The Cluster Maggot is a dream find for any hungry trout, panfish or carp on the hunt. It’s likely that one of the first baits you used as a kid was a maggot on a hook, so you know how effective the off-white morsels are for catching. Now multiply this into a larger snack pack of a dozen maggots and you’ve got a winner on your hands.
The fly is tied in a similar manner as the Crystal Meth steelhead fly and finished like the San Juan Worm with a softly touched flame to the tips of each strand of chenille. If you do choose to target carp, I recommend using a heavier nymph hook for the fly.
Cluster maggot Fly Pattern recipe
Hook: Firehole 419 #12-16 (or another dry fly hook)
Thread: Buttercup 6/0 (70d) (white or cream thread)
Body: White or cream Ultra chenille
Accent: Ice Dubbing Pearl UV (Golden Brown)
The Brass Zebra is a mash-up of 2 popular trout flies. The Brassie and the Zebra Midge. This design is credited to Dan Liechty, but there are some other similar flies out in the world.
The fly is quite simple but can be tied using different colors of wire. You’ll just want to make sure you keep the colors contrasting so that you keep the “zebra” effect. Black with gold, silver, orange, or chartreuse all works well.
For the thorax, natural peacock works well, but you can use Ice Dubbing or Diamond Dubbing to give the fly a slightly different look and a little more durability.
Fish this pattern near the bottom of creeks and rivers or it also works well as a stillwater fly suspended under a strike indicator.
Brass Zebra Fly Pattern recipe
Hook: Mustad C49s #10-16
Bead: Gold tungsten or brass
Thread: Black 6/0 (140d)
Body: 1 strand red Ultrawire & 2 strands black Ultrawire
Thorax: Peacock herl or dubbing
Love it or loathe it, the Squirmy Wormie has wiggled its way into countless fly bins around the world. As you’ll see, the fly is really quite simple to tie, but this squishy material poses a few problems that need a bit of experience to overcome. The Squirmy is a cousin to the infamous San Juan Worm. Mike from Wooly Bugged has a version which uses a high contrasting color of brass bead. This acts as an additional trigger for trout and panfish. You can watch Mike pickup a few in the video below.
First off, the material can be a little delicate. I find the strength can vary a little bit package to package, but it is highly elastic and quite lively. Secondly, it may be a little tough to position properly on the hook shank. I’ve found that adding a base layer of thread, tying the material in at the side and by stretching it while using a pinch wrap help to position the worm in the proper position. Lastly, it doesn’t work well with glues and adhesives. Some glues just don’t hold on while others will eat through it. It’s best just to make a couple secured whip finishes. You’ll also want to keep them out of the heat and store them in a cool dark spot.