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Stu’s Tube Leech – Tying Instructions

Posted on September 05 2015

How to fie a tube fly leech
Stu’s tube leeches. Photos: Stuart Foxall.

Stuart Foxall is back today with another great step by step! So, grab a cup of coffee and kick off your weekend right, by filling up those fly boxes!

Stu’s Tube Leech – Tying Instructions

Last week we dressed a simple but super effective bunny leech pattern, the Miles Davis Leech. Today we are going to be doing a tube version, which we can crank out even quicker. There are some other advantages to tying it on a tube as well, which we will discuss later.
How to fie a tube fly leech
Step 1: Tie in a piece of plastic liner inside some tube material. You can see that I’ve cut the outer tube at an angle which allows the thread to grip the liner and stop it from slipping. I’ve also put a small dab of super glue to secure.
How to fie a tube fly leech
Step 2: Tie in a length of bunny strip as a tail, followed by a few strands of blue and purple holographic Flashabou.
How to fie a tube fly leech
Step 3: Wrap in a length of bunny strip as the body. Once again, you could use a base of varnish to make the skin more secure.
How to fie a tube fly leech
Step 4: Add some lengths of mirage Flashabou.
How to fie a tube fly leech
Step 5: Wrap in a black schlappen hackle to give the fly some shoulders.
How to fie a tube fly leech
Step 6: Tie in some steely blue ice dub as a collar again. I’ve doubled it over (similar to the shank version) to stop it from slipping.
How to fie a tube fly leech
Step 7: Use a nice blue cone (this a Future Fly cone) to finish the fly. I’ve burred the liner tube with a lighter to keep the cone from sliding off the end of the tube. Or, if the steelhead in your river appear to be concentrating on eggs, try an egg sucker version with a hot red or orange cone (see below).
How to fie a tube fly leech
Done! This is how I like to rig my bunny strip tube flies. I thread my nylon through the tube and form a loop by tying quick double surgeon’s knot. I then slip an up eye hook onto the loop. The surgeon’s knot is then slid securely inside the tube. I don’t want the hook too far behind the tail as I would run the possibility of hooking a fish deep. I would much prefer to miss a fish than to deep hook one. Keep in mind, if you cast correctly the tail will not wrap around the hook. This leaves the bunny strip to swim really naturally without anything stopping the wriggly movement like a traditional shank/stinger system can.

I like to tie my tube bunny strips on the shortish side, somewhere around 3 inches long. If the river conditions change and the river rises or colors up, it’s then pretty easy just to stack the two tubes on top of each other to create a much larger profile that the fish can see. This saves you having to have lots of different fly boxes with lots of different size options.

More Step by Step Tying Posts

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