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San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
2007/6/4 16:50
From Northampton County
Posts: 86
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General questions here.

Im ending my 4th year of Fly Fishing Trout here in PA and ive had some question on Worms and Buggers.

Keep in my mind i still buy my flies haven't gotten into Tying yet maybe at another time.

What size do you guys fish the most effectively?

What Color?

What material is the worm made out? (mine are felt looking ive seen wire worms)

Honestly in the time ive been fishing ive never caught a fish on a worm until this year got 3 so far 2 3 with a Bugger. I don't know if im using 2 small of a fly, wrong color or my design im buying just blows. I here people saying how great they are.

So lay the advice on me im ready to learn.

http://smg.photobucket.com/user/Marv_ ... Bug_zpsb9eb6145.jpeg.html

Attach file:



jpg  SanJuan.JPG (92.16 KB)
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Posted on: 2013/8/19 17:28


Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
2013/5/28 14:36
From Carbon County
Posts: 204
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I don't really ever fish San Juan worms but they are just chenille tied to a hook and melted a little at the ends to get that taper and im sure there is a million variations. WB's I've been tying are on 2x or 3x size 10 streamer hooks. I use a cone head or a bead plus some lead wraps for weight. I usually stick to black, brown and olive and recently I've tied a few with peacock herl for body. Some I add crystal flash some I don't. I use mostly cheap strung saddle feathers for hackle. There is a million variations for any pattern it depends on the water( how deep, current, etc.) and personal preference.

Posted on: 2013/8/19 17:42


Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1695
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Quote:

Marv_Levy wrote:
General questions here.

Im ending my 4th year of Fly Fishing Trout here in PA and ive had some question on Worms and Buggers...

....Honestly in the time ive been fishing ive never caught a fish on a worm until this year got 3 so far 2 3 with a Bugger. I don't know if im using 2 small of a fly, wrong color or my design im buying just blows. I here people saying how great they are.



There are a lot of factors other than just the style and size of the fly. You say this is your fourth year fishing. You could either be pretty good at it by this point or still pretty green. What kind of success are you having otherwise, with other flies? Also what sort of streams are you fishing?

Personally, SJW of any style don't excite me much. They beat the crap out of stocked fish early in the season and have some usage during off-color or high flows and also some spring creeks, but for the most part I do not think they are a must have fly like a pheasant tail or...

....Wooly Bugger.

I'd be more worried about your lack of success with the WB's. They are much less situation specific IMO. I don't think they are the second coming of Christ like some anglers do, but WB's are a must have. They are one of those flies that seems to always manage a few fish in most places and under a variety of conditions. It's often said that there is no wrong way to fish a bugger, and that is true to a degree, but some ways are a hell of a lot better than others. Good streamer and wet fly techniques make the fly more effective in my experience. A few years back I decided that I needed to learn to fish streamers better and my success increased noticeably. Not just with WB's but with just about every streamer I carry. Two things I focused on were getting deep and controlling the speed of my swing. I also cut back on actively stripping my flies.

These last points bring me back to where I started. A lot depends on your skill level. This applies to the SJW as well as the bugger. If you are catching fish regularly and in good numbers with other nymphs, it may be just that the SJW is not a good choice for your waters. However, if you struggle to get fish on any fly, your technique probably needs some work.

Kev

Posted on: 2013/8/19 18:43


Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
2007/6/4 16:50
From Northampton County
Posts: 86
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Kev, I am a fairly component fishermen at this point. I can cast where I want when I want, I catch fish pretty consistently on nymphs with a thingamabobber indicator and on dries around raising fish. I fish the Northampton county and into the poconos around Hickory Run state park. Northampton county is mainly stocke fish. That's why I head up to hickory run on occasion.

For some reason when the water gets high and muddy after a rain I just can't seem to catch fish on a san Juan worm my buddy will be hammering them on red worms with a spin cast. I see no reason why my San Juan shouldn't work in that situation.

And wooly buggers man I just don't know I tend to cast them up stream keeping a tight line as it goes through Its drift then I strip it back hen the drift is over. I have had fish hit my bugger on both the drift and on the retrieve. I just feel like I'm doing something wrong because people act like if they could only have 1 thing it would be a bugger.

So to some it up I can fly fish well I catch fish almost every trip or atleast have a few misses or lost fish.
Just looking for some tips or recommended patterns and sizes to purchase. I tend to buy my flies from either cabelas, www.flyshack.com , or the local bait shop I stumble across.

Posted on: 2013/8/19 19:10
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Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
2013/5/28 14:36
From Carbon County
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Honestly I would pack up the San Juan's and WB's for now. IMO they're good for stocked fish and bigger water. No doubt they will catch fish all year and they are a must have as Kev said but they are not a go to fly in all situations. If you are fishing Northampton county streams there are plenty of wild trout in a lot of them. Bushkill, monocacy, saucon, and hokendaqua all hold lots of wild trout. Honestly I just moved out of bethlehem and 99 times out of a 100 I wouldn't even think about my streamer box. If you are talking about early season then it's a little different. I think that once I see BWO's in the air in the early season the WB's don't see much water until maybe the fall. The trout key in on what is abundant and easiest for them. Most fly fisherman target the wild trout because that's where the challenge is. 5 year old kids and drunks can catch stockies, not to say its not fun to catch them sometimes but they have been eating pellets and they don't know what to eat when they first get dumped in the water. Maybe your WB and SJ looks good to them maybe it doesn't. IMO you will learn much more about fly fishing from 1 year of chasing wild trout then you would in 5 years chasing stockies. I've only been fly fishing for 12 years and on occasion the fish still school me. I learn something new almost everytime I go out. Match the hatch is the name of the game. You can ask all the questions you want on this forum and you will get helpful advice definetly but nothing beats figuring out for yourself. Honestly there is nothing on this forum that someone can tell you about a WB or SJ and you could go out tomorrow and use that advice and catch a ton of fish. Flip some rocks, see what is in the air and on the water and read up on your entomology and you will start to figure it out more and more each time. You will figure out the situations when you want to tie on a WB and when you don't but don't expect them to catch one fish after another everytime.

Posted on: 2013/8/19 20:06


Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1695
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Quote:

Marv_Levy wrote:

For some reason when the water gets high and muddy after a rain I just can't seem to catch fish on a san Juan worm my buddy will be hammering them on red worms with a spin cast. I see no reason why my San Juan shouldn't work in that situation.


SJW, particularly in the bright red, pink, and other bright colors are a fairly poor imitation of a natural earthworm. Aside from the color, their diameter and movement don't mimic a natural worm. Perhaps the biggest difference when comparing them to a natural is that their is no scent and taste. Possibly a very important factor in dirty water.

Personally, I don't view them as being an imitative fly in most situations. Their color and simplistic nature make them a good "junk" fly though. Like most other junk flies they are either working or they are not. However, if there is ever a time to catch otherwise discriminating fish on junk flies, it is during off color water conditions. I would suggest trying more weight. Your spin fishing friend, aside from using natural bait, is probably using much larger split shot than you.


Quote:

And wooly buggers man I just don't know I tend to cast them up stream keeping a tight line as it goes through Its drift then I strip it back hen the drift is over. I have had fish hit my bugger on both the drift and on the retrieve. I just feel like I'm doing something wrong because people act like if they could only have 1 thing it would be a bugger.


Try throwing mends after the fly hits the water so that you give the fly some slack and it sinks. Let it sink for a while before stripping in the slack or throwing a downstream mend so that the fly begins rising and swinging across current.

This is a heavily simplified explanation, but just try to get the fly down before stripping or swinging. Coming tight to the fly as soon as it lands usually prevents the fly from sinking much unless you fish with tons of weight.

Kev

Posted on: 2013/8/19 20:17


Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

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2008/6/25 9:41
From Pgh
Posts: 1249
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Although, I've never used a SJW, have have used smaller red worms that are nothing more than red thread wrapped around a size 16 - 20 hook shank. (The only fly I tie myself these days.) It imitates a red midge larva and can be killer. Especially on certain limestoners.

Posted on: 2013/8/20 9:23
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Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Posts: 6528
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A pale pink SJW is killer.

I tie wooly buggers in sizes 4-14. Olive is my favorite followed by black.

Posted on: 2013/8/20 16:24
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Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
2007/1/28 18:18
From Woodstock, MD
Posts: 379
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My go to fly for wild browns on the Gunpowder in MD and some places in PA is a pink SJW. They work!

WBs- I would have them in black, olive green, and white, in size 8.


On Penns in the fall, I have been successful with the ugliest, yellowist bugger I can tie.

Posted on: 2013/11/13 19:08


Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
2010/6/26 11:19
From Along the Lehigh Above the Gap
Posts: 7275
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Squirmy Wormies....that is all.

Posted on: 2013/11/14 18:12
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Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
2012/9/30 21:12
Posts: 163
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I also struggle to catch trout with the WB.
My impression from various purchased WB's in smaller sizes is they are too light - had a size 12 BH WB that would not sink, even after really wetting it down. I think the first fly I tie on my own will be a small, weighted (lead wraps under body) BH WB.

Posted on: 2013/11/23 13:26


Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
2006/9/9 8:53
From York
Posts: 518
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Pink ultra chennile on a size 14 nymph hook 2x works for me. As someone mentioned when they work, they work and i've caught a fair share of wild browns on them too along with the stocked bows. Seems to work well in the winter at times. Forget it when the trout are on the bugs.

Posted on: 1/5 20:30


Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
3/18 11:51
Posts: 20
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Pink or green SJW can be great. I agree that they are most effective on fresh stocked Fish. However they can be very effective when streams start to drop after a heavy rain. I will add red, orange or wine colored SJW in those conditions. I tie on size 14 Tiemco 200R curved nymph hooks.

Tying a SJW is really simple. Match your thread color to the ultra chenille and you are off and running. After you tied a bunch, light a candle to slightly burn each end.

Buggers are also easy to tie. I use 200R hooks on them from size 6 to 12. My favorite is a brown tail and hackle with an olive body. All black and olive can be great. For off color water, I love an all white bugger.

Dead drift the SJW all the time. An egg pattern with a SJW trailer is killer for fresh stocked fish. For buggers, dead drifts or a stripping action can both produce.

Hope I helped.

Posted on: 5/15 19:17


Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
2012/12/9 15:03
From Lewistown, PA
Posts: 434
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I never fish SJW. Just doesn't appeal to me. I like tying flies, and the San Juan worm is about as boring as it gets! I've only ever caught chubs on them, but like I said probably haven't given them their fair share of time in the water.

I also have trouble with wooly buggers though I've been getting better and having more success recently. I
I think its due to tying them myself - the ones I used to buy were never anywhere near heavy enough. I tie almost all of mine with lead eyes or a tungsten bead with wraps of lead under the body. Even so I don't do nearly as well on them as I do nymphs... Not that I do all *that* well with nymphs to begin with. I mostly tie on wooly buggers in high off color water lately. Also a really heavy wooly bugger is better to cast in the wind than a nymph rig.

Posted on: 5/15 22:29


Re: San Juan Worms and Wooly Bugger? (How to)

Joined:
1/23 13:26
Posts: 25
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Don't be afraid to try a purple WB. I have had several days when nothing else worked. As soon as I changed to purple, the bite was on!!!

Posted on: 5/16 21:49



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