Having Fun with Leeches!

Many of us have fished leeches at one time or another. The introduction of string or articulated leeches has significantly increased the popularity of these flies. The String Leech is so named because it is tied with two hooks—the front one being cut off at the bend and the rear one attached to it with a “string.” The front of such flies are weighted and when retrieved this gives the fly an up and down undulation that mimics the swimming motion of real leeches.

Leeches are common in across north America. They are nocturnal so fish don’t normally see them during the day. However, when fished in daylight they are a hard meal to pass up.

Typical colors are black brown, olive, purple, and wine red.

While leeches can move pretty fast I don’t believe this is the best way to fish them. A slow steady retrieve or a strip (2 to 4 inches) and pause is my preferred approach.

The question for anglers using leech patterns is not when to fish them but when not to use them.