I was first introduced to the blood worm a few years ago while fishing Lake Otamangakau which (as a bit of a newbie to fly fishing) made me assume they were pretty much just a stillwater pattern. I know, most of you are shaking your heads with your years of infinite wisdom but hey, it's a fact that it's still a highly underutilised river pattern here in NZ and doesn't really get talked about much outside of the lakes.
One day I decided to front up with some cash for a guide and invest in my future as a flyfisherman and ended up spending a day out with Chris Dore, which if you haven't done it before will open you eyes to a few not-so-traditional approaches to catching fish. One of which was fishing a bloodworm upstream and while I didn't hook anything on it that day it stuck with me as something to give a go another day.
That day was last Sunday with a coloured up and swollen Waikato stream not offering much in the way of spotting so I asked myself W.W.C.D.D? (what would Chris Dore do?) and the bloodworm was the first thing that popped to mind. By all accounts the trout love them (I know they do at Lake O) and being highly visible with that great red trigger colour they are perfect for those days where volume and visibility is an issue. So, I tied one on with supreme confidence (which is half the battle) and a few casts later had a small fish to the bank which was enough for me to want to spend much more time fishing them.
So Matt and I are literally just about to leave the office for four days fishing in the Central Plateau backcountry and the first fly I'm grabbing off the shelf is a pack of Robs Redhead bloodworms, there's a bit of rain forecast so low and clear is unlikely and I'm hoping this is where these patterns will really shine.
If you need anymore convincing that bloodworms are trout candy then watch the clip below of the "San Juan Shuffle". This is highly frowned upon in the US and is basically just all about dislodging silt and stones with your feet essentially burleying up for trout then fishing back down to them. Questionable at best.