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Green Rockworm

"Green Rockworm" is another generic common name for certain species of free-living (i.e., no case) caddis larva. A typical pattern for this insect is featured here, since early (i.e., now) season is a good time to fish rockworms. Generally, they are found amongst the rubble in freestone streams. They are green in color, ranging from bright chartreuse to various shades of olive. Because trout eat them regularly, we flyfishers are very interested in them and their behavior.

Various green rock worm patterns have previously been featured in this column. This month�s pattern bears no specific name, even though I recently created it at my vise. Because I feel certain that someone else has also come up with the same combination of materials and tying method, and because the pattern is so simple and basic, I claim no originality for it. I do, however, have some high expectations for it on the Upper Sacramento and McCloud Rivers this spring. Suffice it to say that you do need to have a green rockworm of some type in your fly box for the early season. A hint: check out the term "behavioral drift" in your fly fishing books.



Hook:       Standard 1x long nymph hook of choice, #14-16

Thread:    Olive 6/0 or 8/0

Tail:          None

Body:       Chartreuse colored copper wire (brassie size)

Bead:      Black, small

Collar:     Peacock herl

Head:     Small thread head


1. De-barb the hook and add a small black bead placed at the eye.

2. Mount the thread just behind the bead and tie on a 5" piece of chartreuse wire.

3. Whip finish behind the eye. The idea here is to keep the entire shank of the hook bare, so that when the wire is wrapped it will make a smooth, even body.

4. Tie the thread back on the hook at a point midway down the bend, as this is where the wire body will stop.

5. Wrap the wire rearward, making sure each wind is tight and up against the previous one. Wrap the wire to a point halfway down the bend of the hook and tie it off there.

6. Whip finish the thread again, and re-mount it behind the bead.

7. Tie on two or three peacock herls by their tips, and wind them around the thread. An alternative method would be to tie them on, and then create a dubbing loop; once the loop is created, twist the loop and the peacock herl together to form a rope. The reason for tying the herls in by their tips is that when they are twisted, they will twist first near the shank; when they are tied in by their butts, they twist first at the end near your hand. This is because the stem of the herl is thinner at the tip, and thicker at the butt. Simple physics tells us that when the torque of the twist is applied, the weaker part of the stem will twist first.

8. Take two or three turns of the herl and tie it off behind the eye. Whip finish

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Copyright 2000 by Granite Bay Flycasters unless otherwise noted.