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Monday, January 14, 2013

Fly Tying 101 - The San Juan Worm

The San Juan Worm has been a staple in many guides boxes over the years. Considered taboo by fly tying and flyfishing purists. There is no denying that tying the San Juan has become an art form, spawning many variations on the theme. Some tyers prefer the front of the fly to be longer than the tail or visa versa, some like to put a big tungsten bead on for additional weight, and there is no shortage of imaginative ways to use new synthetics in an attempt to make the perfect fish catching Annelid.

That creative control is what I think people love about fly tying, and for a pattern that takes roughly 2 minutes to tie you can do a lot with this very simple design. The beauty of the San Juan is that there are always annelids/worms in some shape or form in the river system. This is why it never hurts to have a worm as your lead fly on a multiple fly rig. My personal favorite time to fish them is after a bump in flows, or I like to use a red San Juan as my lead fly during the spawn.

San Juan Worm Recipe

Hook: TMC 2488 Scud hook in your favorite size
Thread: Your favorite color 8/0 or 70 denier
Worm body: You favorite color standard ultra chenille.

For a look at a really cool variation of the San Juan Worm tied by Jamie Roth click here! He literally took a basic San Juan Worm and covered it in epoxy and it looks like it would rip lips under the right condition! For a look at the San Juan tied with a Pearl Core Braid follow this link. As always if you have any questions or would like to schedule me for a guided trip shoot me an email at

For more tying videos click HERE.

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