OK JeFF you asked for it you got it!
Here’s the flyguy version of everything you need to know about fly fishing the micro leech in the productive trout lakes of beautiful British Columbia! ……. (and we’re sure it works well beyond as well )
When we first heard about fishing micro leeches under indicators the concept seemed almost foolish to us. “It doesn’t make any sense” we thought, leeches don’t hang motionless, they are made to be stripped trough the water to imitate how leeches move – right? So we hit the computer in search of answers and discovered an article on the subject written by a fellow named Doyle Goolsby. The article immediately caught our interest as the story took place at Quesnel BC’s Dragon Lake, a lake close to home and close to our hearts. The theory presented in the article was that, “as long as the chironomid emergence is in full force, continue to use a chironomid pattern. However, when the emergence slows down, the trout start looking for dessert. Their dessert is the micro leech.” We remember thinking that if this technique worked at Dragon then it was surely a technique worth knowing!
The article explains to fish the micro leech exactly as you would long line chironomids – using floating lines, long leaders and strike indicators. Again, like chironomid fishing, you should start with the micro leech about one foot off the aquatic plant life on the bottom of the lake because that’s where the aquatic insects start their emergence and therefore that’s where the majority of the fish will congregate. If you don’t have any success in a reasonable amount of time, vary the depth of the fly until you discover the depth where the fish are feeding. We have tried this method during slow downs in a chironomid hatch and we can attest that it is productive! Additionally, we have also found this technique to be invaluable during the period between ice off and the first hatches or anytime that nothing else seems to be happening on the water. For reasons only known to the fish, during these situations the slow presentation that this method offers, along with the small “micro” leech pattern, usually gets us into more fish than any other method regardless of the lake we are at! At the very least it’s a way to get your first fish to the boat where you can utilize your throat pump and fine tune your attack!
Recommended colors are red, black, black/red and burgundy. We have also had success with micros in olive green.
Our favourite micro leech is the triple F leech. This pattern is tied on a Mustad 9671 and utilizes marabou, beads and dubbing – this pattern will be the focus of a future article and perhaps a future category on fly patterns. For now, the pattern that was shown in the article will work just fine and is as follows:
Hook: Tiemco 5262 hook, size 12 ; Body & Tail: Black or burgundy marabou (or a combination of both) ; Head: 1/8 Gold bead ; Rib: Small red wire
After tying in the tail, wrap the same strands of marabou forward tightly around the body of the hook to the gold bead. Trim the marabou strands on the body to create a thin, streamlined appearance to the body. Then counter wrap the red ribbing forward to the gold bead. Finish off the fly with a whip finisher, trim the marabou strands again, and then cement the head. Then head to the water.
We have used the long line micro leech technique now in many different waters throughout the BC interior – it is our go to fly and technique when nothing else seems to be happening on the water and it usually delivers. Suffice to say we never go anywhere without a good selection of micro leeches in our fly boxes!
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