It’s not the first time a leach pattern has been tied, that’s for sure! I have tried many, but for us, none have been as deadly as this. It is a large source of protein and we certainly never fished them enough. 

Two years ago I came across a large leech on the Invermooi Farm in the Kamberg. It was 6-7cm long, 1cm wide, black and had a brown head. The dazzle bead is as close as I have found to representing the head.

I fish the fly on Floating, Intermediate and on slow sinking lines. The takes are generally on the pause and are ferocious; if you are not careful they lead to parted tippets

 (These come with a stiff fine of a tequila shot, for every one!)


1)     #10 Grip 13021 or similar long shank STRONG still water hook

2)     Black tying thread

3)     Tying wax

4)     Thin led

5)     2.8mm Mottled Brown dazzle bead

6)     Black marabou

7)     Red fluoro fibre

8)     Black seals fur



So why use these materials?

As mentioned, the bead is as near as it gets. The marabou tail when retrieved closely represents a swimming leach and with the fluoro fibre adds to the trigger effect. The fibre is subtle, yet there (Something I’m passionate about in my tying)


The seals fur is key! It is stiff and therefore adds vibration (tapping into fish’s lateral line). It creates a very malleable fly that once eaten, should feel realistic to a fish. It also traps air bubbles, most of these should be squeezed out before your first cast to get the fly sinking. The remaining bubbles look realistic and add more triggers



  • Bead the hook
  • Dress the hook shank thoroughly with a corded thread to create a solid base
  • 10 tight wraps of .01 led leaving 2mm behind the bead
  • Lay the marabou feather on your leg, curved downward. Use a small bulldog clip to catch both sides of the feather. Cut just this section of feather
  • Tie in a tail just before the bend of the hook. ENSURE it’s no longer than 2 X hook shank in length
  • Tie in ONE strand of the fluoro fibre, the length of the tail on both sides
  • Wax your thread (essential for holding the seals fur)
  • Make a dubbing loop or if you don’t have the tool you can split your thread
  • Grab a small bunch of seal and insert it into the loop with fibers parallel to the hook shank. Spread it out evenly into the loop
  • Spin the loop to create a brush
  • Tie in the brush while continuously brushing fibers backwards with your other hand. Tie in the excess thread at the end of the brush to secure.
  • Repeat the process 3 – 5 times until you reach the back of the bead.
  • Tie the fly off by whip finishing at least twice.

See photos of the tying sequence below:











Tight, very tight lines!

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