On September 14th David Smart (photo below) caught a large Puget Sound cutthroat on a popper that was puking up a big pile worm around ten inches long. He had seen a number of these large marine worms swimming freely near the surface with sea-run cutthroats attacking them. He knew Dylan Tomine had developed the String Thing for steelhead. This fly has a long profile, skinny body and a trailing hook. This tying method fit the bill so Dylan quickly turned out the first String Worm fly for David. After a few on-the-water design/color experiments and the process of figuring out how to effectively swim this fly through the water, David started to catch some big fish.
Large cutthroat are rare and it is very difficult to regularly catch fish over 18 inches but the String Worm fly does just that; it catches big fish and lots of them. Since development of this fly, David caught more big cutthroats in two weeks than in the last 10 years combined, including a mammoth 24-incher and a couple equally impressive 22-inch fish. In addition to catching sea-run cutthroat trout, it has also taken blackmouth (immature chinook) and silvers (coho salmon), proving surprisingly effective on some staging coho in a local estuary. The best way to fish this fly is very slowly with slow smooth strips so that it slithers through the water. The fish see this as a large, very easy meal to grab as it swims by, and while the takes may be subtle as a fish engulfs the fly, the results are amazing.
Contribution by David Smart and Dylan Tomine