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john montana

The San Juan Worm Thread

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In light of all the recent SJW discussion, I figured we should put together a thread. Here is my version, with the bead through the chenile and the hook. For the record, I was not a SJW fan until Zen Piscator introduced me to the fly. He ties his with the chenile through the bead (which I love). The only real difference...that is a pretty serious tungsten bead on that fly. I tie mine much bigger, and MUCH heavier than most. I like to be able to put the fly right on the fish, and know it will get there. I absolutely spook fish because at times it seems like I'm throwing rocks at them, but I'd rather spook a few than the fruitless casting trying to predict a random path I run into with lighter flies. I don't bother burning the ends to make them pretty...frankly, the carp don't care.

All you need:

IMGP0722.jpg

Chenile through the bead (big old tungsten there):

IMGP0723.jpg

Bead/Chenile on the hook:

IMGP0724.jpg

Securing the thread behind the bead/chenile:

IMGP0725.jpg

I pull the chenile back to the bend, and wrap the thread forward, criss crossing to make it more durable, then finish behind the bead:

IMGP0726.jpg

Whip finish, and you are done. I used to use scud hooks, but have fallen for this hook in a serious way. Heavy duty, great gap, etc.:

IMGP0728.jpg

That is it...It ain't pretty, but it is simple and so far has proven not just effective...but deadly. I tired several times to get those two pictures oriented right, no go. I figure you guys get the point.

Let's see everyone else's versions!

Edited by john montana

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We were thinking the same thing John. Here's a bunch of variations I tied up this afternoon. The major addition was the wire body. I'm gonna hit the vise tonight and experiment a little more. I'll be sure and post the results.

sjwwirebodyrs5.jpg

sjckwirebodyva9.jpg

More details on my blog

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Those are nice JP...I'll take a dozen!

I'm not much of a tier, pure function for me. Your flies are much more artistic. I like the wire body, I might try that on a few. are you securing the chenile to the wire body or just leaving it along the top? Nice finishing touches with the match work...yours look like worms, mine look like chunks of chenile!

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Those are nice JP...I'll take a dozen!

I'm not much of a tier, pure function for me. Your flies are much more artistic. I like the wire body, I might try that on a few. are you securing the chenile to the wire body or just leaving it along the top? Nice finishing touches with the match work...yours look like worms, mine look like chunks of chenile!

Here are the improvements. A much quicker and easier tie too. I tied in behind the beadhead and tied the chenille along the shank like your pattern John. Then I tied off behind the head and wrapped the wire along the entire body. Used Loon hard head to cement the wire body. Now, even if the chenille gets torn off, I still have a chironomid type pattern with the red wire body.

sjwfullwirebodyff4.jpg

sjwfullwirebodypinkhh2.jpg

The carp assassin was tied the same as above, except I tied in a couple pieces of krystal flash and a pinch of marabou before wrapping the wire body.

sjcabz0.jpg

I don't think it's that I more "artistic" than you John, but I have OCD tendencies and need to have things look tight. Too much attention to detail. It's a pain in the butt, because it takes me longer to tie than probably most other tyers. I'd never cut it as a commercial tyer.

Oh yeah, I use a lighter to burn the ends and not a match. No smell and it's quick and controlled.

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A link to some of my favorite worm patterns...the SJW Cluster is my new favorite.

Check out page 12 in issue #4 of...

The Sting

Lowell

Edited by kingfisher

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I have a question about technique with these. John, you mentioned the tungsten, heavier bead than most. I am wondering what water depth you fish these at? In other words, I would think that they would be used for fish in fairly shallow water that you can present the bait, it goes to the bottom and the fly is still within eyesight of the fish that are hopefully tailing. If you fished this heavy fly to fish that are suspended in 8 feet of water but are up on the top in the weeds as an example the fly would go right past them. So many times, it is not only the fly that is used, but the situation that matches the fly with a specific application. I just had to pick your brain more on what circumstances you use this fly and how.

I was fishing recently and the bottom was covered with some fairly tall grasses. I was using my normal, lead wrapped bead head bugger pattern that has been fairly successful for me, and it just penetrated the grass so much that I went to a lighter fly so that it would suspend infront of the fish's nose better. Which brings up bottom composition, so what types of bottom materials do you fish the heavy beadhead SJW on? I can see it working really well in muddy bottoms, since when it hits it will produce a puft of silt much like an insect grubbing in the mud. It would also work great in rocky or gravel bottoms or sandy bottoms. I'm just wondering if you fish it in taller grasses. Thanks for the push in the right direction guys.

I need to spend some time at the vise since I have been donating a few hooks to the river system lately.

Rick

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I fish anywhere from thigh deep, to inches deep. That fly is much to heavy to cast at suspended fish that are sunning, but when possible, I avoid fish in those positions. If that is all i can find, I usually fish a lightly weighted carp wooly to the sunning fish. The tungsten is too heavy for fish that are up in inches of water, and will often spook them but the big boy are usually in knee to thigh deep water out here, and I need to get down to them. Most of the fish I chase are on firm sand/cobble bottoms, and they are usually slow cruising. The heavy bead allows me to target them much more effectively than having to wait for the fly to sink and guess which way they'll move.

I do spook fish with that huge bead...no doubt about it, but overall, i fish the heavy bead more often than the light ones (I tie and carry both.)

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Guest Rollincast

Great thread, cool to see what others are using and tying. Here's mine.......

Carp Worm, this is a pattern that a local guide friend was tying for Carp. I just tweaked it a little. Pretty simple tye, I use all kinds of beads. Glass, tungsten, brass and sometimes no bead. The no bead works great on suspended fish.

Close up of green with Angora Goat dubbing....

DSCN0742-1.jpg

Red with Squ. Tail dubbing........

DSCN0744.jpg

Lots of colors of chennile and different types of dubbing........

CarpWorm002.jpg

Thanks,

RandyS

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nice tied Randy. I like the tails with the angora/squirrel tail dubbing. nice touch.

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Guest KSFlatsLander

Caught my first carp - shoot, my first fish of any species - on a SJW last Sunday. I'm not a trout angler, but you guys got me thinking I should try the worm. Caught the first fish I managed to make a decent presentation on. I'm a believer now.

My problem was the fibers kept coming off the chenille. I burned the ends, but it seemed to come out of the middle, leaving me with only the threads. I don't use chenille much, is there a certain kind I should be using?

Still caught fish after the SJW fell apart, on the crawfish patterns I usually throw. It was an awesome day. Lots of carp with backs out of the water or tailing, stalking into casting range, and fish on! My buddy and I caught about 15 fish in about 3 hours.

He has the photos, so I can't prove it!

KSFlatslander

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so far the wire body has helped keep the cheniile intact on my flies.It could stand more field testing though B)

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Guest PbSlinger
Great thread, cool to see what others are using and tying. Here's mine.......

Carp Worm, this is a pattern that a local guide friend was tying for Carp. I just tweaked it a little. Pretty simple tye, I use all kinds of beads. Glass, tungsten, brass and sometimes no bead. The no bead works great on suspended fish.

Close up of green with Angora Goat dubbing....

DSCN0742-1.jpg

Red with Squ. Tail dubbing........

DSCN0744.jpg

Lots of colors of chennile and different types of dubbing........

CarpWorm002.jpg

Thanks,

RandyS

Guys, hope it's okay to bump an old post. Hey Randy! I like the Carp Worm tons and I know that these other guys have great luck with worms. I'm wondering what your thoughts are regarding tying this pattern with beadchain eyes so it lands hook point up. Just tie all of the business parts of the fly on the bottom (hook point side) of the fly. I'm just a hook point up kind of guy. I've discussed this with John before.....just like to get another opinion.

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Guest Driftless

Variations on the theme. I have been messing around with tungsten sheeting as an underbody instead of using a bead. Have to wait until things warm up until I can give it a try.

Chamois Worm

post-4497-1226502618.jpg

Boo Worm

post-4497-1226502625.jpg

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Guest SWMO

How did the wire body SJW work out?? There was a time when a SJW tied with wire only was a big hit with trout fishermen here, its popularity lasted a couple of years.

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How did the wire body SJW work out?? There was a time when a SJW tied with wire only was a big hit with trout fishermen here, its popularity lasted a couple of years.

are you referring to my tie?

sjwlc2.jpg

If you are, the pattern worked out fantastic. Extremely durable, and caught just as many fish as the plain chenille patterns. I did not experience one single chenille failure. Bomb Proof. Looks like I got the mission accomplished.

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I saw that there are only two pages of posts in this forum. Wanted to bump this thread before it fell off the face of the earth so to say. Too much good info to loose.

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Too much good info to loose.

Ditto! I missed this one.

Love the pics and ideas you guys come up with. Now I want to see some carpio's caught on these flies.

Any pics from recent use?

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Guest Welsh Boy

I have caught on this fly not only carp , panfish on a i2 and a few bows on pink. I was using 6lb clear mono on the body to give it a bit more staying power. I will try the wire body that sounds perfect. Bryn ps I am not a very good tier of flys but the bugger ,sjw and a few simple nymphs seem to work ok for me.

Edited by Welsh Boy

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This was getting close to dropping off the face of the BB, so I thought I would revive it. I sent FishDave some chenille and referred him to this post and didn't want it to disappear. Maybe someone can either attach this thread to the carp fly sticky or make it a sticky on it's own. Again, great info that would be a shame to loose.

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