Illawarra Flyfishers Club

Curalo Worm    

Text and Photos by Andrew Susani and Andrew Wheeler

Hook #12 wet fly style (Gamakatsu pictured)
Thread 6/0 red
Body Blood Red or Claret Tapestry Wool
Head Small or medium gold bead head
Tail Curly, unstraightened piece of tapestry wool - same as body

This fly was originally tied as a prototype for a decent worm pattern, but on it's first trip I managed to have a big bully mullet take it twice (missed the bloody hookup twice too), then it produced a corking 3lb bream. The next day a similar sized bream was hooked and busted off when the reel handle got stuck in my shirt sleeve while doing 1000rpm. Add a handful of small bream between the bigger fish, and I guess I have had a good introduction to this particular fly. I am by no means touting this as the be all and end all of bloodworms, because it is a far cry from a complete pattern, but it has been a consistent winner on sandflat bream of all sizes, especially in sight casting situations. The best part is the simplicity of the fly means that you can afford to have a bunch tied and it won't break your heart (or your wallet) if a fish decides to take one home to show it's mates.

Tying Procedure

1. Slide an appropriate sized beadhead over the hook point and leave it behind the eye.  

2. Take a piece of dark red tapestry wool and pry apart the strands of wool.

3. Cut one of these strands to a length of about 2cm and make sure that the curl is left in the wool. This emulates movement when the worm is stationary or moving very slowly. Start the thread at the bend of the hook and tie in the curled wool strand.
4. Cut some of the wool and tease apart the wool fibres. Dub these loosely onto the hook shank to form the body. Don't worry if this is a bit rough - it will add to the fly's movement in the water.

5. Whip finish the thread behind the bead and the fly is complete. Simple, huh?


Like the bloodworm pattern, this fly is easy to tie, so the thing that will mean success or failure lies in the manner in which it is fished. Let the fly sink to the bottom and give it a sharp 6-12 inch strip so it darts off the bottom, then let it settle back on the sand. Takes are usually subtle as the fish picks the fly up when it settles on the bottom, so stay alert.

The longer you let it sit on the bottom between strips, the more bream you will catch, especially if you are fishing this fly blind. It is that simple. Bream have a very curious nature, but are easily spooked by a constant, fast retrieve, especially in shallow water. Long pauses really evoke the savage takes from bream, though I am not sure why. We have noticed similar behaviour when spinning for them with small minnow lures, and if you can force yourself to slow down your retrieve, you will definitely see the difference at the end of the day.