Articulated Leech, Black


Most stillwaters have leeches but very few north American species are blood suckers. They are naturally nocturnal, so trout don't see very many during the daytime. But when a fish spots one, it is usually interested, because a leech represents a good meal.

The front half (only) of the fly should weighted. A beadhead is optional. When retrieved, this gives the fly an up-and-down undulation that mimics the way real leeches swim. The marabou waves in the water and contributes nicely to the overall effect.

Articulated flies such as this one are a pain to tie, but they can be effective when fishing for deep-lying steelhead in the fall.


Good color choices: red, bugundy, purple, black, brown, dark olive.

How to Fish

In lakes, use the count-down-and-retrieve or slow retrieve presentations. Vary the retrieve until you find what works best at the moment: slow and steady, fast, strip-and-pause, or quick, short two-inch strips. Also, a wind drift tactic works well in lakes.

When pursued, leeches put the pedal to the metal and move pretty fast. For this reason, some anglers always retrieve their leeches fast, in the belief that a trout will see it speeding along and figure another trout is after it--thus inducing a strike response ("eat all the food you can before any fish gets it" seems to be a trout motto). There are times when this works, and times when it just spooks all the fish.

HOOK: TMC 7999, sizes 2-8


TAIL: Black marabou

WING: Black marabou