FLY OF THE MONTH- September 2018


Fly of The Month

September 2018

The Wabnitz Worm Fly

(... a top bonefish pattern)




In September issue of Fly Lines Jim Blakeslee gives a fascinating insight into the fishing at that wonderful place called Kiritimati, which is more popularly known as Christmas Island. The island is raised coral atoll in the northern Line Islands, and is part of the Republic of Kiribati.


In his article Jim describes a fly that was particularly effective – the Wabnitz Worm. To quote from his report: “They talked a lot about fishing “the worm.” I later learned that George, who was a fine fly tier, had developed a special worm imitation that was deadly on bonefish. It was the Wabnitz Worm – named after Dr Colette Wabnitz, an attractive marine biologist they had met in 2014 when she was on Christmas Island doing research on the aquarium fish trade. (If you want to tie George Hammer’s original version of “the worm,” google Wabnitz Worm Fly, then when a listing of sites comes up click on (


So there it is, and here it is. This column mostly gives details of trout flies, but more and more of our members are venturing into salt water fly fishing, so perhaps it’s time we described a fly for this style of fishing.




Hook: Gamakatsu SL11-3H #6 or #8.


Thread: Flat waxed in Orange or Salmon Pink.


Krystal Flash: Orange or Pearl.


Eyes: 3.0mm or 3.5mm gold dumbbell or medium brass beadchain.


Wing: Hareline medium Ultra Chenille in Worm Brown. (Substitutes: light tan

polyester wool melted at one end to prevent unravelling or light nylon

cord dyed light tan)


Overbody: V-rib in shrimp pink or clear (substitute: 16lb clear mono)


Tying Procedure:


  1. Put the hook in the vice and wrap thread along the shank to a point just above the end of the hook point.


  1. Place a piece of V-rib or clear mono on the hook shank behind the thread, then tie it in by continuing to wrap turns of thread to the start of the bend in the



  1. Wind wraps of thread back towards the eye of the hook and tie in the dumbbell eyes or beadchain.


  1. Take two long strands of krystal flash, double them over and tie them in between the hook's eye and the dumbbell eyes.













  1. Wrap the krystal flash around the hook shank back to the bend in the shank, then wrap it forward again to the eyes and tie it down in front of the eyes, leaving sufficient krystal flash so that it can be extended back one hook's gape width past the end of the hook. (At this point, if you wish to make the fly extremely durable you can coat the body with a thin coat of epoxy or CCG.)


  1. Turn the hook over in the vice. Take a piece of the Ultra Chenille about twice the length of the shank and measure a length of it from the front of the hook to the bend. Then pass the hook's point through the Ultra Chenille at the measured spot.
















7.  Loosely tie in the Ultra Chenille forward of the eyes so that it sits along the top of the shank.














8.Overwrap the Ultra Chenille with the V-rib or mono to give a segmented appearance, paying particular attention to keep the Ultra Chenille along the top of the shank. Tie off the V-rib forward of the eyes and trim both the V-rib and Ultra Chenille.













9.Hold the krystal flash back along the hook and form a head to the tie, whip finish and coat with a head enamel (Sally Hanson’s clear nail polish, CCG or Araldite - your choice). Then melt the end of the Ultra Chenille with a small flame using a cigarette lighter.


10. Finally – go fishing. For bonefish fish this fly slowly in either a long slow strip or short 2" jerks, or a combination of both (deadly on CXI bonefish). This fly should also be suitable for bream and flathead and would be worth trying on a long shank #8 for whiting.