Fishing with Worms

The Tungsten Bead Goomie Worm is a go-to fly in the spring. This worm pattern is great when the bugs aren’t hatching, the water is off-color, or the fish are slow and lethargic. Those truths said, let us also disclose that this fly pretty much works all the time. While being a must-have on some of our larger rivers like the Madison and Missouri, the Tungsten Bead Goomie Worm has also been a silver bullet on smaller streams and, of course, at our super-secret spots.

There are a few qualities that make this particular pattern a standout in the “dirt-snake” department. The “Goomie” material gives this fly lifelike attributes and the extra weight of the tungsten bead gets the fly down to the trout. The durability will speak for itself—just ask Jim. He once fished a single Tungsten Bead Goomie Worm for three full days, not even changing a knot… and yes, he caught fish. While super durable, this fly also proved delicate enough for Sarah to catch some nice trout on DePuy’s Spring Creek. As a bonus, this is a quite simple pattern to tie so you’ll be filling up your fly box in no time.

The rubbery Goomie material can be a little tricky to tie with at first, but with a little practice, the rewards will prove worthwhile.

Hook: Dai Riki 135, sizes 10-12
Body: Spirit River’s Squirmy Wormies, red or orange
Bead: 1/8” tungsten bead
Thread: 6/0 red or orange
Ribbing: Stalcups standard tubing, red or blood red

1. Using 2-3” of worm material, pull through the 1/8” tungsten bead using a bobbin threader. Slide bead over the hook, stretching the worm material thin.
2. Tie in the worm material on top of the hook with your thread and wrap back to bend. As you do this, be sure to stretch the worm material towards you. Cut a 4-5” piece of Stalcups tubing and tie it in at the rear of the hook.
3. Wrap the tubing forward to your tungsten bead. Tie off and whip finish.

Jim Carter (“Yankee Jim”) and Sarah Clark (“Shark”) work at the River’s Edge fly shop in Bozeman.