The Effectiveness of the Pink Worm for Steelhead

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The Effectiveness of the Pink Worm for Steelhead

There is a seemingly endless array of lures and baits that catch steelhead, all of which do produce fish. Some days some things seem to work better than others. Sometimes effectiveness can be relative to the time of year. Sometimes there can be preferences from river system to river system on what fish like to bite. One lure that seems to work at any time of the season, anytime of day and on every river system that steelhead exist in, is the pink rubber worm. If you were to do an inventory of any ardent steelhead angler's leader boards, it is pretty much guaranteed that you would find an assortment of different sizes and colours of pink worms ready for action.

A vast majority of pink worms are not scented so they are appropriate to use in rivers with a bait ban. If you are fishing a river with a bait ban, do double check your worms as some are scented and using them is illegal on a bait ban system.

Pink Worm

Highly Visible for All River Conditions

Using a pink worm has many advantages. One of the main advantages is that they are a highly visible presentation. When you are fishing a pink worm, you can guarantee that fish will see your offering and if they want to bite, it will usually happen within a couple of casts. So, they are a lure that can be fished quickly through a piece of water.

If the river you are fishing is quite high and coloured, pink worms are a great choice because of their visibility and profile. If the river is low and clear, pink worms are a great choice as they also work very well in these conditions. So, what we are saying here is that pink worms work all the time, no matter the water conditions.

Follow-Up Presentation

Pink worms make a great follow-up presentation. This means if you’ve had a bite on a different lure or bait and are confident it was a fish, a couple quick follow up casts with a pink worm will often lead to a hook-up.

Pink Worm Sizes

Pink Worms are available in a variety of sizes. The most commonly available are a 6”-5.5”, 4.5”-4” and 3”-2.5”.  In high murky water a 6” is a great choice as it is very visible but don’t discount their effectiveness in lower clear water. You can still get a reactionary bite from a fish. It is quite common to scale down your presentation size for lower clearer water conditions.


Pink worms are available in a wide range of colours, from bright vibrant pinks to duller pinks or washed-out looking colours. Even though we keep referencing them as pink worms, these worms can be purchased in white, black and natural colours as well which are also quite effective.


Pink Worm Brands

Our favorite brands of pink worms are Mad River Steelhead Worms, Cleardrift Steelhead Worms and Hawkeye. These are all available in different sizes as well as a huge variety of fishy colours. 

How to Rig a Pink Worm

There are a few different ways that a worm can be rigged. A needle can be used to thread the worm on to your leader. There are two ways that the worm can be threaded with the hook at the tail of the worm or at the head of the worm. Both ways work well, it really boils down to personal preference and what you have confidence in. 

Another way to rig a worm is to thread it onto a jig head. This gives you a totally different presentation and keeps your worm right down in front of the fish.  Keep in mind that your float depth will need to be shallower than your normal setup, as the head is weighted and can get caught between the rocks easily.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and it helps lead to some confidence in using a pink worm for steelhead. Good luck on the water and believe in the power of the pink worm!

Post your questions in the comments section below or feel free to contact us by email, by phone at 604-931-5044 or stop by 

Sea-Run Fly & Tackle at #110 1140 Austin Avenue in Coquitlam BC.

Good luck on the water.

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1 comment

  • by Al McKinnon
    Is there a blog, or somewhere I can read up on the latest methods of bar fishing the lower fraser river? It’s the type of fishing I grew up with, and now, at 79, about the only type I can safely handle. My days of climbing down over rocks to get to the waters edge are long gone. Thanks for any information you can impart!

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