When I was a kid, I remember stuffing a full pack of Bubblicious gum into my mouth and chewing away blissfully until my jaw hurt. The Bubblicious Worm seems to have much the same effect on trout, often in situations where you wouldn’t expect it to. I always like to have a selection of San Juan or Squirmy Wormies in my box for high water conditions or just as a hail mary when nothing else seems to be working.
The traditional San Juan doesn’t have a lot of built in movement in the water and the Squirmy has a ton of it, but isn’t terribly sturdy and usually falls apart after a fish or two. I wanted a heavy anchor fly for euro nymphing or to really scour the bottom in heavy water under a strike indicator. I also wanted something that would wriggle like the real deal but remain relatively durable. I found my answer in the Chewing Gum worm material from FNF. It’s soft and supple but holds together extremely well in the water. Add a little wire segmentation and some eye-popping UV Ice Dub and you have a super simple, highly effectively worm imitation. I’ll sometimes tie these with a hot orange or hot pink bead if you want to go extra dirty.
While these certainly work extremely well in high water or run off conditions where you tend to find more aquatic annelids in the drift, I was surprised by how often trout ate them in low water conditions too when I really only tied it on for the extra weight to get my smaller dropper fly deep or to act as an attractor, fully expecting the little fly to get bit instead of the big ridiculous mass of writhing pink chenille. The chewing gum material comes in several infinitely wormy colors for you to experiment with so tie a few and give them a shot on your next fishing adventure.
Bubblicious Worm Recipe
Hook: Hanak 400BL #10
Bead: Hanak 3.5mm Gold Slotted Tungsten
Thread: 140 Denier Fl Pink Ultra Thread
Tail: Marshmallow Pink FNF Chewing Gum Worm Chenille
Rib: Small Red Ultra Wire
Body: UV Pink Ice Dub
Confluence Beer Pairing: Last month I totally screwed up in the editing process and neglected to elect a beer of the month. Hopefully you figured something out to satisfy your hop craving for September. For October we’ve got a really great recommendation to make up for my miss. Run, don’t walk, to Kulshan Brewing and pick up a six pack of Beer Prom, an other-worldly and delightfully hoppy IPA. If you don’t want to run or walk, Kulshan actually has some local deliver options to make life even easier. Grab some Beer Prom, tie up some Bubblicious Worms and get to work on your favorite stretch of stream.