Throughout the years, I’ve always wondered how many fish are eating my flies and spitting them out before I ever get any indication of a strike from my Thingamabobber. I have always found it useful to throw a worm when the water is up and off-color, but I have always preferred to match the hatch when the water is lower and clears up. This year, I have been having a lot of fun keeping a nice bright pink worm on as my first fly. Why? Because when the water is low and clear, the worm acts as a bright underwater indicator that helps track my flies through the water. While utilizing this technique, I have found that I see more fish because I am concentrating on looking through the water at my highly-visible worm, instead of looking at the top of the water, waiting for my Thingamabobber to indicate the strike. You would think that the fish would catch on and be bothered by a bright pink worm; however, they don’t seem to mind. Better yet, there is no tell-tale splash from a big float.
This technique can be as fun as it is rewarding, especially as our creeks and waters in the high rockies start to lower and clear up. It even helped me catch more fish at one of our local tailwaters where fish are notoriously finicky.
Editor’s Note 7-31-14: On first read, I thought Alex’s post came at just the right time, as we have been seeing soaking rains in the mountains around Vail and Minturn. What I didn’t expect is that he uses it all the time. Alex is one of Minturn Anglers’ top guides. He can be seen singing he praises of the glorious worm and using crossover steelheaders’ tricks like this one all the time on the Eagle and Upper Colorado Rivers, as well as in remoter locations, like Wyoming and Idaho.
All or part of this operation is conducted on public lands under BLM Special Use Permit and under Special Use Permit with the White River National Forest.
Minturn Anglers is an equal opportunity employer operating under the Colorado River Outfitter License number 472, State of Colorado Outfitter 2597, and numerous special use permits with the BLM, White River National Forest, and the Colorado DOW.