Tying the wireworm

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The wireworm (Jerry Smalley photo)

I read recently that February has not always existed.

February was missing from the Roman calendar and, judging by the rotten weather last weekend, the first of the month, those Romans may have had a pretty good idea.

Fishing-wise, in my book, February is tolerable, at best.

But it’s a great month to re-stock your fly boxes.

The Wireworm is not only a fish-catcher but also gives novice tiers the opportunity to “tie your own” and save a few bucks.

Actually, this fly can be tied in your hands or at a small shop bench vise, besides a normal fly tying vise.

Basically, secure the hook with hand or vise, then wrap a layer of wire.

Experienced tiers may lay down a spiral-bed of thread, wrap wire over it, then tie off with the traditional whip finish.

Novices can further secure the wire with Super Glue.

A few wraps of colored thread can imitate a clitellum, the reproductive “bump” on worms.

In any case, a smooth layer of epoxy can give a fly a more “finished” look.

Nowadays there’s no shortage of colors and diameters of wire. Stripping strands from short lengths of stranded copper wire also saves money.

You can skimp on wire but don’t skimp on the shape of the hook. They’re designed to hook fish while hanging vertically.

Wire worms sink very quickly and are often fished below a bobber, er, I mean “strike indicator.”

It shouldn’t take more than an hour to tie up a dozen of these proven fish-getters.


Hook: Mustad 37140

Body: Wire

Thread: Optional

Clitellum: 3/0 Thread

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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