How to tie the Bloodworm Stillwater Fly

The pupa of the Buzzer is not the only one of its aquatic stages to be consumed by trout. The wormlike larvae come in a range of colours, from green and olive to this most conspicuous one of all — the bright red bloodworm. For most of their development, bloodworm live concealed in tubes constructed from a mixture of mucous and particles of silt.

But, whether through being disturbed or the need to migrate there are times when bloodworms leave this protection to swim in open water. This they do with a sinuous lashing motion of their bodies, an action which is difficult to copy but which can be imparted, to a degree, by using a mobile material such as hair or marabou.

Here bright red marabou has been chosen — just a small, slim tuft to give the pattern some life but not so much that it becomes bulky. The body, too, in order to imitate that of the natural must be tied slim and smooth and here a thin plastic material called Nymph Glass has been used. The beauty of this product is that it is both translucent and can be stretched, thereby reducing bulk to the barest minimum. A further benefit is its tubular shape, which helps produce a lifelike segmentation to the body.

Hook Size 10-12 Grub hook Thread Red

Tail Red marabou or cock hackle base

Body Red Nymph Glass or Body Flex

Thorax Red fur

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1. Fix the hook in the vice. In patterns that are tied “round-the-bend” this means initially positioning it sloping down. Select a large dyed-red cock hackle.

2. Tear a small pinch of the soft, downy fibres from the base of the cock hackle. Catch them in with tying thread to form the tail.

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3. Reposition the hook so that it sits normally in the vice jaws. Carry the thread over the waste end of the tail materials ensuring bulk is kept to a minimum.

4. Once the tying thread has reached a position just short of the eye, take a four-inch length of red Nymph Glass and catch it in with tight thread turns.

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5. Continue winding the thread over the Nymph Glass, which should be kept under tension throughout. This causes it to stretch and reduces bulk.

6. Carry the thread right down to the base of the tail so that the body material is fixed firmly to the hook shank.

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7. Counter-spin the thread so that it lies perfectly flat and wind it back to the eye. Next, take hold of the Nymph Glass and begin winding it in touching turns towards the eye.

8. Keep winding the Nymph Glass, keeping it under tension at all times so that it stretches and sits flat on the shank. When the eye is reached, secure the loose end with repeated thread turns.

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9. Remove the excess Nymph Glass with scissors before dubbing on a tiny thorax of red fur. Cast off the tying thread with a whip finish.

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WHERE, WHEN & HOW TO FISH

W H E R E

The pattern will work on virtually any lake or reservoir but is especially effective on rich lowland waters that support vast numbers of natural bloodworm.

W H E N

An imitation Bloodworm will take fish right through the season but works best from April through to June. This is the time when the trout feed most heavily on the naturals.

H O W

On medium to large waters the Bloodworm is best fished as part of a team on a floating line and long leader. Although it is quite a mobile creature its imitation works best with a slow, figure-of-eight retrieve.

T Y I N G T I P

When using marabou on small patterns a good dodge is to use the soft fibres at the base of a large cock hackle instead. These have a very similar texture to marabou but are smaller and better suited to patterns such as the Bloodworm.

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