There are literally thousands of fly patterns around the world which begs the question, what fly to use? I have found that there are some days when every pattern seems to work and other times, more often the case, when the fish are extremely fussy! This means matching a hatch very closely or on those slow days when trolling an attractor pattern, slight differences in similar flies can mean fish in the boat or a skunked outing! Such was the case recently when my friend, Art DeVries was fishing a small lake near Vernon with Al, his regular fishing partner. Art was using an all black leech without so much as a touch while Al had tied on a similar black leech but with a red head. Al had all of the boasting rights that day because he landed four large rainbows in the 18 to 21 inch range, releasing all but one fish for the table! Al's fly was larger than normal, close to three inches long, perhaps indicative of big early season adult leeches moving about? Who knows but why not have such a fly in your fly fishing arsenal so we will closely examine this fly.
The AD Leech is a relatively easy fly to tie. It is a large pattern so even a size 4 hook is not too big. Start by tightly wrapping medium black chenille hook bend to near the hook eye. Next select fairly thin black hackle feathers and tie them in progressively along the fly back, ensuring that they flow close to the fly body. Each of 3 or 4 feathers should finish at the same point about twice the length of the body with the last feather tied in near the hook eye. Finish the pattern with a head of red holographic tinsel, tie off, cement and you have created an early season attractor leech that just might be the answer!
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