Traditionally the String Leech is a great fall and winter, steelhead pattern that is optimal for swinging with heavier tips. This past summer at Rapids Camp on the Naknek River the String Leech was very effective in hooking up with rainbow trout and that is the reason why we are featuring it now. With great action, the String Leech will dance around in various water conditions during the swing. Being relatively easy to tie, and a variety of color combination options, this fly is a great fly to lock up fish with. No doubt we will swing the String Leech this fall on the Naknek River.
Fly Designer: unknown but willing to give credit and thanks to whomever it is.
A big thank you to Friend and Contributor Mike Brown for tying this string leech for us. Mike Brown is the owner of Mossy’s Fly Shop in Anchorage, Alaska. A lifelong Alaskan with a passion for family, fly fishing, and fly tying.
- Aquaflies Shanks
- Firehole 714 size 6 stinger hook
- Rabbit straight cut strip – Black
- Flash – Black Holographic
- Guinea – Natural
- Strung Saddle Hackle – Red
- Veevus 140 Thread – Black
- Power Pro Braid 30# – White
Step 1 – Start your thread and cover the shank of the Firehole 714 hook to just past the inside point of the hook.
Step 2 – Place the rabbit strip a 1 inch tall past the bend of the hook, part the rabbit hair and firmly wrap the rabbit down.
Step 3 – Lift your rabbit up then wrap your thread back toward the hook eye, then tie the rabbit down a second time. Whip finish underneath the rabbit strip, then with a loop connection, attach your Power Pro braid for your articulation line through the eye of the hook.
Step 4 – Remove your stinger hook from the vise and replace it with your shank and attach your Power Pro braid on top, by firmly wrapping of thread around the shank and the Power Pro braid twice. Adjust the length of your rabbit and attached hook so the fly will be between 4 – 6 inches in total length.
Step 5 – Tie down the Power Pro braid by giving a couple more wraps, then fold the Power Pro braid back over itself and wrap back to the starting point.
Step 6 – Give some tension to the rabbit by securing the hook back so you can stretch the rabbit in the opposite direction, then tied down the rabbit to the shank. Make sure to leave enough rabbit to make 2 more additional wraps and tie off, then cut off the excess rabbit.
Step 7 – Tie in 2 strands of flash with a couple of wraps on one side of the fly. Repeat on the other side of the fly. Trim both to fit.
Step 8 – Trim the hackle to where you are able to wrap the stem around the shank with 2 wraps. Trim the excess.
Step 9. Tie in the Guinea and wrap up to two times. Trim the excess.
Step 10 Whip finish.
Voila! String Leech.