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Hard-Hackle Worm
By Richard Komar

A worm is an animal with a soft, slender body and no backbone or legs. There are thousands of species of worms, the largest measure several feet long and the smallest ones can't be seen without a microscope! Some worms live in water or soil. There are four main groups of worms: flatworms, ribbon worms, roundworms and segmented worms. Segmented worms, which include leeches and earthworms, are of most interest to flyfishers.

Flyfishers are always looking for a lightweight imitation of the earthworm, so allow me to introduce another member of my Hard-Hackle family: the Hard-Hackle Worm!

Materials List: Hard-Hackle Worm

    Hook: Mustad 94840, or Equivalent, sizes 6, 2, or 1/0.

    Thread: 6/0 or 8/0 Brown

    Body: Rooster Cape Feather, Brown or furnace.

    Tail: Rooster Saddle Feather, Brown or furnace.

    Eyes: Plastic Christmas Tree Garland, gold color.

Tying the Hard-Hackle Worm

    1. Lay a smooth thread base along the hook shank starting from the hook eye, wrapping toward the hook bend and attach two saddle feathers, one on top of each other, concave side (dull) down. For a size 6 worm, make the overall length 3 inches; for a size 2 or 1/0 bass worm, make the total length 5 inches.

    2. Select a rooster cape feather and tie it in at the hook bend, concave side (dull) facing the hook eye. Wrap the hackle densely toward the eye. You will need to attach a second hackle midway to densely wrap the entire shank.

    3. Tie in a pair of plastic bead eyes near the hook eye with a figure 8 wrap, whip finish and apply head cement. Done!

    How to Fish the Hard-Hackle Worm:

    The Hard-Hackle Worm is virtually weightless and with its streamlined, earthworm shape, aerodynamic as well. The eyes are plastic so as not to give the worm a "head-down" feeding posture, but rather a free-swimming form which gives it plenty of body action to entice fish.

    The Hard-Hackle Worm is fished on the surface first and it imitates a small snake at this stage. When the hackles become waterlogged, or the flyfisher tugs the Worm, it will slowly sink. The Worm is fished very, very slowly, with occasional short twitches. You can attach a monofilament weed guard if you will be fishing weedy, grassy areas. The Worm is most effective along shorelines and edges of hydrilla and lily pads.

    I have caught bluegills, largemouth bass and even catfish (my largest was 21" inches and very mean). Tie the Hard-Hackle Worm in a variety of colors and don't forget to share them with your fellow flyfishers. Have fun.

    ~ Richard

    About Richard:

    Richard Komar resides in Plano and flyfishes the warm waters of north Texas from his folding boat. He is a member of the Dallas FlyFishers and the Federation of Fly Fishers.

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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