Spanish barbel after barbel would tear off on their first run and then proceed to rip tippet and squirmies ragged over the sharp gravel. Most fish were caught on dries (story coming soon), but for deeper, mud rooting barbel, Leonard Flemming’s improved bloody squirmy was particularly effective (

However, the squirmies did not hold up to the gravel gravy train and I lost many a tail when the fly was hooked near the outer part of the mouth. Trout teeth have the same effect.

Deep, mud rooting comizo and gypsy barbel loved squirmies and took them very aggresively

While YouTubing random stuff, I came across an ingenious squirmy fly ‘dressing’ by Steffan Jones, of FishingWales, where the squirmy tail is simply threaded onto the hook and held in place by a small thread bump at the hook bend.

I believe that vinyl ribbing, peacock herl and a bit of CDC adds fishy appeal and so combined the two patterns.


The squirmy switch fishes well and the tail stays in place. Even better, and in a way similar to wiggle tails on pike flies, you can switch the tail in a matter of seconds if damaged, or you simply fancy a new colour.

The fly without the tail may also have some potential as a stream nymph and know that I could fool a few trout or graying with it easily enough.


Leave a comment



Subscribe to our newsletter and get all the latest to your inbox!