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  • Monday, January 24, 2011

    It's Just Nuts

    Fish Completely Bonkers
    the worms crawl in

    .. It is the best of times and the worst of times. Fly fishers below the ice, and fly fishers in open water are using the same flies and doing very well.
    .. It's so good that fish are jumping into waders. It's so bad that exotic license plates are outnumbering the neighbor's plates.
    .. The switch to artificial worms is early this year. There are some skeptics that poo-poo the San Juan Worm as not fly fishing.
    .. Well it may or may not be. Orvis sells them in their fly catalog. Orvis also sells several other "non-fly-fishing-flies." The neighbors love them. The fish eat them with gay abandon.
    .. Even the Gob O Worms has made it appearance early and is scoring fish in the 5-pound class, (through the ice.)
    .. And then there's the fly at the top of the post. We don't know it's name but it comes from England. We committed the unpardonable sin of stealing it from a neighbor's fly box while their back was turned, (toward us and behind a bush.)
    .. We have apologized and further humbled our self in the effort to find out the name and source for this segmented wiggler - to no avail. Our misdeed has sealed the lips of the former friend. The damn thing looks like it's molded of vinyl or some such and reminds us of a sunfish lure, (even though it's not yellow. Now there's a thought!)
    .. Several times each year we receive grief in major doses from the neighbors for revealing secrets of place or kind. This post is sure to bring down a flood of ire as well.
    .. For the uninitiated we show the various non-flies that the neighbors are using right now. These things are usually tied at home but, many are now available commercially. Even if you eschew their use, they will provide excellent conversation starters and stoppers.
    .. The San Juan Worm is often called THE DEVIL WORM. It has become a staple of fishers that want to catch fish. Many pretend it's an imitation of a Herculean blood worm. That may be. Perhaps fish dream of these things and lose control when one floats by. Currently the red variety is in vogue on the rivers while the purple or two-toned variety is being used under the ice.
    .. The Gob O Worms is a much disparaged cluster of San Juan Worms on the same hook. It has the distinction of being invented locally, (or so we've been told.)
    .. It can spark vile and evil outbursts from fishers that are usually friends, (LINK.)
    .. It is featured on websites around the region, (LINK,) and is now sold commercially by Idylwilde Flies, HERE. And sold as well by the Driftless Angler, HERE.
    .. Purple, puce, flesh, and red colors are all being used right now. The fish are inhaling these at a record pace.

    .. This year many of the neighbors that usually kindly provide us with flies have turned to the Orvis Catalog. There are some offerings that suit their fancy and they bought some for pattern prototypes.
    .. The Apps Blood Worm is the current favorite from Orvis, (LINK.) It turns out that the fly is just a San Juan Worm with some "flexi floss" tied through the body and separated at the bow and stern. The little red darling is not as effective under the ice as on the river. But on the river it's quite the phenomenon.
    MEDUSA (red)
    .. Another San Juan Worm variant from Orvis is the Medusa, (LINK.) This is, presumably, a fly that will not get you funny looks from your friends.
    .. It's supposed to represent a blood worm cluster, CLUSTER WHAT? It is sold in several colors which suggests that blood worms are chameleons, or have projectile tongues, or some such. This creation is yet another SJW variant with a fat body and clipped floss.
    MEDUSA (pink)
    .. The pink variety featured by Casters Online Fly Shop is doing well under the ice. It's being used with bits of garden hackle and the fish seem to prefer the artificial.
    .. Most of the neighbors, feel that both varieties are the same species and that the folks that tie for Orvis ran out of red and used pink.
    .. A minority opinion is that the red is male and the pink is female. As soon as we capture some in the seine we'll let you know.
    .. Orvis is kind enough to provide even another interesting worm imitation called the SHAKY WORM. It's similar to the rest of these SJW variants but has a pretty glossy body. It also comes with a bit of Phly Phising Philosophy.

    This is not fly fishing heresy. The fact is trout eat worms and not just the ones we fish with. Worms exist in the stream and imitating a worm with artificial patterns is no different than imitating an insect. If it works, use it. Trout fishing worm pattern in red.
    .. We suspect that if these things catch fish in the numbers that the neighbors are reporting that feather merchants across the continent will get in on the selling.
    .. It will be interesting to see if the local purists eschew profits for disdainful posturing. Now there's a can of . . . .