On one of my work postings to Prince George, I regularly met with other fly tiers. One individual traveled all the way from his home on the Barkerville Road to attend meetings in Prince. As a sideline, he sold fly tying materials so perhaps that was part of his motivation to drive so far! Capes of Jungle Cock fowl have long been banned in an effort to preserve these wild birds but this fellow offered Polar Coachmen members genuine capes at a bargain price. Yes, I succumbed and bought a jungle cock cape which I still have today! Our fly for February is a flowing black rabbit leech to which I have added jungle cock cheeks. Does it catch more fish? Well, it may not, but with the jungle cock cheeks, I tend to have more confidence in the fly and that, I believe, results in more fish!
Often near shore you will see very large leeches. However, I have found that a smaller leech fished in deeper water will often out produce a large leech. That is why this fly is tied on a smaller hook than you might expect! Let's have a look at how I tie this fly.
Start by attaching a piece of copper wire to the hook shank projecting past the hook bend. Next wrap black mohair wool hook bend to just before the hook eye. Follow up with spaced turns of the copper wire to form the rib. Now cut the underside skin of a black rabbit strip about as long as the hook shank. Depending on the length of the hair, it will flow back past the hook bend perhaps twice the hook shank distance when firmly secured at the hook eye. I make a half hitch or two back along the hook shank to ensure the rabbit strip will stay fixed when attacked by huge trout! This fly doesn't have a hackle but I add a single piece of green crystal flash on each side at the hook eye flowing back about as long as the end of the rabbit fur. The jungle cock cheeks are an option but if you have a cape, definitely tie in a jungle cock eye feather on each side at the hook eye. Finish the fly with a head of several turns of peacock herl. Cement, tie off and you have a leech pattern that I have found produces really well in many Cariboo lakes!
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