Top water pile worm patterns work!


"Chasing Riseforms"
Right on Dave. It's fun to fine tune patterns that work, but I'm guessing that some of these guys like Roger and Leland have their presentations down so pat they could hook fish on a Tampon, fresh from the wrapper. Till it gets soggy anyway.
Do you really think so, Roger and Leland????? :rofl::rofl:

Dale Dennis

Formally Double-D
Thanks Roger, I noticed the beach you are fishing has a fair amount of rocks this is where you find the olive what I call rock worm but what most would call a pile worm. On a lower tide flip some of the larger rocks over and you will see what I mean.

Don great analogy, although I don’t think I would fish the pattern you refer too I do know that presentation is extremely important over all.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Dang, Don, I think you might get along with my brother, since you seem to come up with the same kind of imagery. He once costumed up as a "Rely Tampon" for a Halloween party. :rofl:

Right on Dave. It's fun to fine tune patterns that work, but I'm guessing that some of these guys like Roger and Leland have their presentations down so pat they could hook fish on a Tampon, fresh from the wrapper. Till it gets soggy anyway.

Steve Rohrbach

Puget Sound Fly Fisher
Hank, welcome to the forum. You will find Roger is one of the most generous, willing to share members of this forum. He will gladly share a close-up photo. I have fished with Roger for years and have already seen three different versions of this new fly. It is a work in progress. I am pretty sure he is close to finishing it (subject to some further testing.) Once he is comfortable with the fly, he will post a good photo and probably tying instructions.

Feel free to continue to ask questions. Most people here will be willing to give you an honest answer.

Tight lines, Steve


Active Member
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

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.


Steve Rohrbach

Puget Sound Fly Fisher
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.

Dale Dennis

Formally Double-D
Roger I can relate, your observations and presentation technique is spot on, the “V” wake is very important and on some days an intermittent wake will draw even more attention.
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.

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.



Sculpin Enterprises
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.


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