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Bead Rockworm

Here is another in our series of simple patterns. I first saw this pattern tied by Jim Pettis, a Redding guide. The "rockworm" version is just one adaptation of this method of tying. In other words, using different colored beads, different dubbing, and different hook styles and/or sizes, this same method can be used to create a nearly infinite variety of imitations. This particular version is designed to suggest the small free living Caddis which are typically found in the riverbed on freestone streams.


Hook: Scud hook, such as Tiemco 2457, sizes 14-18
Thread: Olive 6/0 or 8/0
Body: Small olive/pearl glass beads and medium olive synthetic dubbing, with a "sparkle" to it
Legs: Grouse or partridge, tied as "soft hackle"
Head: Olive tying thread


1. Smash barb. Slip 4 or 5 beads onto hook.
2. Tie thread in about 1/8" behind eye, and build small thread ball there to keep front bead in place.
3. Cross thread over front bead and push this bead against the ball you just made. Now wind thread between first and second bead to creat separation between them. Repeat this procedure with all beads, ending up with tying thread at middle of hook bend.
4. Take some dubbing and spin it onto tying thread, keeping the fibers long. Begin winding the dubbing on behind last bead, moving forward through all of the beads until you reach the front of the first bead. There stop dubbing and place a few winds of thread to secure dubbing into place. Whip finish, but don’t cut the thread.
5. Take a "teasing" tool, such as hook end velcro strip glued onto a stick, and tease out the dubbing so as to create a "halo" effect around the beads. If the dubbing looks too long, trim it to shape.
6. Using a small partridge or grouse feather, create a soft-hackle set of legs in front of the front bead, whip finish, and cut thread. If done properly, and with a sparkly dubbing, the fly should look translucent and buggy.

It needs to be fished at or near the bottom, as these bugs sometimes "drift" either willingly or unwillingly.

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 Copyright 1998/1999 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.