Devin Olsen is one of the leading competitive fly anglers in the world. Recently he put together this video with fly tying instructions for one of his most productive nymphs. I can attribute most of what I have learned about Euro Nymphing to Devin and he has never lead me astray. For this reason, I highly recommend this video, and if you are searching for any of the materials used on this pattern, they are all for sale on his website The Tactical Fly Fisher.
If you ask a kid what fish like to eat, more than likely you will get the response “worms!” Everyone knows that right? Fortunately it’s not tough to wrap a few material on a hook to mimic one of trout’s favorite snacks. However, there are a few tips in this fly tying video that will make tying a latex (condom) worm much easier.
The Vladi Worm is a favorite amongst competition anglers and recreational fly fishers alike. The ease of tying, and the effectiveness on the water make this fly a true winner. One of my favorite applications for the Vladi Worm is on tailwaters where trout are very picky and used to selecting extremely small midges, BWO’s, and scuds. When a healthy morsel the size of a worm passes by many of those picky fish do not hesitate. Thus, rivers such as the Green River below Flaming Gorge, the Provo River, and the San Juan all fish well with worm imitations. In fact, another worm variation, possibly the most popular worm pattern out there was developed on the San Juan and was properly named the “San Juan Worm”. In my opinion the Vladi Worm is a bit more versatile and is typically my first choice of worm imitations.
There are a few key elements that make the Vladi Worm more appealing to me than the San Juan Worm. First, I primarily fish weighted flies instead of using split shot. I can easily add additional weight to the Vladi and cover it with latex to really help the fly get down. As much as I try to add weight to the San Juan Worm it never seams to function the way I hoped. If you primarily fish indicator rigs with split shot then the San Juan Worm can be deadly. However, the condom worm fishes well in both situations which makes it more appealing to me.
This pattern is often tied on curved or bent hooks that imitate the shape of a worm. The pattern demonstrated here is very similar to how Team USA member Lance Egan ties the Vladi Worm. It utilizes a standard scud hook and very few additional materials. I don’t think the bent hooks hurt any, but I also am not convinced they are necessary. Either way, the techniques and materials used in the above video will work great regardless of the choice of hook.
The Vladi Worm tied in a variety of weights (each on is discussed on the video above) has a permanent spot in my nymph box. For both Czech Nymphing and Euro Nymphing this fly is often found tied on my rig.
Hook: Dai-Riki 135 Size 6
Thread (Body): UTC 140 Denier Rusty Brown
Thread (Head): UTC 70 Denier Fl. Pink
Weight: 0.020 Lead, or anodized pink tungsten bead for a super heavy version
Rib: 4X Monofilament
Body: Crown Condom (Pink) cut in a 3/8″ (10mm) strip Buy Here
More and more fly anglers are turning to jig style nymphs these days. Amongst the Euro Nymphing groups, competition anglers have their boxes full of these flies. Many articles have been written on this subject here on the web, so for those who are not as familiar with their benefits they include 1) jig hooks ride up, which should mean fewer snags, 2) Generally with a jig hook you will stick the fish in the top of the mouth or top side of the jaw, not in the bottom near their gills which means better for the fish, and 3) the direction of the eye of the hood leads to a better hook setting angle which will lead to more hooked fish, and fewer fish lost (I believe this is why the competition folks prefer these hooks). There is also debate of the profile a jig hook gives off while drifting in the current that some anglers feel to be beneficial, amongst countless other theories that have convinced serious anglers to switch over their fly tying to this style of hook.
Derek and I have been on the lookout for a strong, sharp, affordable jig hook for quite some time. We have tried nearly every brand of jig hook imaginable. Most have a nice appearance but suffer from being weak. The last thing any angler wants is to hook into a decent fish and have the hook straighten out. For this reason we have struggled with finding a sufficiently strong jig hook, to put it simply most seem to bend out to easily for our liking.
Just this past year we stumbled across an american company (Syndicate Fly Fishing) that offers a very nice looking jig hook with a unique design. Like most brands before it, we tied up a dozen and took them to a stream full of bruisers to test their strength, and to see how well they hold fish.
We were surprised with the fish we were catching on these hooks, and the pressure they withstood. So much so that after a few emails we decided we wanted to offer these hooks to other anglers that may be on similar quests for the right jig hook. The good news is we now sell them here at Fly Tying 123 HERE!
To pair with the Syndicate jig style hooks we have also procured slotted tungsten beads to accompany these hooks. We have been fishing both all summer and into the fall, and have been very satisfied with the quality of both.
We hope that our journey will simplify yours. We are starting with size 14 and a 7/64″ gold tungsten bead, and if others in our community find them useful we will soon pick up a greater variety of sizes and colors. Try these hooks out for yourself, we are confident you won’t be disappointed, and don’t hesitate to let us know of your success!