#12, #14, #16
I’m pretty sure people first started fishing the San Juan Worm on the Big Horn in 1986. I tried some, and they worked, but I was intrigued about why. After some thorough seining of the ‘Horn’s weed beds and a conversation with a biology professor at Colorado State University, I discovered that all tailwaters with weed bed and spring-creek like conditions have populations of aquatic worms.
After examining the naturals in my seine, and dropping them back into the river’s current, I noticed that the critter’s bulbous orange sex gland was its most strikingly noticeable feature as it tumbled downriver. That’s when I added a large orange bulb to my San Juan worms and called it Gordie’s worm. Again, my pattern has been often copied since 1986 but never correctly; I suppose no one else has taken the time to actually observe the real McCoy underwater.
Anyway, nobody should ever fish a tailwater containing weed beds without some of these patterns.