Friday, July 6, 2012

Fly Tech: Articulated Bunny Leech

This pattern I normally tie in black, but I felt the orange would stand out better in pictures. It turned out quite nicely. My luckiest color for steelhead has always been orange, whether it's and egg pattern, or terminal tackle.

The materials you will need include: zonker strips (rabbit fur), lead eyes, primary hooks, trailer hooks, braided line, lead wire, beads, thread, and krystal flash. All seen below.

The short list of tools you will need are: bobbin, vise, scissors, whip finisher (optional), and some sort of wire snips

The first step is to put the primary hook in the vise. I  used a #4 black Mustad fly hook. Anything with good strength and a long shank will work. wrap your thread from the back to the front and then to the back again to give a good base.

Then you want to take your braided line and cut around 8 inches off of it. Fold it in half and run both ends through the trailer hook and pull then almost all of the way through. Flip the loop through the hook so it secures the trailer in place then run a 6mm bead to the hook.

Hold the trailer hook (#4 octopus hook) so that it trails 1 1/2 - 2 inches from the back of the primary hook then wrap your thread up to the front of the hook holding the braided line in place.

Attach the lead eyes to the top of the hook then wrap the braided line around the eyes. Cover the braid with the thread and run the rest along the back of the hook covering any remaining braid left over. This should secure the braid in place so the trailer hook doesn't slip at all.

Take a zonker strip and separate the fur so you have a tail length of your desired preference. you may have to moisten the fur with saliva to keep it from falling back in place. I like to keep my tail almost to the end of the trailer hook partially concealing it.

Flip the zonker fur back then attach the lead wire and wrap it all of the way to the lead eyes. The lead eyes along with the lead wire will give the fly plenty of weight to sink even in a good current. Wrap your thread over the lead wire to the lead eyes and back holding it in place.

Wrap the thread back again to the lead eyes then wrap the zonker strip with the fur facing up all the way to the same spot as your thread. Wrap the thread over the zonker strip then cut off the excess.

Take 3-6 strand of Krystal flash or Flashabou of your desired color and attach it to both sides of the fly from the eyes to the tail.

Wrap your thread between the eyes and behind it well to hold everything in place securely. Use a whip finisher or a half hitch whichever you prefer. Since this is a large fly with a lot of material I double knot it.

 Lastly apply a health dose of head cement on in between the eyes and and behind it. This will keep your fly in decent shape after a steelhead tries to demolish it.

Try making the fly in different color patterns. This one is chartruese with a green bead and chartreuse krystal flash. The lead eyes are nickle plated instead of painted. You may also use chenille or dubbing the make a bigger head around the lead eyes.

When you remove the fly from the vise take a wire snipper and cut off the the hook just where it starts to bend on the primary hook. The way the trailer hook is set up, you are able to replace the hook if the original gets bent up.

Disclaimer: I am by no means a professional tyer. I tie flies out of necessity to keep the cost of my fishing down. If you know of a better way please use it. I hope this was in some way helpful.

Tight Lines and Happy Fishing :)

1 comment:

  1. I love the photographs you include in your posts!