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If you work in a fly shop for very long you will eventually get The Question.

The Question comes in several forms but it often goes like this(usually over the phone):

Phone rings.

Shop Dude: Thanks for calling Fin & Fire, how may I help you?

Caller: Hey this is Joe, do you have any worms?

Shop Dude: Hey Joe, what kind of worms are you looking for?

Caller: Um, Nightcrawlers if you got them?

Shop Dude: Um, kinda sorta, Joe. We've got worms but they might not be the kind you are looking for. We call them worm "flies" and they are made of chenille and thread and tied on a hook. They aren't alive.

Caller: Oh, OK. Any ideas where I can get some real worms?

Shop Dude: Wal-Mart, maybe BiMart.

Caller: Thanks!

Brownies love "dirt snakes".

We do carry worms. Lot's of worms. We have Pink Worms, Red Worms and Tan Worms. We have Tiger-striped Worms, Jig Hook Worms and Tungsten Bead Worms.

Worms work. Worms catch fish. We just don't sell the ones that you get in a styrofoam cup for $3 per dozen.

We have found some situations the worm works exceptionally well. These times include spring runoff periods. The Lower Deschutes trout feast on worms every spring when flows increase due to snowmelt in the hills or any increased flow from Pelton Dam. Because worms get flushed into the river, look for worms to be keyed in upon by trout close to shore. Fish move in close when the flows increase as the speed of the river is often slower near the shore. Casting distance competitors need not apply. Summer thundershowers also provide some occasional opportunity to throw the worm. If its raining hard, let the worms reign over the trout.

The Middle and Upper Deschutes in the Redmond and Bend area are great spots to run a worm pattern. With browns making up the majority of the larger fish in these areas, worms stand little chance of going unnoticed. Again, spring is a great time but don't hesitate to throw the worm at any time in this area. The Deschutes around Crane Prairie and Wickiup Reservoirs host large fish that feast on worms. Spring releases from water out of Bowman Dam also create some good worm fishing on the Crooked every year.

Whether you fish worms or not is your call. It's safe to say that the trout in Central Oregon vote with their mouths and they voted for the worm a long time ago.

Paul Snowbeck
Paul Snowbeck

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