Fly Tie Tuesday – Dirty Water Leech

Fly Tie Tuesday is a new series where a side by side tutorial of how to tie an inshore fly will be posted up for you to try at home. Send any requests for flies to info@skinnyskiff.com.

Dirty Water Leech

[infomercial] Do you fish muddy bottoms? Do you fish dirty water? Can the fish not see your regular flies? Well this is the fly for you! [/informercial]

Ok, enough of that. Today we tie the ‘Dirty Water Leech’. I’ve always wanted to tie a ‘longer toad pattern’ since getting used to tying up the standard body sized toads. I always figured it would look like a leech…and it does! Many times in dirty, muddy bottom, redfish will be feeding on not crabs or bait; but leeches in the mud. You can see the reds cruising the shorelines, backs out of the water, in search of these tasty black morsels in the silt and dark bottom. If you find yourself in this situation, this is the perfect fly.

I have tied two variations of this fly, one with a rattle and one without. I prefer the rattle version, since this fly is so specialized to begin with. It gives the fly that extra something that just calls the fish in, and lets the fish hone in on the subtle rattling of the fly on the bottom with very short strip-jerks of the fly line. In this tutorial, I tied one without a rattle because I ran out of them and had no idea. I included a photo of the finished rattle version at the end.

Materials Needed:

  • Black marabou
  • Black chenille
  • Black (with any color flake) silly legs
  • Small Lead Eye (Can sub for medium bead chain, but you need something to get it down in the mud)
  • Black/Midnight EP fibers
  • Purple EP fibers
  • Black thread
  • Gamakatsu B10S ‘Stinger’ Size 2 Hook
  • OPTIONAL: Small rattle

 

Instructions:

Instruction Makers Note: Excuse my blurry or unfocused photos. Getting a cheap olympus camera to focus on a thin hook is a nightmare!

Tie on your fly line like you mean it.

Fly Tie Tuesday - Leech - SkinnySkiff

 

Next, tie on your black silly legs. I usually do two full size silly legs bent in half and splayed on the hook.

Fly Tie Tuesday - Leech - SkinnySkiff

 

Marabou time. Put a nice fluff of marabou on there around the whole hook, not just the bottom.

Fly Tie Tuesday - Leech - SkinnySkiff

 

After the marabou, tie on the end of your chenille and palmer it around the hook one or two times to get a full wrap. Not too much, though!

Fly Tie Tuesday - Leech - SkinnySkiff

 

OPTIONAL ITEM NOTE: This is where you would be tying on your rattle, before you add your EP fibers. (See photo at the end for rattle placement)

Tie off your chenille, trim any unruly excess from the fly, and start tying your EP fibers. This is where you want to ‘band’ them and rotate colors, black-purple-black-purple-etc.

Fly Tie Tuesday - Leech - SkinnySkiff

 

More EP fibers…

Fly Tie Tuesday - Leech - SkinnySkiff

 

Tie on your lead eye up front.

This is also the point where you can tie on a weed-guard if you need to, but I don’t tie them on these flies since they are almost exclusively muddy bottom flies.

Fly Tie Tuesday - Leech - SkinnySkiff

 

Now you need to trim your EP fibers. Straighten them out, comb them, get them all tidy, and then use a pait of large scissors to cut them. I don’t use standard fly scissors here, in fact I use the opposite- standard household scissors:

Fly Tie Tuesday - Leech - SkinnySkiff

 

Once trimmed, you’re all done! See finished photos below:

Fly Tie Tuesday - Leech - SkinnySkiff

Fly Tie Tuesday - Leech - SkinnySkiff

 

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