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Baby Leech Fly Step-by-Step:
For the first time this winter, I tried my hand at Fly Swaps. While south Louisiana lacks the prerequisite cold winter that spurs most anglers into joining such exchanges, I decided it might be a good way to both hone my skills and possibly learn a few new patterns. After all, nothing beats repetition for the former. And, in the case of the latter, you just never know what lesser known patterns a fellow swapper may introduce you to.
Such was the case when I selected a simple black wet fly from my case of swap returns this past Wednesday. My recent go-to patterns were not producing as they had in recent weeks, and it seemed as good a time as any to try something new. As you’ll see in the proof of concept below, it worked quite well. Upon returning home, I shuffled through my notes from the previous swaps in search of a name.
The fly in question was simply labeled “The Baby Leech,” and, by a stroke of luck, the tyer had included a material list and tying instructions. It is these instructions we’ll be following below.
|Standard Nymph (Size 6-12)||70 Denier (Black)||Ultrawire (Copper; XS)|
|Dubbing Mix (Black)||Rabbit Fur (Black)|
Baby Leech Fly Step-by-Step Tying Instructions:
(Mobile Viewers: Click images to enlarge)
Tips and Tricks
- Color selection – While the example above is tied in black (the color that produced for me), any natural color combination should suffice depending on the prey species in your local waters. The tyer who shared this pattern with me goes a step further, however, and acknowledges that pattern has even produced in some unnatural combinations such as pink and yellow. For my purposes, I may tie a few size 8s in “crawfish” orange and see if the local carp show any interest.
- Swing or Strip – While my experience with this fly is limited to only a single stillwater outing, I can attest that retrieving with short, erratic strips as well as swing and lift retrieve will produce strikes. The latter is particularly effective along weed lines and structure.
Proof of Concept
As I prefaced above, this fly came into play earlier this week while revisiting the site of my recent Roadside Ditches post over lunch. Starting with the EP-style Minnow that had produced so well on recent outings, I found myself skunked after 30 minutes.
Deciding it was time for a change, I reached for my swap return box and scoured the various wet flies I had recently received in the mail. The simple black pattern in size 6, that would turn out to be the Baby Leech Fly, caught my attention and found its way onto my tippet.
It proved a good choice as my first Warmouth of the year followed shortly thereafter. Two casts later a young Largemouth followed. Then a small Redspotted Sunfish. Within 30 minutes, my tally had exceeded a dozen fish including five separate species.
Three of those were new on the year, bringing my 2021 species count to 11!