Part Fourty-nine

Randy Fratzke

Worm Flies?

By Randy Fratzke


Okay, most of you know, I'm a pretty liberal guy when it comes to fly fishing and what I feel constitutes a fly or lure or bug, etc. But I gotta tell ya, I have finally found my limit. And, it ain't pretty. Chenille worms. Complete with double harness hooks and all. Seems some fly angler bet a bass angler that he could catch as many bass with his fly rod as the other could with his bass outfit. He lost, the story goes, 10 fish to his 1. The other guy was using Berkley Power Worms for lures, the fly angler was using his bass flies and poppers. So out of frustration, he went home and "invented" the "Chenille Worm" so he could "compete" with the "regular bass anglers on a more even turf."

I know that I've been accused of using a fly rod and small poppers to catch bass "just so I can say I caught them on a fly rod" instead of a spinning outfit. And my argument has always been that "artificial means artificial" and that as long as the "fly" represents something that the fish uses for food that, if you could make an artificial representation of it for fly fishing, it was "fair game." There are terrestrials, poppers, scuds, muddlers, wets, streamers, nymphs, etc. that "traditional" fly anglers sneer at because they're not "upstream and dry", but us panfish anglers (and a lot of trout anglers) embrace because they match the forage of the fish we're trying to catch. But worms?

Why not just go back to bobber fishing? I know there has always been a controversy concerning the famous San Juan Worm, which is basically a piece of red chenille with a hook in it and I do have a tendency to lean against it. I'm not really even sure why, but to me, it just smacks of taking things to the ridiculous.

I guess sooner or later someone will come up with the doughball lure to help them catch carp, and the stinkbait lure so they can catch catfish on a fly rod. Or, better yet, just start putting live minnows on the hook to catch crappies and larger chubs for pike. For that matter, why not just put real worms or Berkley Power Worms on the line? I mean, as long as we're tearing down the limits and expanding the envelope, we might as well go all the way.

Now don't get the idea that I'm going "traditional" on you, but, like I said, I've at last found MY limits. YOU need to find your own limits, what ever YOUR comfortable with. I'm sure the next trick will be spraying flies with fish attractants. "Yup, pass me one of them there crawdaddy flies and a little of that there spray...ya think my 20 lb tippet's enough?" ~ Randy Fratzke

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