Mini Leech

Created by Randall Kaufmann


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 head and/or 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.

Unlike many patterns that are called a "leech," the Mini Leech and the very similar Mohair Leech resemble real leeches. Most of the leeches that trout eat are only an inch or two long, and they are thin. This fly imitates them well.


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, the wind drift presentation 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: 200R, sizes 6-14

THREAD: To match body/tail color

TAIL: Marabou with 3-5 strands of Krystal Flash that matches the body color. Tie the marabou on the upper half of the hook for the entire length of the shank; this forms an underbody.

BODY: Angora goat or Crystal Seal on a dubbing loop