Squirmy Wormie

Some people don’t consider a San Jaun Worm an actual fly.  It does get ragged on, but there is a reason that it holds a place in most fly fishermen’s arsenal… it works!  Fish love eating worms, they are found in the water year round, and they can be a particularly effective fly after a rain.  The Squirmy Wormie stands out among the different San Jaun Worm variants because of the material used to tie it.  The material is made by Spirit River and is a soft stretchy flexible material that is more akin to a soft plastic bait than a fly tying material.  To be honest it can be a difficult material to tie with since it not the most durable, it does not mix with glues, and deteriorates in high heat,.  Despite all of this some swear that it is hands down the most productive San Juan Worm variant.  There are a few ways to tie the Squirmy Wormie, but this is a quick method that allows you to tie in as much or little weight as you desire while making the fly durable.


  • Hook: Daiichi 1130 size 14-8
  • Thread: 70 Denier or 8/0
  • Weight: lead or lead free wire
  • Body: Spirit River Squirmy Wormies
  • Rib: Medium wire

Squirmy wormie pics 004Start by securing the hook in your vice and wrap the desired amount of weight onto the hook.  Putting a small drop of glue will help keep the wire in place.

Squirmy wormie pics 034Begin your thread base behind the eye of the hook continue it back over the lead wire to the point where you began where the wire starts as shown.

Squirmy wormie pics 037Secure the wire and tie it in all the way to the bend making sure that it follows the contour of the hook as you secure it.

Squirmy wormie pics 070Tie in the Squirmy Wormie material with a few thread wraps directly on top of each other.  There should be about 1-1.5 shank length of material hanging of the back as shown.  Pull the excess material laying towards the eye of the hook back behind the point where you tied in the Squirmy Wormie and make a few wraps of thread right in front of the tie in point then bring your thread back to the eye of the hook.

One Squirmy and white streamers 020Now wrap the Squirmy Wormie material to the eye of the hook and tie it off with a few thread wraps directly on top of each other.  Then pull the excess material hanging in front of the eye back behind the tie off point and make a few thread wraps in front.

Squirmy wormie pics 074Finally you will counter wrap the wire up the body and tie it off where you left your thread in the previous step.  Cut of break off the excess and whip finish.  Then trim the excess Squirmy Wormie material off the front of the fly leaving 1-1.5 hook shank length of material hanging off the front and the fly is done.