Slim Fast 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.

Leeches are naturally slim when they are swimming, and this pattern's profile is a more exact imitation than most commerically-tied versions. Unlike most leech imitations, it is not weighted.

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 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 another fish gets it" seems to be a trout motto). There are times when this works, and times when it just spooks all the fish.

Tying Instructions

1. Pull soft marabou fibers from side of marabou feather shaft. Tie in about 15 fbers for tail.

2. Tie in Woolly Chenille, fine gold wire, and hackle (tip first).

3. Wrap Woolly Chenille sparsely, just covering hook shank. Tie off and trim at head.

4. Wrap hackle to front, only about 5 wraps. Tie off and trim.

5. Rib gold wire through hackle, tie off and trim.

6. Build small head, whip-finish, and cement.

HOOK: Dai Riki 700, size 8-12

THREAD: To match body

TAIL: Sparse (15-20 fibers) marabou or ostrich herl

BODY: Woolly chenille in brown, light olive, olive, or black

HACKLE: Sparse grizzly dyed to match body

SPARKLE (OPTIONAL): One strand of Krystalflash on each side; color to match body

RIBBING: Fine gold wire