Bloodworm pattern questions....

I am going through one of my phases again, where I can't spend enough time at the vise.

Lord knows I have about 40 bazillion $'s in material, and yet I am a total amateur tier. However I do my alright, meaning I can catch fish with the flies I tie. Which I suppose is all a guy can ask.

So, I have a few questions about the bloodworm pattern.

1. How effective is this fly really? Is it worth tying up a dozen or so?

2. What size(s) should I tie?

3. Can anyone (will anyone) share a pic/pattern with me?

4. And though it may seem silly to ask but, do the lakes here in the PNW have bloodworms?

Thanx in advance!!!

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
The bloodworm is the larvae stage of chironomids and almost all, if not all, lakes have chironomids. Most WA state bloodworms come in about 1" to 1.25" long from what I've observed. Also from my observations bloodworms work best in the Spring and early Summer. After that trout usually transition to other food sources. For example I figured I'd go to this one BC lake in September and knock the snot out of the fish on bloodworm and pupa patterns. Turned out leeches were the best flies.

Bloodworms come in a couple of different colors as I've seen red and green ones. Most seem to be red. A simple pattern is to wrap a # 12 2x long hook with a tuft of red marabou as a tail and a body of either small red v-rib or red stretchy floss. I've caught fish on a hook wrapped with red wire as I use that fly for weight to sink to the bottom quickly.

This is one opinion and you will get more.

For examples of different types of bloodworms do a google on "bloodworm".
Thanks zen. I knew the chironomid "thing", but never knew (until now) that the bloodworm was the larvae. I just thought the red chironomid was the first stage out of the mud, and the Bloodworm was a whole different bug.

This is my first year fishing lakes using something other than a big woolly bugger or streamer. The whole chironomid thing is new to me.

27 yrs of fly fishing, and I just learned something new!

bloodworms will work anyplace midges are if you dont like spending alot of time at the vice i forgot what type of thread you could do it with i think you can do it with ultra thread but just take some red thread wrap it around from the eye to the hook bend maybe do that twice then just twist the thread to where its kind of like a rope and start from the bend of the hook and go to the eye like your putting a rib on and the twisted thread wont sit flat on the hook and will create a nice segmentation look its a real fast fly to tie because the only material is thread i got that pattern out of modern midges


I have good luck with a wine colored marabou leech (Turbo Leech) pattern fish very deep. Some guys well with a San Juan Worm.

Big E

Active Member
Bloodworm patterns are pretty much a given in the flybox. There's a bunch of patterns out there as well. You can do something as simple as tying on a piece of red chenille or get pretty fancy with them. The Medusa is a pretty popular pattern and represents a cluster of bloodworms.

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
Yeah, that's my pattern and yeah it works and it is super simple. Red super floss wrapped around a red hook with tags at each end. Zen calls it the string thing, but that's because he likes to name things.
It was worthy of a name. Actually I couldn't think of what Ira called it so I said, "pass me that string-thing."


I was the adviser for a private flyfishing lake near Dundee, Oregon. Two of us built a bottom insect sampling device with a rope and piece of metal tubbing to use as a scoop.

Our goal was to determine what manner of nymphs lived on the bottom of the lake so we could suggest immitations.

We primarily found blood worms and some were huge... not what you expect for a size 18-22 midge emerger. It's actually quite amazing that a midge larvae starts out as a worm, morphs into an emerger then hatches as a flying bug.

In the world of aquatic insects, it seems the original color of red as a worm would not be in their favor... kind'a hard for the trout to miss.

Here's the leech pattern I use to imitate the blood worm. Their heads are dark so I added the black bead. It works for me. It's starts out as a Turbo Leech and I trim the marabou body to give it a slimmer appearance.

Holy crap... I have to stop! I think I have about 17 different versions tied already. :eek:

Problem is, I'll bust off a huge fish... and forget which pattern it was. :D