Top water pile worm patterns work!

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Roger Stephens, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. kelvin Active Member

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    Someone told me to tie a fly that looked like a small pink marshmellow cause thats what he caught searun cutthroat on as a kid
    I guess I could call it the "The Stay Puffman", "The Form Of The Destroyer" or "Ray's Fly "
    I might even catch fish on it
    but I doubt it would look as cool as Roger's articulated worm pattern

    Roger nice post beefy fish!

    View attachment 48475
  2. Roger Stephens Active Member

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    I rarely go ashore from my boat to fish. Thanks for the suggestion to turn over some rocks to look for rock/pile worms. It will be a good/enligthening activity to do during a low slack tide!

    In retrospect I should have been more specific on the presentations which I use for floating rock/pile worm and other top water patterns. So here are my thoughts/opinions below on the subject.

    Since I fish predominately from a boat, I usually fan cast towards and away from shore at about a 45 degree angle down and across the tidal current when anchored. I rarely cast straight down current. Once I make a cross current cast, I focus my attention on what the fly line is doing and the position/speed of the top water pattern in relation to the direction of the tidal current. I often make up current line mends right after the fly line hits the water depending on the speed of the tidal current. What I try to minimize is the amount of fly line bellying. The reason why are: (1) the top water pattern will probably move too rapidly down current if there is a big belly in the line and quite a bit of tidal current, (2) a big belly in the line makes it more difficult to get a good hook set since you don't have a very good straight line connection to the top water pattern,(3) IMHO it is better to have a top water pattern pointing slightly up current vs. down current since you are able to get nicer v-wake/skating action. Adjusting and control your fly line with up current mends is very important to have a good presentation of a top water pattern.

    As a general rule, I use different retrieves depending on the position the top water pattern in relation to the tidal current. When the pattern is swinging across the current, I will normally use very short retrieves to get it to skate/v-wake properly. Once the top water pattern is down current, I will usually use longer, slow, and steady strips to get the proper skate/v-wake. The most important aspect is to adjust your retrieve by concentrating on watching what your fly line and top water pattern are doing so that you can get good skating/v-wake motion to the pattern. After awhile it is possible to calibrate your eyes as to what constitutes proper skate/v-wake action depending feeding activity of the fish, food sources available, amout of tidal current, etc., etc.

    I am working on a method to attach the leader at the front of the tube so that the leader angles about 145 degrees back towards and off to one side of the pattern. I have been playing around with a couple of ways to do that but it looks like I have finally figured out the best way. When this technique is used, a top water pattern angles to one side on the pause of a retrieve. When you make a strip of the line, the pattern straightens out. The result is there is about 1 1/2 inch of side-to-side wiggle an each retrieve/pause. It looks promising. On subsurface patterns I do the same thing by angling a 10 mm sequin off to one side at a 45 degree. It gives subsurface patterns about 1 1/2 to 2 inches of side-to-side wiggle.

  3. Roger Stephens Active Member

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    Ben Guss and Alleghenghank:

    In the next day or so I'll try and post a picture of the latest version of the top water tube pile worm pattern.

  4. Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    Posts: 606
    Seattle, WA
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    Roger, I have been slowing my retrieve down with the Slider. I found that when I was using rapid, long strips, the fish were often striking short. As I continued to watch, the fish were often attacking the spot where my fly was before the big strip. By slowing down the strip and presenting a steady V-wake I have dramatically increased my hook up rate. Fish still miss and I will often speed up the retrieve to mimic a fleeing bait fish and then slow it down to let the fish strike.
  5. Peter Pancho Active Member

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    Gig Harbor,WA
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    video of the fly in action would be nice
  6. Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

    Posts: 527
    Arlington, WA
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    Roger I can relate, your observations and presentation technique is spot on, the ā€œVā€ wake is very important and on some days an intermittent wake will draw even more attention.
  7. Roger Stephens Active Member

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    I am having trouble download a picture of the pattern on WFF. I will be out of town for two weeks. PM me with your e-mail address before Sunday evening if you want me to send you a picture of it.

  8. Jim Mcallister AKA stillwater guy

    Posts: 107
    Olympia, WA
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    Well then it would loof like a new squid pattern and in thier hands it would still catch fish
  9. Allegheny Hank Allegheny Hank

    Posts: 2
    Mukilteo, WA
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    Thanh you Rodger.
  10. cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    Posts: 1,713
    Olympia, WA
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    Just an FYI, but the Spring 2012 edition of Fly Tyer has a several page spread on cinder worms. These are East Coast patterns for stripers, but our cinder worm species are in the same genus as the Atlantic species, Nereis limbata, and exhibit the same behaviors. Several options are top-water patterns.

  11. Roger Stephens Active Member

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    Sorry that it has taken me so long to post a picture of the top water tube pile worm pattern as I have been in Mexico for several weeks. So below is a picture of olive and gray/brown patterns.


    Attached Files:

  12. Steve Knapp Beach Bum

    Posts: 682
    Maple Valley
    Ratings: +258 / 3
    Great fly Roger... excited to try it out. Does the rabbit get too heavy for the slider head once it gets thoroughly soaked?
  13. Roger Stephens Active Member

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    I have been using a 3/4 inch length of small pencil popper for the foam head. This length of foam seems to be work very well. It floats/skates with a good v-wake. I am going to try out using a foam head of 1 inch to see how it looks in the water and if the sea-run cutthroat like it. However, I would prefer to use as short of length of foam head as possible that gives the proper v-wake.

    I am presently using about a 2 1/2 inch length of 1/8 inch wide black barred rabbit strip for the pattern. Since there is about 3/4 inches of hair beyond the cut end of the rabbit strip, the total length of the rabbit fur is about 3 1/4 inches. I am going to try using 1/16 inch wide black barred rabbit strip for a narrower look to the pattern if I can find a source for it. I do have squirrel tail strips that are 1/16 inches wide but they are not black barred. However, I will try the squirrel tail if I cannot find any narrower black barred rabbit strip.