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I was first introduced to the Squirmy Wormy by local shop owner, Dave Hise of Casters Fly Shop in Hickory, NC. Anyone who knows Dave, or has been to the shop, knows that they’re pretty big advocates of the Squirmy (Dave being the original creator). That said, from the moment I first tied one on my nymph rig, I don’t think I’ve ever fished without one since. They just catch fish; it doesn’t matter where you are, how you’re fishing it, or what you’re fishing to. After experimenting with the Squirmy for the past year now, and fishing with Dave twice, I’ve learned a decent amount about how to effectively fish these unusual flies.


  • Ideally, the best time to fish this pattern is after a good rain. Why? Rain typically washes many terrestrials, including worms, into the bodies of water nearest to them.
  • However, I’ve caught plenty of fish, on the Squirmy, on bright, sunny, clear-water days. So don’t be discouraged to throw one on at any time.

Color & Size

  • The Squirmy I fish only comes in one size, size 12.
  • Red and pink beadhead patterns seem to work the best, but I’ve caught fish on a variety of different colors, so it’s really about personal preference.

How To

  • The best way to fish the Squirmy Wormy is on a nymph rig. It doesn’t matter if its a one, two, or three fly nymph rig, I always tie it on the bottom (it seems to cast better that way).
  • On a guided trip with Dave Hise one time he taught me something very unusual that works great on wary fish. If you’ve made several drifts over a group of fish and they approach it aggressively, but just won’t eat it, try wiggling your rod tip with a slack line. This gives the appendages on the squirmy a little more wiggling action, and more often than not they go nuts over it.
  • Don’t be afraid to try this on wild fish either.

Fishing these weird patterns can really turn a bad day around. If you’ve never fished Squirmies before, it’s probably best to add a few to your box.

If you’d like to try some out, here’s a link: San Juan Squirmy Wormy

Be sure to check out our last post: Fishing Dry Flies: There’s a Time and a Place

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2 Responses

  1. Charles Woodward

    Just be careful what you use to tie your squirmy. In Hatchery Supported it must be artificial and following is how the NCWRC defines artificial: An artificial lure is defined as a fishing lure that neither contains nor has been treated with any substance that attracts fish by the sense of taste or smell. Many artificial fishing worms have a scent infused.