I tie the Pyramid Lake Woolly Worm a little bit different from the ones from Jan Nemec, but they are essentially the same pattern. The chartreuse and black variation are referred to as the Northern Lights color. It’s a good choice for fishing water where the clarity isn’t optimal. You get a pop of color and a great looking silhouette streaming through the water.
Pyramid Lake in Nevada (not the one in Jasper, Alberta) is home to a threatened strain of cutthroat trout called the Lahontan. The Lahontan cutthroat is native to the drainages of the Truckee River, Humboldt River, Carson River, Walker River, Quinn River and several smaller rivers in the Great Basin of North America.
The fly is heavily hackled and uses 2 hackles palmered together over the Estaz body. I like to use hackles that are quite webby at the base and that may pass for schlappen. I like to add the reverse wrapped rib for a little added protection from the trout’s teeth. The 20lb plus cutthroats can really do a number on the stems of the hackle.
The fly is fished on a sinking line and is tied unweighted so that it doesn’t dig into the sandy bottom of the lake, but rather bounces over the bottom.
In addition to being a good Cutthroat Trout fly, this Woolly Worm variation is great for steelhead and even pike and bass.
Pyramid Lake Woolly Worm Fly pattern recipe
Hook: Mustad R75-79580 #2-8
Thread: 140d Black 6/0
Tail: Chartreuse marabou or saddle hackle fluff
Rib: Small chartreuse Ultrawire
Body: Fl. Green Opal Estaz
Hackle: 2 Black saddle hackles
If you like this pattern, check out the Woolly Bugger.