The Frostbite Bloodworm
Cover the hook shank with tying thread. Return the tying thread to the head of fly once a smooth foundation has been created.
anglers re aware of dietary staples in the diets of trout and char
in productive stillwaters such as those of the interior plateau
of British Columbia. Dragons, damsels leeches and scuds all pop
to the forefront. But there is one quiet, consistent stillwater
staple few anglers consider, chironomid larvae or bloodworms. Easily
the most important item on the menu of trout in lakes, chironomids
offer year round fly fishing opportunities.
Take a strand of Super Floss and using a sharp dubbing needle pierce the Super Floss about a quarter of an inch from the end. Pull the Super Floss so the needle splits it neatly down the middle, don't worry if the split isn't right down the middle. The finished result should be a length of Super Floss with a small V in one end.
majority of bloodworms spend their time living in tube homes they
construct along the bottom of the lake, venturing out only to feed
or move residences. Many species are able to generate hemoglobin
that gives the larva the ability to survive in oxygen deficient
waters. The red coloration of the hemoglobin led to the larva's
common nickname, bloodworm. But don't be limited by the color red,
I have seen larvae that are maroon, green, olive and even candy
cane combinations of red and green. As a general guideline the clear
the water the brighter the bloodworm. Mud-bottom lakes such as Tunkwa
and Leighton are known for their large maroon and candy cane colored
bloodworms, while those from clear marl lakes, such as White or
Peterhope tend to be a bright crimson. Pathetic swimmers, chironomid
larvae move through the water column using a vigorous lashing motion
coupled with rests in an extended position. Although animated, this
action nets very little if any forward progress. Floating lines
coupled with long, fifteen foot plus leaders are my favorite tactic.
Depending upon the depth of the water it may take 3 minutes or longer
for the fly to reach the ideal fishing depth, just above the bottom.
Pre-trim the Super Floss so it is about 1-½ inches long with the V in one end. Tie in the Super Floss at the head of the hook so the split end trails out behind the hook. Lift up slightly on the Super Floss and apply tension to keep the material righted on top of the hook shank while securing the Super Floss down the hook shank. With the Super Floss firmly in place grasp the ends of the V and pull them away from each other so the split travels down the remaining length to the hook bend. Trim the tail about even with the hook bend.
larvae go through two seasonal migrations. In the spring the larvae
move from the deeper water into the shallower reaches in preparation
for pupation and emergence. The reverse occurs in the fall as the
larvae prepare for the oncoming winter, making early spring and
late fall peak times to probe the waters with larval patterns. Low
light conditions such as morning and early evening are other prime
times to consider. Under the security of the reduced light bloodworms
leave the security of their tube homes to forage and wander about.
I often begin my day diligently working or wind drifting a bloodworm
pattern until the hatches of the day get into full swing, its not
unheard of to stick with the larval pattern all day long.
basis of the Frostbite Bloodworm is simplicity. Like the larva itself,
this thought pattern does not inspire angler confidence. Using other
spartan patterns as a guide I devised a pattern consisting of a
small V tail, bright red body and fine wire rib, only recently did
the tail become a regular feature, imitating the distinct posterior
pro-legs of the larva. My original concept consisted of a body of
Frostbite counter wound with fine copper or silver wire. The anorexic
nature of this pattern helps improve its sink rate too. To accelerate
the descent even further, try a small tungsten bead or underbody
of fine wire. When forming the wire under body, wind the wire down
hook shank making sure to leave enough to form the rib. Do not counter
wind the rib as this serves to unravel the underbody, instead wind
the rib using the traditional over the top technique. My favorite
sizes range from #10 through #16, with a size twelve has been my
most consistent producer. Mix and match various colors of Frostbite
to create the different banded effects that are common to many species.
My favorites include red, maroon, olive and green.
Cut a one-inch length of Frostbite, grasp both ends and pull. The Frostbite should unravel into one long length. Usually a couple of knots remain as the end strands break down into two individual strands that appear as one. This is exactly what we want to have happen as the knots help to control the material. Moistening the two strands helps keep them together.
patterns do little for anglers not familiar with their guile as
most prefer to grab a robust dragon or animated leech pattern instead.
Believe me at first I was skeptical too, after all casting a tiny
red or green stick into the vast expanse of a lake seemed crazy.
But as my knowledge and experience grew, so did my confidence in
these slender designs. So the next time choosing the right pattern
seems a bit of a mystery tie on a bloodworm pattern, such as my
Frostbite Bloodwom. Be sure to wait patiently for it to sink to
the right depth, creep it back at a snail's pace, chances are any
trout in the area will be happy to make a meal of it.
Hook: Tiemco 5262 #10-#16
Thread: Color to Match Frostbite
Tail: Super Floss split into a V using a Dubbing needle
Rib: Fine Copper, Gold or Silver Wire
Tie in the wire rib along the near side of the hook, to help counter winding the rib later on. Advance the tying thread to the head of the hook and tie in the prepared length of Frostbite. Use only enough wraps secure the Frostbite in place, the tying thread should remain at the head area.
Wind the Frostbite down the hook shank to the tail and back over itself back to the tying thread hanging at the hook eye. Over wrapping the material with itself forms a durable even body.
Counter-wind the rib over the body using evenly spaced wraps. Tie off the rib with the tying thread. Place your thumbnail on the joint were the rib was tied off. Grasp the rib with your other hand and use a pulling and twisting motion to break the rib off. This method avoids having to deal with that annoying tag of left over rib material that loves to break thread.
Build up a slightly oversized thread head and whip finish the fly. Trim the tying thread and apply a coat of Angler's Choice Soft body or Sally Hansen's Hard as Nails nail polish for additional toughness and shine.