Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Chef, Oct 4, 2010.
Will trout each leeches?
Absolutely. One of my "go to" patterns is a bead-head mohair leech with a marabou tail.
I just tied last week 20 or so mini leeches size 12 to 16 ,black,brown,burgandy,red,tan,white,light brown,olive,oliveand black. useing a strip of rabbit fur less than a half inch long. Great for the fall and spring time.
Leeches are one of stillwater trouts main sources of food. I tie all different types of leech patterns, but I really love articulated bunny leeches mostly in black and brown.
Do trout like leeches? Does Eddie Haskel love the Beaver?
Tie 'em out of mink pelts! Killer!
The patterns work, but I always wondered if fish truly ate them since I'd never seen them reported in taxidermy evaluations of stomach contents. That question was answered in a past thread when Jim Wallace reported catching steelhead with leeches spewing from their mouths (if he sees this thread he may chime in). I think they must degrade too quickly compared to a sculpin or crayfish for the taxidermist to appreciate.
I've pulled them out of trout with a throat pump. Sizes I've seen range from less than 1" up to 3-4". Colors vary from a pale olive with dark spots to dark olive, brown, rust, and black.
should they be tied with any type of flash? i was thinking of tying some egg sucking leeches.
Anyone have any pictures of leeches they tied?
And do they need to go on long shanked hooks?
And how do you fish them?
This should get you started. Lots of variations. Profile and movement are key characteristics to leech patterns. They don't have to be on long shank hooks but most are. Marabou and bunny fur are common materials. As for how to fish them . . .I don't think there is a wrong way. Simplest way is to troll around a lake and wait for fish to find your bug. A sinking line helps get it down to the bottom where most leeches hang out. Casting and stripping around weeds and structure is always worth a shot. I do best fishing leeches early and late in the season when other food sources aren't in abundance. Also early and late in the day when the sun if off the water.
I sometimes wonder if leech imitations are actually taken as leeches. Most leech patterns don't look very much like a leech and certainly don't imitate the leech's swimming movement; anyone who has watched the vertically undulant and painfully slow progress of a swimming leech would have to concur. One opening day at Chopaka I met a guy who was fishing five-inch-long, fluorescent green or pink string "leeches" and, literally, outfishing everyone else on the lake. They certainly didn't remotely resemble any leech that ever swam; I assume they were simply attractors (anybody ever tried a pink rubber worm?).
I did like his method of articulation, however, and began tying something similar, though smaller and in more natural colors. I fish them with a steady twitch, hoping that the rising and falling of the weighted head will create something like like the sinusoidal movement of the natural (which it doesn't do very well). For whatever reason they seem to be pretty effective.
Preston: what is the recipe on the leech you have in the picture?
It's a bit hard to describe; I secure a metal bead on the shank of the front hook immediately behind the eye (I use a Tiemco 200R for its straight eye, the shank will be cut off later) Behind the bead, secure a loop of "string" (either small diameter backing or Kevlar thread) with a needle already strung on it. I secure the string by wrapping it down on the hook shank with the tying thread, turning the ends back and wrapping over them again. Secure a rabbit strip behind the bead (and possibly a couple of strands of Flashabou) then cut the tying thread and whip finish.
Stitch through the leather of the rabbit strip three or four times with the needle and measure the length of the string loop to see that the trailing hook, when attached, will be approximately at the back end of the rabbit strip. remove the front hook from the vise and insert the trailing hook; the trailing hook can be any style, but a turned-up eye works best (I like the Tiemco 206BL).
Cut the loop and remove the needle, put both strands of the string through the eye of the hook, wrap it down along the hook shank with the tying thread, reverse it and wrap over it again to lock it in place and hand whip finish. When properly positioned, the trailing hook should be at, or just beyond, the end of the rabbit strip. Cut off the shank of the front hook just behind the point where the materials are tied on. It sounds a bit complicated but after tying a few it becomes fairly easy. I think I've covered all the important steps and hope this helps.
Looks good Preston thanks
preston: a video demo would be cool!
An important step with any articulated fly that may get stuck in a big fish mouth is to protect the loop. Wrap a small infill where the wire end of the eye can rub on the loop. We used to break them off fairly frequently until we figured it out and started wrapping them.
We will have dozens on hand at any given time and some will be pushing 10" from end to end. Grayling will even do ridiculous things to get at huge leeches.