I read a lot about fly fishing purists and their refusal to use certain types of flies or lures in their fishing endeavors. Two of the most commonly debated flies are the San Juan Worm and the Egg pattern.
I consider myself to be at least a semi-purist( I guess that’s similar to being semi-pro ). I say that because I have never used the egg pattern, but on a recent fly fishing trip to Pisgah National Forest, I gave the San Juan worm a try. In fact I used the San Juan worm with a Red fox nymph dropper. I have to say that the Rainbow trout I caught on this setup were all taken with the nymph dropper and none on the San Juan Worm. That being the case, granted this was only one outing, the San Juan did not prove itself to be so effective that it should be considered too easy to catch fish with. It was no magic bullet in this case.
Rainbow trout caught and released on Red Fox nymph dropper.
I’m sure it will work, but on this trip it did not work for me even when fished without a nymph dropper. Some of the hang up may be that the San Juan is very easy to tie, requiring very little fly tying skill to produce. If we can tie flies to imitate other natural creatures like grasshoppers, mayflies, caddis flies, and insects in various stages of maturity, then why should a worm be any different?
I haven’t tried the egg pattern, and more than likely I won’t. That’s the semi-purist in me I suppose. There the again, the egg pattern is one of those extremely easy, quick tying, low skill lures. It’s my belief that that is where the disdain for lures of this type really begins. Tying traditional and newer more contemporary flies can take a lot of skill as well as preserving the traditions of fly tying that began several hundred years ago. My opinion, use whatever lure you like as long as it falls with the legal to use category for the designated stream you are fishing.