Preparing for anything while at the trout stream

A few weeks ago, I woke up one morning and found that my outdoor thermometer was telling me that it was -2 degrees outside.

The one thing that I knew right away was that there wasn’t going to be any fishing done on that day.

Fishing is always on my mind at this time of year with all the holidays out of the way. I don’t always get to fish as much as I would like, but there’s not a day that goes by without my thinking about going fishing.

Hopefully winter doesn’t have too many more sub-zero days for us and spring is just around the corner… well, almost anyway.

Instead of referring to February as late winter, I always refer to it as early spring. It’s kind of like the glass half-full thing.

So, on that cold morning that I was talking about, I decided to get out my fishing vest and check all my fly boxes that I feel is necessary to carry with me when I’m fishing.

Bill Oder

My wife has suggested on numerous occasions that I lighten the load in my vest to keep my back from tiring so badly, but that suggestion hasn’t been acted upon yet.

I want to be prepared for anything that might come up while I’m at the trout stream because if the trout aren’t liking the first fly I show them, then I have plenty more all lined up and ready to go for them to look over.

I noticed almost instantly in one of my nymph boxes a serious shortage of a favorite little fly of mine. I don’t think this fly has a name, at least if it does, I’m not aware of the name. I call it a Caddis Worm since it resembles a caddisfly larva to me.

Whether that’s what the trout thinks it is or not remains to be seen, but whatever it represents to the trout, I have found that they definitely are attracted to it.


The fly is simple to tie and there are several variations as far as color and whether or not to use a bead head. I prefer the bead head in order to give it the weight needed to sink.

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Either a brass bead or tungsten bead will suffice. Of course, the tungsten will add even more weight for you. Without a bead, you will need to add split shot to your leader… something that I don’t like doing.

My color of choice is olive green but sometimes other colors work well, also. The micro chenille that makes up the body of the fly is available in several colors. Even pink ones have been known to catch fish.

I tie them on small scud hoods, either size 16 or 18. These small hooks don’t allow much room to add lead wire for weight, forcing me to use the bead heads.

After tying in a piece of micro chenille along the hook shank right up against the bead head, I dub some olive dubbing material to the thread and form the thorax.

As a variation, instead of dubbing material, the thorax can be formed with a piece of peacock or black ostrich feather. Whip finish, apply some head cement and you’re ready for the final step.

After clipping off the end of the tail to the desired length, the tip needs to be seared lightly with a cigarette lighter to keep the chenille from unravelling.

Notice that I used the word “lightly.” Just lightly pass the lighter under the tail and that will be all you need because if you put the entire flame of the lighter to the tail, it will ignite since the chenille burns quite quickly.

Now you’re ready to go fishing.

The fly is fished as a nymph in a dead drift fashion. I recommend using a strike indicator. Depending on where you are fishing, the bead head still might not be enough to get the fly down to the bottom forcing you to resort to some split shot.

This little guy works very well and feel free to call it whatever you want. If you’re not a fly tyer, I found some of these little gems for sale at Reed’s at Montauk.

On that cold day that I was referring to, I tied a half-dozen of these little guys before a nap started feeling like a good idea.

A warm bed is always inviting when it’s -2 degrees outside.

(Bill Oder can be reached at

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