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Monday, August 10, 2015

California Leech Variation

It's highly adaptable

California Leech

Several years ago when I first started to poorly cast, kick, and strip (I know... bad play on words) or as I called it "stillwater fishing," I was a bugger guy.  All you needed was a handful of olive, black, and brown Wooly Buggers and a type 3 sinking line.  Sure, I caught plenty of fish, but it wasn't until I started paying more attention to some of the excellent patterns out there that I really started to catch more fish.  One of the extra "ninja" patterns that I had heard about was the California Leech that was made famous by Bill Scheiss at Henry's Lake in Idaho.  Bill's flies were usually pretty scraggly, and not the prettiest of flies, but they sure caught fish.  There are many different versions of California Leech dubbing, but the best I have used is made by Mike Andraesen from Bountiful, UT.  It's a blend of flash with his famous Canadian brown mohair that can be adapted to be used in a wide range of patterns.

In the pattern that I tie in the video, it's not an original California Leech because I change the tail, it's too bulky, and I wrap hackle through it.  The original calls for a marabou tail, and a very thin body without hackle.  BUT...  I have caught many fish on the "variation" that I tie in the video, so that's how I tie all of mine now.  This fly also opens the door for a lot of creativity, and I'll list some pattern variations that can be very effective as well.

To fish this fly, I usually like to find where the fish are holding and use a full sink line to get the fly down to their depth.  I start off with long slow pulls with some pauses, and a lot of the time the fish will eat it on the pause.  The key is to vary your retrieve until you find what the fish want, and then duplicate the retrieve that caught fish...  Clear as mud?  Good, now go give some friendly fish free facial piercings (Say that 5 times fast).

~ Cheech 

Recipe:

California Leech
Hook: Daiichi 1710 or Allen S402 #6-10 
Thread: MFC 3/0 - Rusty brown (BUY HERE)
Tail 1: Arctic fox tail hair - Brown (BUY HERE)
Tail 2: Krystal flash - Rootbeer (BUY HERE)
Ribbing: UTC wire size BR - Amber or copper (BUY HERE)
Body,: Canadian series dubbing - California leech (BUY HERE)
Hackle: Brown saddle or neck hackle (BUY HERE)

Pond Olive Leech
Hook: Daiichi 1710 or Allen S402 #6-10 
Thread: MFC 3/0 - Red (BUY HERE)
Tail 1: Arctic fox tail hair - Black (BUY HERE)
Tail 2: Krystal flash - Peacock (BUY HERE)
Ribbing: UTC wire size BR - Red (BUY HERE)
Body,: Canadian series dubbing - Pond olive plus (BUY HERE)
Hackle: Black or dark olive saddle or neck hackle (BUY HERE)

Canada Blood Leech
Hook: Daiichi 1710 or Allen S402 #6-10 
Thread: MFC 3/0 - Wine (BUY HERE)
Tail 1: Nature's Spirit Bugger bou - Claret (BUY HERE)
Tail 2: Krystal flash - Pearl (BUY HERE)
Ribbing: UTC wire size BR - Wine (BUY HERE)
Body,: Canadian series dubbing - Canadian blood plus (BUY HERE)
Hackle: Black or claret saddle or neck hackle (BUY HERE)




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