Leather Leech

Created by Jeff Morgan


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.

When swimming, leeches are thin and elongated. They often thrash about and don't have a lot of forward progress. The Leather Leech imitates the shape and action of natural leeches.

Both trout and black bass feed on leeches, so this is a good multi-use pattern.

How to Fish

In lakes, use the count-down-and-retrieve or slow retrieve presentations. Retrieve this fly in rapid, short spurts. If you get a hit with no hookup, immediately stop retrieving and let the fly sink a couple of seconds, then start retrieving again.

Tying Instructions

1. De-barb hook, slide on bead, and place in vise.

2. Trim leather strip to shape (about 2-3 times the length of the hook shank).

3. Tie on leather strip just forward of the midpoint of the hook. Tie off and trim.

4. Tie in yarn. Make two wraps while sweeping fibers back. Tie off and trim.

5. Dub 2 wraps of sparkle dubbing over tie-in point of yarn.

6. Whip-finish and trim.

HOOK: Dai Riki 270, size 12

TAIL: Olive, brown, or black Ultra Suede

THROAT: One or two wraps of mohair yarn, swept back

SPARKLE: Sparkle dubbing to match body. Use two wraps just behind the head

HEAD: Black brass bead