoyed this week’s DIY (Do It Yourself) tip from Gink & Gasoline.
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