Braid a worm

Published Aug 15th 2014

Sometimes a fly-tyer thinks out of the box, and suddenly the complex and difficult becomes very simple


The (braided) worm hatch

Clam worms are also known as ragworms or the free swimming polychaetes. Their swarming can give anybody who fishes the salt wet dreams. "Hatching" in great numbers, suddenly very visible in the water and drawing all focus from the fish - be it Baltic sea trout or Caribbean tarpon.
If you are there, in the right place and at the right time, you can find fish blindly focused on worms, their bellies so full that they are about to burst. And that's when you want a good worm imitation in your fly-box.

The problem with the clam worms is that they are both long and very mobile and not easy to imitate, neither in shape nor in movement.
I have tried most patterns, sat through agonizing tying sessions with complex methods trying many techniques, sneezing from marabou and rabbit in the nose and having to vacuum like crazy after my usually unsuccessful attempts to produce a useful fly.

Fortunately, Danish fly-tyer Hans Aarre Pedersen from the shop Equator Sports in Odense on Fyn sat down and invented a novel way to tie these long worms. He found the solution in the neck of little girls with long hair.

He doesn't tie a worm, he braids it. It's simple, easy and the result is a very lifelike, mobile and durable fly.
When you are sitting at the vise tying this pattern, try varying the color and don't just tie it in the traditional brown colors. How about a pink version for winter fishing or a fluorescent white version for the night? There are many possibilities, and you can tie them without it costing you a fortune in materials since this pattern basically only uses one material: Cactus Chenille, available in as many colors as you can imagine.
You can vary the fly further by putting a Sonic Disc just behind the bead or a Petitjean Magic Head in front of it. It will get the worm to dive and wiggle even more.

Color variations

Step 1 - rear hook - Cover the shank with thread
Step 1 - rear hook
Step 2 - tail - Attach the tail
Step 2 - tail
Step 3 - chenille - Tie in the Cactus Chenille
Step 3 - chenille
Step 4 - wrap - Wrap the chenille. Don\\\'t trim waste!
Step 4 - wrap
Step 5 - connecting line - Thread the line through the hook eye and keep it double
Step 5 - connecting line
Step 6 - braid - Braid the two lines and the chenille
Step 6 - braid
Step 7 - clamp - Clamp the braid to keep it together
Step 7 - clamp
Step 8 - front hook - Mount bead and cover shank
Step 8 - front hook
Step 9 - tie in braid - Tie down the braided rope on the front hook shank
Step 9 - tie in braid
Step 10 - cover front hook - Wrap the chenille to cover the front hook shank
Step 10 - cover front hook
Step 11 - finish - Whip finish, trim waste and varnish
Step 11 - finish
Braided Clam Worm
TypeWarm saltwater fly
Hans Aarre Pedersen

Rear hookOwner 50188 size 6
ThreadFluo orange 6/0
TailTwo red hackle feathers
BodyBrown 15 mm Cactus Chenille
Connecting wireSoft braided spin fishing line
Front hookGamakatsu F314 size 6
Bead4 mm black or brass

Tying instructions
  1. Cover the rear hook shank with tying thread
  2. Tie in the feathers for the tail "back to back."
  3. Tie in the Cactus Chenille
  4. Wrap the chenille forward to the hook eye and tie it down, but don't cut it off. Finish the first part of the fly.
  5. Thread the connecting line through the hook eye so that it is double.
  6. Braid the Cactus Chenille and the two pieces of line together. Count the number of braids if you want your flies to have the same length.
  7. Grab the braided part with a set of hackle pliers to keep it from unraveling and remove the rear hook from the vise.
  8. Slip the bead over the front hook, put the hook in the vise and cover it with tying thread to the bend.
  9. Tie the braided rope thoroughly onto the front hook, wrapping to the rear and forwards again.
  10. Cover the hook shank with chenille.
  11. Finish the fly with a whip finish. Trim off the remaining materials and lock with a drop of varnish.

When a big fish slams its dentures into the worm, you can send Hans a kind thought for having made the difficult so easy.

Clam worms

More worm patterns

Video showing the tying method. With Danish speak, but you can easily follow the tying in the video.

User comments
From: Tom Biesot · biesot·at·  Link
Submitted August 21st 2014

Very nice tutorial, finally an easy way of tying a worm pattern!!



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