In additional than 30 years of fly-fishing for trout, I’ve by no means seen a leech. Perhaps I don’t fish the place leeches reside, though that appears unlikely, for the reason that consultants say they reside in each form of freshwater. The consultants additionally say trout love consuming leeches, and I imagine them, since I’ve had loads of luck with flies which are thought of leech patterns. The one I’ve tried most just lately is Brandon Mayer’s Mini Leech, and it has shortly develop into my favourite.
It’s about an inch lengthy, however don’t fear that it’s a small-fish fly. As Mayer notes, most actual leeches are a ½ inch to 1½ inches lengthy, and massive fish love them. Mayer’s fly options a bit of coloration and delicate flash on the hook and a few micro-movement within the ostrich herl collar, which imitates the leech’s head, however the fly’s actual motion is the lifelike undulation of the quick strip of pine squirrel fur that serves because the tail.
It’s an amazingly versatile fly. You possibly can solid it as is and work it like a small streamer, however you can even drift it like a nymph—which checks out, since actual leeches typically make use of their very own model of “behavioral drift,” letting the present take them from place to put. You possibly can run it behind a standard-size streamer. One in every of Mayer’s personal favourite techniques is to hold an unweighted Mini Leech below a dry fly or hopper.
I principally tie and fish the Mini Leech unweighted. It’s a delight to solid and strikes naturally within the water. It may be tied with a bead head model, too, for deeper displays. If you happen to jig it, the tungsten bead exaggerates the motion of the tail, and that form of motion is a widely known set off for trout and most different fish. Talking of jigging, the Mini Leech may be very common tied on a jig hook (in that case, tie the pine squirrel strip with the disguise dealing with up, so it’s dealing with down when the fly is inverted within the water).
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The Mini Leech checks loads of containers for me. It’s easy to tie, product of available supplies, very customizable, and clearly efficient. I’ll have quite a lot of them in my containers because the season unfolds.
Mayer’s Mini Leech Recipe
- Hook: Dohiku J, Measurement 10-16
- Thread: Black, 70 denier (8/0)
- Physique: Pink Krystal Flash
- Hackle: Black ostrich herl
- Tail: Black pine squirrel strip, 3X hook shank size