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Fly Fishing the Micro Leech

Fly Fishing the Micro Leech - Goolsby's Micro leech

Fly Fishing the Micro Leech

OK JeFF you asked for it you got it!

At the time of this writing (spring 2010), fishing micro leeches under indicators is still a fairly new phenomenon. Given our success rate with it, however, we suspect that it will increase in popularity and be around for a long time to come!

So here’s the flyguys 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 quite sure it will work well beyond as well 😉

Fly Fishing the Micro Leech …

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 should be congregated.

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 at times when 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 tactics.

fly fishing the micro leech

Fly Fishing the Micro Leech

Recommended colors are red, black, black/red, burgundy (wine) and brown. We have also had success with micros in olive green.

Our favourite micro leech fly pattern is the “Triple F” leech fly. This pattern is tied on a Mustad 9671 and utilizes marabou, beads and dubbing. Up and coming is our “KGB” leech fly fishing pattern which utilizes a smaller curved hook & rabbit strips. Both of these fly patterns will be soon focused in future articles in our new fly patterns category so stay tuned. 😉 For now, the simple marabou micro leech fly pattern described in the original article is a proven leech pattern that will work just fine. Here’s how to tie it …….

Fly Fishing the Micro Leech | Simple Marabou Leech Materials:

  • Hook: Tiemco 5262 Size #12 (We like the Togens Hopper #14)
  • Body/Tail: Marabou (Wine for the fly shown above)
  • Head: 1/8 Bead (Gold for the fly shown above)
  • Rib: Wire (Red/Small for the fly shown above)

Fly Fishing the Micro Leech | Simple Marabou Leech Tying Instructions:

tying the micro leech1) Pinch down the barb. 2) Place the gold bead on the hook. 3) Tie in tail about 3/4 length of the hook shank. 3) Tie in the wire rib at the hook bend. 4) Take the left over butt end strands of marabou from the tail and wrap them forward tightly around the body of the hook up to the gold bead. Tie them off behind the gold bead and cut away the excess marabou. 5) Use your scissors to trim down the marabou strands along the body to create a thin, streamlined appearance. 6) Counter wrap the red wire ribbing forward to the gold bead. Tie it off behind the gold bead and cut away any excess wire. 7) Whip finish the fly behind the gold bead. 8) Cement the thread behind the gold bead. 9) Head for the water! 😀

We have used the long line micro leech technique now in many different waters throughout the BC interior and it has become 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!


*** for more still water fly fishing strategies please hit up & review our still water fly fishing category here!



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