Kevin Porteous shares his thoughts and tactics on the fish catching capabilities of the Squirmy Worm…
Rewind the clock back to 2013 when Mike Low, Steve Carew and Kieron Jenkins started to experiment with a material which would go on to be known as Squirmy Worm. On the materials maiden voyage at Garnffrwd Fishery the trio landed numerous fish up to 11lb on the experimental material. Since then the Squirmy Worm has spanned the globe proving to be a great stillwater and river pattern. I’m not sure the guys would have realised what they just discovered back in 2013. I don’t use the term “game changer” very often however I think its safe to say Squirmy can be classed as a game changer.
Under The Bung Or Twitch It Back
Back in 2013 Kieron used the Squirmy under a bung to present the worm like morsel close to the deck where a lot of the larger fish were holding. Fishing the Squirmy under the bung offers a few advantages, we can accurately set the depth the pattern will be presented at and hold it there for a long time. The bung also allows us to present the fly as static as is possible, which can be key in catching pressured fish. Another popular method to fish the Squirmy is to twitch them back on an intermediate line. Make lots of short erratic pulls to kick as much life as you can into the pattern. Always throw a few pauses into the retrieve, which is sometimes when the fish will connect. When twitching the worms back like this we will quite often experience nips before the fish will fully commit inhaling the pattern. It’s important to try to refrain from striking too much when the fish are nipping the pattern. If we strike too soon it will lift the fly out of the fish’s window sometimes resulting in a loss of interest. Make sure to fish them right back to the bank, as this is the last opportunity for the fish to grab the pattern.
Whether we are fishing the Squirmy under the bung or pulling it back on an intermediate line its important to have a think about what the worm is doing under the water. For fishing under the bung we have to incorporate some weight normally in the fashion of a brass or tungsten bead. I usually find a brass bead between 3.2mm and 3.8mm is perfect for sinking the fly quickly to depth. I can get away with using smaller sizes for tungsten, as it’s a lot denser. One leg of Squirmy facing out of the front and back of the hook will look very tantalising to the fish and this will site the hook in the middle of the pattern.
Wiggle Those Worms
When tying Squirmy Worms for a pulling cast it’s important to drop the front leg protruding over the hook eye. If we leave it in the forward facing leg just wraps itself round the hook shank sometimes fouling the point, which will cost you fish. We want plenty of ‘wiggle’ in the worm so try and use a piece of Squirmy material with a natural wave in it. This will try to straighten every time it gets twitched which will create a lot more movement and interest from the fish. Think about what depth you would like to present the pattern; the material is naturally buoyant so if you tie it onto a light hook with no bead it will want to stay close to the surface. I find a Fulling Mill Competition Heavyweight size10 is about the perfect hook for the pattern. Pop two worms on a Midge Tip or Intermediate fly line and you will effectively cover the top two-foot of water. If you would like to fish deeper with the same flies drop down a line or two until you find the fish. Either that or tie some up with small beads to drag the cast down.
Have A Range Of Worms
When I’m out fishing the Squirmy Worms I always make sure I have a wide supply of them in my box. This is for two reasons, savage takes can damage the material and I like to have various colours to experiment with over the course of the day. I would normally start with bright patterns like Shocking Pink or Fluorescent Zest and then move onto the more sombre colours like Competition Pink and Olive as the fish become more spooky. If you are fishing the pattern at depth its worth trying the glow in the dark Cat Green.
Worm patterns whether it’s Squirmy or the very effective Chewing Gum seem to be here to stay having already proven there worth time and time again. It’s maybe worth a little swim on your local river or stillwater.
Kevin Porteous is a multi-capped Scottish International angler having represented his country at both junior and senior level. He started fly fishing at the age of nine and spends most of his fishing time on still waters in pursuit of trout. He has recently developed many modern synthetic fly tying materials and is the man behind the Frozen North Fly Fishing brand.