A trapshooter friend, Jack Damon, gave me the Rabbit Leech some time ago. He assured me that it worked well for him at White Lake, near Salmon Arm, BC. I could see that his fly had potential because the narrow rabbit strip tied as the fly wing would wave enticingly as it moved through the water. Also, since Jack has caught an 11 pound rainbow in White Lake, my interest in this fly was definitely above average! Of course rabbit fur can be dyed to match any colour in the rainbow so the light maroon color of Jack's fly also caught my attention. In his experience, the red wine color of both the wing and body of the fly worked better than brown or black at least in White Lake. As I have found the late fall just before freeze up surprisingly good for catching large rainbows in many BC lakes, we will look at Jack's fly for our November fly tying article.
The rabbit leech is really a very simple fly to tie. Attach your tying thread to the hook shank and wind a thin strand of maroon wool hook bend to hook eye. The next step is key in that you need a very thin strip of rabbit fur slightly longer than the hook. Try to purchase your rabbit strips pre cut no more than 1/8 inch wide because it is a difficult job to manually cut a larger strip to achieve the thin width that is desirable. Cinch the strip down at the hook bend and also at the hook eye with your tying thread, taking care to brush the fur back to form a tail about 1/2 the length of the fly body. A dab of head cement midway along the back will help to keep the fly wing close to the body. Tie off at the head, cement and you have finished a good trolling or deep water casting fly for large rainbow trout!
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