This month Allan talks us through 'The Squirmy Worm...

Arguably the most controversial material of recent times, we’ve all heard of the ‘Squirmy Worm’ and love it or hate it, the worm is here to stay.

From the ‘bait fishing with flies’ to ‘not proper fly tying,’ I’ve heard lots of reasons why many anglers don’t like using ‘Squirmies’ but the fact is simply this, these things work.

Long ago in my ‘Angling Apprentice’ years bait fishing was an accepted way of chasing our wild trout and grayling and the simple ‘Brandling Worm’ was one of the best baits you could use.  Fished below a nylon leader weighted down with lead split shot to get it down to the fish as quickly as possible, the fishing method was simple, get it on the bottom and if it’s not then add more weight.  Sound familiar, exactly what we need to do when working Czech or French style.

Simple to tie and simple to form some heavy weight bottom bouncing fish attractors, this material works very well on the Jig Hook and both trout and grayling show more than a passing interest for them.  Not so hard to understand when you consider the amount of water-borne or land-borne relatives washed into our water systems and down towards hungry, eager fish.

A well placed ‘Squirmy’ kicking it’s way to the fish can be a real killer and if you fish the river beds with tungsten based flies there’s certainly a place for these in your armoury.

Not the prettiest flies you’ll ever see but who cares if it pulls a fish or three, easy to tie which is just as well because they take some punishment and you almost accept they are expendable when you use them, just like the old days when chasing trout with a humble worm.


Hook: Partridge Patriot Jig (SUJ) Size 6 to Size 10

Thread: Uni 6/0 Red

Under-body: Medium lead foil

Body: Red ‘Squirmy Worm’ material (Veinard)

Bead: 4.0mm (5/23”) Faceted Tungsten Gold (or black) bead (Orvis)


Tying Sequence:

Step 1 Simple start, place bead on hook.

Step 2 Cut 3mm strip of flat lead.

Step 3 Trim lead strip to point to allow a taper at point of winding onto hook.

Step 4 Wind lead onto hook.

Step 5 trim lead and flatten behind bead.

Step 6 Trip lead strip to point and wind on top of first strip starting slightly short to ensure taper at the hook bend.

Step 7 Trim off and flatten behind bead.

Step 8 Cover lead under body with thread.

Step 9 Tie in rubber worm body.

Step 10 Wind rubber worm body with touching turns up hook.


Step 11 Tie in rubber worm body behind bead and whip finish thread.

Step 12 Offer lighter flame to worm body to light end before immediately blowing out.

Step 13 Whilst still hot squeeze and roll end of rubber body to form tapered end.

Step 14 Bring opposite end forward before repeating Step 13.

Step 15 Colour end of worm body with black pantone pen.

Step 16 Repeat Step 15.

Step 17 Apply UV varnish to ends to protect colour and set with torch.

Allan Liddle

Based in Moray in Scotland's North East, Allan has specialises with the wild trout from the rivers and burns, lochs and lochans throughout Mainland Scotland and the Isles. A strong passion for fishing simple dries he feels there's nothing better than to see the fish take off the top, but isn't slow to fish a range of different styles when mood or conditions dictate. Although trout is his first love Allan occasionally chases the Salmon, Grayling stocked fish and even dabbles in salt water when the chance arises.

Allan has also represented Scotland at international level, is a GAIA qualified trout instructor and a has been a regular contributor to Fly Fishing and Fly Tying Magazine for almost twenty years. Allan’s love of fly tying spans almost thirty years and has been a regular at many tying demonstrations and work shops prior to, and since joining the Partridge Pro-Team in 2013.

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