Simple, effective worm flies deserve a place in your box. Here’s why


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Anglers have long known that trout eat worms, but there was never much of an attempt to imitate worms until fairly recently. There seem to be two general reasons for this. One is a traditional fly-fishing aversion to lures that are icky or smack of live bait. Secondly, until serious scientific analysis of trout waters began 50 or 60 years ago, we really didn’t know how many worms they held. Turns out, they’re pretty common. Many rivers, especially siltier ones, are home to aquatic worms, while rain and winter runoff add terrestrial worms to the mix. So, although they’re generally thought of as early-season fodder, worms can be in the water all season long. As a bonus, worm flies also resemble plus-sized caddis larvae, another major riverine food source.