Our Top 5 Leech Fly Patterns: Successful Streamers

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Streamer fishing often leads to some of the most exciting fly fishing an angler can find. Using large flies like streamers often leads to large and aggressive fish. Leech streamer patterns are often some of the most productive. Leeches are an important food source for all different types of fish, so the more leech representations you use, the more fish you’ll likely catch.

All About Leech Flies

Leech patterns are effective in a variety of different situations. In some cases, you may be fishing new water and aren’t quite sure what to throw. A leech pattern can act as a perfect search pattern. If you like to fly fish lakes, leech patterns are a great place to start.

Some anglers fish leech streamer patterns below strike indicators, behind another larger streamer pattern, or even dead drift them. They can also work well in dry-dropper rigs or fish in tandem.

They’ll work extremely well during the spring, summer, and fall months, but they’ve also been known to be effective in certain situations throughout the winter.

Our Favorite Fly Fishing Leech Patterns

Bunny Hair Leech

Bunny Hair Leech

If you like to fish in still water, the Bunny Leech fly pattern is a great option. The Bunny Hair Leech has a multi-segmented body, so it gets plenty of movement in still water. Plus, it’s a great fly to use if you’re interested in targeting trout, bass, carp as well as pike.

Fly Tying Materials

Simi Seal Leech

Simi Seal Leech

The Simi Seal Leech is one of the more flashy and exciting leech patterns you will find. I use it often while fishing here in Arizona. While it looks buggy and unruly, it works great as a general leech pattern. It works worldwide, and it’s extremely easy for anglers to tie.

Fly Tying Materials

Mini Leech Jig Radiant

Mini Leech Jig Variant

If you’re interested in a smaller leech pattern, the mini-leech jig radiant is a solid choice. It has the weight to cover the entire water column, and it is small enough that it can entice all different sizes of fish. You can fish it like a jig and have plenty of success.

Fly Tying Materials

Egg Sucking Leech

Egg Sucking Leech

If you’re a fly fisher especially interested in landing salmon or steelhead, the Egg Sucking Leech is ideal. Egg-sucking leeches represent a leech species that feeds on a fish egg. Fly fishermen have also used egg-sucking leeches for pike, bass, and trout. It’s one of the most effective patterns on the market.

Fly Tying Materials

Woolly Bugger

Woolly bugger fly

If you’re looking to catch trout, woolly buggers are some of the best flies you can use. It can represent a swimming leech, and it definitely needs to be a common pattern in your fly box. It can be dead drifted, swung, or fished below an indicator. Regardless of the method you use, you’ll have success with it.

Fly Tying Materials

How to Fly Fish With Leech Fly Patterns Successfully

To be successful with leech patterns, anglers need to know where the leeches are located as well as understand their behavior. If the water is muddy, anglers can often find leeches swimming up near shore and in more shallow water. On clear days, leeches can be found deep in the water column below a cut bank or in a pool.

One of the most effective things an angler can do when fishing with leech patterns is to vary the retrieve and make the leech appear wounded. As your leech drifts, don’t be afraid to slow the retrieve and let the trout pursue it.

Also, anglers need to give the leech a bit of movement. Twitching the fly, making short strips, and letting it fall in the water column can go a long way in helping trout land fish with leech patterns.

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Danny Mooers is a passionate fly fishing and angling writer from Arizona. Danny loves sharing his passion for fly fishing for trout and other species through his work for Tackle Village.
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