The Wooly Worm
No one ever forgets the classics, and the fly I would like to tell you a little about is just that, the classic Wooly Worm. This pattern is one of the first flies many beginners learn to tie. It is quick, easy to tie, and master this pattern; the best part about this fly is that it catches fish.
The Wooly Worm is a style of fly that may date back hundreds of years. Flies with a palmered hackle down the hook's shank have been documented as far back as the 1500s. The quaint essential Wooly Bugger was a spin-off of the Wooly Worm. The Wooly Bugger imitates many aquatic life forms, but most folks fish it as a baitfish imitation. The Wooly Worm was designed to imitate large aquatic insects like stoneflies, hellgrammites, etc. large aquatic insects, like the damsel and dragonfly nymph, live in warm water areas but could easily be mistaken for small baitfish or crayfish.
The Wooly Worm is the perfect fly for the beginning fly tier to learn because it is super easy to tie and uses only a few materials. You can tie this pattern in any color or combination your heart desires. Nevertheless, no matter how you tie the Woolly Worm, know that it’s a versatile fly that can be fished on the dead drift or stripped in as a streamer. You can add weight when tying this fly with non-lead wire or a bead head, which is an excellent option for fishing in still waters where panfish tend to hang out.
Below is the material list I use to tie my Wooly Worms:
Hook: 3x long nymph or streamer hook
Thread: 70 Denier, in the color of your choice
Tail: Small Tag of Yarn in the color of your choice (I typically use red )
*Weight: 6-10 Wraps of .015 Lead Wire *This step is optional
Body: Small Chenille or Dubbing in the color of your choice
Hackle: Rooster or Hen Hackle - used to palmer the entire length of the body
Step 1: Clamp hook in vise and crimp barb
Step 2: Start thread one eye length behind the eye and lay down a thread base back to the hook bend
Step 3: Tie in a small piece of yarn for the tail. ( keep it short )
Step 4: Select an appropriate size feather and tie it in at the base of the tail tie in with the feather's curved side facing the hook.
Step 5: Prepare a piece of chenille by stripping away some of the chenille off the core with your fingernail.
Step 6: Tie in the chenille core at the base of the feather and move the thread back to the starting point near the eye.
Step 7: Wrap the chenille forward with close touching wraps to the front starting point, then tie off with 3 or 4 tight wraps while stripping away any excess chenille fuzz with a fingernail.
Step 8: Palmer the feather to the front of the body as shown. Bind the feather down at the front of the chenille with a couple of tight wraps and remove any excess feather with the tips of your scissors. Make sure you don't accidentally clip the thread in the process.
Step 9: Form a nice neat head, whip finish, and cut away thread. Apply head cement, and you are done.
By: Don Corey
I have been told that admitting you have a problem is the first step towards developing a recovery plan for many with addiction problems. I, like many others before me, have tried to avoid it, but to no avail. My efforts to deny it have failed. I admit it; I have a problem. The person who has done this to me also suffers from the same addiction. He knows the pitfalls and effects of this terrible affliction. He doesn’t try to disguise his techniques to get folks to drink the Kool-Aid he serves. One sip and they are hooked. It is hazardous if your spouse finds out about it.
If you thought I was getting ready to admit myself to the nearest
methadone clinic or getting prepared to attend my first AA
meeting, guess again, the terrible thing I am addicted to is
tying full-dress Atlantic salmon flies. I know, I know, how could
I let this happen to me? I am a reasonably intelligent person.
However, I found myself helpless, unable to resist.
It started innocently enough. I foolishly told myself I wanted
to see how those big, beautiful flies were tied. I don’t
want to do it myself. Yeah, right, there I was, sitting in front
of the “drug dealer” himself, watching his every move; the
“deer in the headlight” glaze came over my eyes. He could see it but did not attempt to discourage me. “I think you would enjoy tying these, Don,” he told me. “You ought to come down sometime, and we’ll tie together.” Then I got the devastating e-mail, “having a class in Fairfield, why don’t you come down.”
Fool that I am, I signed up for a class; innocent enough, I thought. Spend the day with a few like-minded people, tying a “pretty” fly on a big hook with no eye. Little did I know how much this one-day event would consume me for years to come. The class day finally arrived, and I headed down I-95 to my destination, the Fly Fishing Only shop in Fairfield, Maine. Seven other “sheep” signed up for the class; they all had the same look, you know, that “deer in the headlight” stare. I had been tying for years, primarily streamers and nymphs. Occasionally a few dries and some Clouser's. So this couldn’t be that much different. But, boy, was I wrong!
Eight hours later, I had tied a married wing, Rosy Dawn. 4/0 Partridge Blind Eye Bartleet Supreme hook, silk gut eye, “real” metal tinsel, Japanese silk floss wrapped wearing silk gloves. I have to keep those rough hands and skin oils from compromising the luster of the floss. Mine didn’t look half bad! He said, “Don, GREAT job!!” My new Sensei had me, hook, line, and sinker. Maybe I WILL pick up a few things and try another one. I can always use more fly-tying materials.
The next thing I knew, I had placed an order that killed the better part of an old “Ben Franklin” that I had neatly tucked in my wallet. Yeah, I need ten colors of Japanese silk and, of course, my pair of silk gloves. Oh yes, both oval and flat tinsel, in extra small, small, and medium sizes. You probably NEED all in both silver and gold. I felt it starting to consume me. I was slowly sinking into the Classic Atlantic Salmon fly-tying rat hole. I needed money for “stuff.” Hmmm, I could eliminate the doughnut with my coffee at work every morning. That will save me 30 cents a day, five days a week; in 5 weeks, I can get those magenta schlappen feathers for throats, maybe a few colors of seal dubbing. If I bring my lunch to work every day, I can save $4.00 a day. In 6 weeks, I can purchase that select jungle cock cape that I seriously NEED. Who knew that there are 24 colors of dyed center turkey tail feathers??? I have to have at least one set. That acquisition is a whole other story.
I found myself experiencing terrible nightmares. I would wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. How do I get those damn Amgold tail fibers to marry with the 22 goose fibers in the wing? That bronze mallard roof, UGH! I close my eyes, and I see a lump in my floss body. I see a tiny gap between the wraps of silver tinsel in the tag. My GAWD, there are six wraps of ribbing on that body instead of 5. I will never get this right.
Then I wake to the soft voice of the person responsible for this dilemma, Sensei Ed Muzeroll. His kind words of encouragement and his slow, deliberate teaching style. One would think he is a wonderful, nurturing mentor. Wrong; he is the “evil” person responsible for this addiction. His extraordinary talent makes it look so easy. Everything is perfect. No bumps and no gaps; everything flows together. I can never forgive him for what he has done to me. I have an idea that I will have to live with this addiction for the rest of my life…. I can only hope.
Hey Ed, you B@$?##$, can you send me a few Partridge 6/0 blind eye Adlington & Hutchinson hooks and some Indian crow feathers? Oh yeah, I need some silk gut too! By the way, when is your next class?
Written by: Jerry Coviello
Photographed By: Jerry Coviello
Creator: Syd Glass
The Orange Heron Spey Fly is one of the most famous patterns Syd Glasso used, especially for winter Steelhead in the Pacific Northwest. Since the 1950s, Syd Glasso has fished for steelhead in the Pacific Northwest. He adapted classic Spey flies to fish his favorite rivers, and people are still fishing this pattern today.
Hook: Alec Jackson Spey Fly Hook Daiichi 2051 (fly shown size 1/5)
Thread: Red 8/0
Tag: Flat Silver Tinsel
Rib: Oval and flat silver tinsel
Body: First half orange Floss and orange Seal fur or substitute SLF Fibers for the rest Body hackle: Grey Heron (substitute with Blue Eared Pheasant or similar)
Wing: 2-3 pairs of orange hackle tips.
Place the hook in your vise. Bring your thread to
where the point of the hook is.
Tie in the silver tinsel tag. The tag is from the middle
of the barb of the hook to the point of the hook.
Tie in the oval tinsel where the eye loop ends.
Tie the tinsel along the hook shank and stop mid-shank.
Tie in the flat silver tinsel at mid-shank.
Tie in the Orange Floss.
Secure all the materials in front of the tag.
Then bring the thread to mid-shank.
Wrap the orange floss for half the body.
Tie in the Blue Ear Pheasant Body feather by the tip.
Dub the second half of the body with the Seal Fur substitute.
Fold over the body hackle feather and one wrap of the bobbin
holder to help keep the feather out of the way for the ribbing step.
Rib the fly with the flat silver tinsel with even spacing.
Wrap the body hackle in the opposite direction
through the fur part of the body.
Wrap the oval tinsel along side the silver tinsel.
Touching the silver tinsel and cross wrapping the body
hackle to strength the hackle so it doesn’t break from the teeth of the fish.
Tie in the teal hackle by the tip.
Fold the feather as your wrap it two or three times around.
Tie in 2 pairs of orange hen hackle tips.
The tip should be to the barb of the hook.
Whip finish forming the head and head cement.
Jerry Coviello is an accomplished fly tier and an FFI Buz Buszek Fly Tying Award Recipient.
He serves as the Fly Fishers International Fly Tying Group Chairperson, Fly Tying Column Editor for Fly Fisher Magazine, a columnist for Fly Tyer Magazine, the President and newsletter editor for Delaware Valley Fly Fishers, and a Norvise Ambassador. Jerry also serves on the FFI Education Committee, developing Fly Tying Workshops to help members learn how to tie flies; he created a YouTube Channel, “Jerry’s Fly Tying Tips,” with over 100 fly-tying videos to teach how to tie flies.
Jerry teaches workshops at the FFI Fly Fishing Expo and many Online Fly Tying Workshops and Presentations. He is a demonstration fly tier at the International Fly Tying Symposium, the FFI Fly Fishing Expo, The Maryland Fly Fishing Show, and The New Jersey Fly Fishing Show.
Pro Team Member for the following:
Solarez UV Resin
Life Member of Fly Fishers International and Trout Unlimited
Social Media Profiles:
Stephen Nymick is not only a Norvise Team Member, but he is also an experienced and licensed fishing guide. He owns Stephen Nymick Fly Fishing LLC. and also guides for Steelhead Alley Outfitters. We have the pleasure of fishing with Stephen every fall on the Annual Norvise Hosted Steelhead Trip; we guarantee that he will not only put you on the fish, but you will have a great day fishing with him. If you love to fish big streamers for Brown Trout or swing flies for Steelhead then do not wait too long to book a day or two on the water with Stephen, or he will be booked up.
*Open this blog post to view Stephen's Norvise Data Sheet*
Austin Andrews is a Norvise Team Memeber who lives out in Idaho and works part time at fly shop while he finishes high school. Austin decided to start tying flies out of the blue even thought no one in his family tied or fly fished. Check out his data sheet below to find more about Austin.
Steven Warren is a new addition to our Norvise Team. Five years Steven started fly fishing and tying and not turned back since. He enjoys catching fish on a fly he tied. Read the bio below to find out more about Steven.
Our retired geophysicist who recently retired, Ambassador Mike Corrigan. Mike lives in Central Canada and ties flies commercially. Check out his bio sheet below for more about Mike and his passion for fly tying and fishing.
I have put together a brand new presentation for 2021. I am looking forward to debuting this presentation for the first time next Thursday. This will mark my first in-person presentation in almost two years and I am very excited about that!
Stripers are one of the most popular game fish to catch on the planet. I have spent a good portion of my adult life pursuing this great fly fishing quarry. During my "Seven Stripes, the who, what, where, when, why and how of to catch Striper on the fly" presentation we will discuss all aspects of catching Stripers on the fly, from what or who the fish are, to how and where to catch them. If you are a striper junkie like me, then you will not want to miss this presentation!
The first chance to catch this presentation will be at the October Delaware Valley Fly Fishers meeting. The DVFF meeting will be Thursday, October 14th, at 7:00 PM, at the Churchville Nature Center, located at 501 Churchville Lane, Churchville, PA. Click HERE for directions. I will start the presentation shortly after the end of the club business. There will be something for every type of fly fisher in this presentation, from the first-year rookie to the seasoned jetty rat. This event is open to the public, with a nominal entry fee for non-club members. This promises to be a great evening; we hope to see you next Thursday night.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact us, if not we look forward to seeing some of our Norvise tyers attending this great event.
Till next time...
Tight lines - Tim
Ambassador Dave Allsion has been a very busy man throughout his life. He is a retired animal surgeon, was a roadie for Waylon Jennings, and he was the President of the Wasatch Fishing Club in Utah for years. Most recently Dave moved to Montana with his wife and they have been focusing on fixing up their new home. You can read more about Dave his passion for fly tying and fishing below.