4 Worm Patterns I Always Carry In My Fly Box

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Worm Fly Patterns That Consistently Catch Fish

It’s no secret worm patterns are super consistent most of the year for catching both stocked and wild trout. They work especially well for stocked fish, after a big rain, and during the spring, winter, and fall seasons. I’ve had days when the only thing I could get trout to eat was a san juan worm. There’s a bunch of haters out there that will not fish them, claiming it’s the next closest thing to fishing a real earthworm, but look in their fly box and I bet you’ll find a few. I on the other hand, have no problem fishing worm patterns, because they do a great job of keeping my clients rods bent, which in turn, pays my bills. To top it all off, worm patterns are among the cheapest and easiest fly patterns for me to tie. I can rip out about a dozen in less than ten minutes, for about $2.50 worth of materials. Choosing to put worm patterns in your fishing line-up, will almost certainly put more fish in your net. Below are four worm patterns I always keep in my fly box.

Click on Photos For Larger Views
Fly Patterns Left to Right: Chamois Worm, Fl. Pink Flash San Juan Worm, Squirmy Wormy, Delektable Soft-Hackle Worm

The Chamois “Shammy” Worm
Yes, you read the name right, this fly is made out of a car drying chamois. For $10-14 you can buy one and tie about 100+ chamois worms with it. This pattern can be deadly after a fresh rain, when earthworms have been washed from

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Bonefish School Report

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By Louis Cahill

It is impossible to overstate how excited I am to be back in the Bahamas.

I’m currently at Bair’s Lodge for three weeks, teaching the Bonefish School. It wasn’t 100% clear that I would be ab;e to come until right before Christmas. Getting the thumbs up from my doctor was a pretty good Christmas present. Being here with 33 great anglers from around the world would be a honor at any point, but right now its a real blessing.

I’m taking it pretty easy. I stayed behind today to rest. My eye was getting irritated but a few steroid drops and a nap seems to have worked wonders. I feel sure I’ll be back in the saddle tomorrow.


I have a whole host of new challenges to be sure, but I’m working through it and having a blast. It’s strong medicine, being able to do the things I love. Bonefishing, and helping folks become better anglers. I even shot a few new videos today so those will be on the site before long. Thanks for all of your patience.

2020 is shaping up to be another great season here on South Andros. Being here, it’s almost hard to remember how devastated parts of the Bahamas are from Dorian. South Andros remains untouched and the fishing has been great. We are seeing lots of big fish, although no one has hit the 10 pound mark yet. Well, we’re only tree days in and those fish are here in good numbers. It’s just a matter of time.

Last night we were working on casting on the beach when huge shark swam by just fifteen feet off the shore. That got everyone really excited. A couple of the guys decided they’d be taking their swimsuits home unused. 

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Big Fish Require Slow Hook Sets On Top

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If any of you have fished for cutthroat trout with dry flies you know most of the time you need to wait a good while on the hook set.

The first time I fished for cutthroats I missed many more takes than I care to share. Cutthroat trout are known for their slow motion rises, and if you set the hook too quick, you’ll end up just pulling the fly out of the trout’s mouth.

Just like cutthroat’s, big rainbow and brown trout also require you to count, 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississip…in your head before you set the hook to ensure consistent hook ups. If you can still see the fish eating your fly you need to wait longer. A big trout comes up, opens it bucket mouth, and usually doesn’t close it fully until it’s submerged completely below the surface. And if a fish is chasing after and eating your dry fly moving downstream, you have to wait even longer.

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Covering a Hatch Starts with Carrying the Right Flies

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Covering and owning a hatch starts with you first carrying the right fly patterns. When you know you’re going to encounter a specific hatch on the water, always carry multiple variations (colors, sizes) and stages (nymph, emerger, dun, spinner) to make sure you’re covered. Trout can get really picky during selective feeding.

This very situation happened to me last year running a guided float trip during an intense sulphur hatch. There was yellow everywhere, and fish were in a feeding frenzy, but the trout wouldn’t eat any of my sulphur patterns I tied on for my clients. Even my CDC go-to patterns that always work, were shunned by the feeding trout. I finally found a sulphur pattern after my seventh try that the trout consistently liked, and it saved the day. It ended up being nothing special, just a dun with in a slightly different color shade. The remainder of the float trip all I could think about was how important it was that I had so many different sulphur imitations on hand. It would have been a long quiet drive back if my clients witnessed an epic hatch with perfect conditions, and we ended up striking out on the water.

Your standard parahcute style dun with a small nymph dropper off the back will not always work. Below are some examples of other fly pattern options for rounding out your fly box and owning a hatch:

Parachute Style (with and without trailing shuck)

Traditional Style (palmered hackle)

Thorax Style (Palmered Hackle with hackle trimmed off on the bottom so pattern rides low on the water)

No Hackle Style (Just like it sounds, no hackle is used in the recipe)

CDC Style (CDC is substituted for

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Concealing your Profile to Catch more fish

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Sometimes its not enough wearing earthy tone colored clothing or even camouflage to keep a smart wily trout from spotting you.

Most of the time, movement and your profile tips educated trout off. When the opportunity presents itself for you to use the natural terrain to conceal or break up your profile, and it happens to lie right next to a good hole, tuck in behind it and use it to your advantage. Sometimes the extra effort will pay off and you’ll find yourself hooked up with a fish that’s outsmarted most other anglers. Brown trout particularly are notorious for spotting you well before you come close to making your first cast. Remember

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The New Simms G4 Pro Wading Boot: Video

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The new G4 Pro Wading Boot is the toughest boot Simms has ever made.

Simms took the development of this new G4 boot very seriously. A lot of field testing went into making a boot that was not only feature rich but totally bomb proof. If you’re looking for a wading boot to last more than a couple of hard seasons, you may have just found it.


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Take the Time to Research Your Boat Ramps

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It’s really easy to get excited about a last minute trip when your buddy calls and says the fish are biting and then not take the time to research the logistics of where you’re going to be fishing. Much of the time things work out in the end when we’re doing what we love but every now and then, no matter how hard you try to make things right, you’re bound to get screwed. That was the case for us during our final day of our recent musky trip with our good friend Charlie Murphy in West Virginia. Due to poor water conditions, we had to go with a Plan B and change our fishing location the final day of our trip. Charlie had taken an friends word that we could launch our boat at the designated spot with no problem. Unfortunately, his acquaintance thought we were launching a drift boat, not a john boat, and that turned out to be and impossible task, without the aid of a cheap pvc roller and a 20 foot section of rope. Now, I’m known for being able to back up a truck and trailer with the best of them and until this day, I was batting a 1000%. So much for my perfect batting average of backing up, because this midget boat ramp put it to me. I tried like hell, but it just wouldn’t fit.

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4 Tips for Getting Better Hookups With Tarpon

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I can remember like it was yesterday jumping my first big tarpon in the Florida Keys.

One hundred plus pounds of fish completely leaping out of the water and crashing down like a free falling Volkswagen Bug. That image will forever be burned into my memory. The only problem is I didn’t end up landing that tarpon. To be brutally honest, my hook set totally sucked donkey balls. I know what your thinking. I’m a trout guide, and I probably set the hook like I was trying to hook a trout, right? Yes, I’ve done that before, but my mistake this time was only setting the hook once. Below are five tips for getting better hookups with tarpon, provided by Capt. Joel Dickey.


1. Keep your rod tip on the water and always point it in the direction of your fly line and fly during your retrieve.
Not pointing your rod tip at your fly line and fly often results in adding unwanted slack between you and the fish. This small amount of slack will increase your chances of not getting a solid hook set. You also will find it hard to feel the bite.

2. Use a 100% strip set when setting the hook.
You can apply far more pressure and power in a hook set with a firm strip set than you can with the fly rod. Many novice saltwater anglers make the mistake of thinking the power comes from the fly rod.

3. Set the hook multiple times for better hook penetration.
When a tarpon eats from left or right often a single hook set will be adequate

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New Year’s Resolutions: 2020

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By Louis Cahill

I think if there is one thing I’m looking for in 2020 it’s resolution.

It’s impossible for me to think, or write, about the coming year without addressing the rays of hope and the clouds of uncertainty I manage hour to hour these days. As I continue my struggle with PVR, it becomes more evident every day that I am running a marathon. I feel very fortunate to be where I am at present, and I truly believe that the worst is over. Still, there’s a lot left to be determined.

At my last meeting with my doctor, hr told me, “I feel like we now know that the house is not going to burn down. Whether it’s a house we want to live in we’re not going to know for a while.”

As of now my retina is still attached, but a section of it is not healthy. That’s the part of the retina most effected by the initial onset of PVR. The scar tissue there is preventing the retina from getting a good connection to my eye. The retina has been reinforced around this area and for now is sound, as long as it is protected by the silicone oil that fills my eye, acting like a cast on a broken bone. If that oil were removed today, the retina would most certainly detach. 

First thing first. I am taking advantage of this current stability, such as it is, to host my three weeks of Bonefish Schools at Bair’s Lodge. I can not tell you how happy I am to be able to do that. I don’t expect to be able to fish every day, but I will fish and I will be able to teach the schools and that is my top priority.

When I get home, I will have another surgery. This one should be an easier recovery than the last two, thank God! The goal will be to flatten out the scar tissue and use the laser to firm up the connection of the retina to the eye. We will then watch the progress for about three months. If the laser work is successful and the retina forms a good bond in the damaged area, then we can start talking about another surgery to clean up some of the last surgeons work and removing the oil. That is the best case, everything goes perfectly scenario. I am focusing all of my positive energy on this outcome.

If the laser work is not successful and the retina remains sketchy, then I have two options.

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Catching Big Trout Sometimes Takes Multiple Attempts

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Several times this past year guiding, my clients would miss a big fish opportunity during our fishing trip.

Sometimes it would be because of a poor hook set, other times, it was completely out of their control by last second refusals or turn offs from the big fish. We’d always make several more casts and try using different flies, but most of the time the big fish would have already caught on and would ignore our offerings despite perfect presentations. Without giving up on the cause I would tell my clients, “no worries, let’s come back later in the day and give that big fish another go”. Not always but quite often, we’d come back and catch that big fish the second time around. When we were fortunate enough for it happened it was the most thrilling guiding for me, and my clients couldn’t have been more pleased and proud of themselves.

If you find yourself wading a river or stream and spot a big fish but don’t catch it, don’t accept defeat, let the fish cool off and come back an hour or two later for a second shot. If you do everything right, most of the time you stand a very good chance at catching the trophy. This simple fly fishing tip, is overlooked by a lot of anglers and it’s paid off for me time and time again throughout my years guiding. Don’t be

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