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Rigging Tip: Bunny Tails and Stinger Hooks

Posted on September 02 2015

Rigging articulated bunny flies
Rigged and ready to fish. Photos: Kyle Shea.

We fish a lot of articulated ‘leech’ style flies at our lodges. Why? Because they work really well! In fact, we just ran a step by step fly tying post on one here.

However, one down side to most stinger style leech patterns is that once the stinger hook becomes dull or straightened, the hook cannot be changed.. After all the stinger hook is typically tied directly to the bunny tail at the vise.

We like a little more versatility in our flies, so today we present you with a great tip from Alaska West guide, Grant Turner, on a great way to rig a bunny tail fly so that it not only rides even with the stinger hook, but the hook can be replaced as well. See the step by step below.

Rigging articulated bunny flies
Step 1: Thread your stinger loop through the bottom of an up-eye stinger hook.
Rigging articulated bunny flies
Step 2: Fold the stinger loop up and over the bend of the hook, but do not cinch down.
Rigging articulated bunny flies
Step 3: Slide the bunny tail through the stinger loop so that the hook will ride up.
Step 4: Pull tight by pulling on the bend of the hook. Be sure that the leather of the bunny tail doesn't extend past the bend of the hook to ensure the tail never interferes with hook ups.
Step 4: Pull tight by pulling on the bend of the hook. Be sure that the leather of the bunny tail doesn’t extend past the bend of the hook to ensure the tail never interferes with hook ups.
Rigging articulated bunny flies
Step 5: Tease out any trapped fur between the stinger loop and the bunny strip.
Rigging articulated bunny flies
Voila! You’re left with a fly that fishes just like a leech tied directly to a stinger hook, but can still be changed as often as needed.

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