Beginner’s Fly Tying: Rabbit-strip Leech

View our instructional video for this lesson above or on your YouTube Channel. Chapter markers are available on YouTube.
Written instructions are also available below.

Session Overview

Leeches are among the many ‘fish foods’ which freshwater fish species consume, whenever these annelids are available. Worm-like in their behavior, freshwater leeches can be found near vegetation in streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds. Simply stated, a leech fly pattern is a good searching pattern on many waters, particularly those locations unfamiliar to the fly fisher. (See below for more information as to the similarities of leeches and worms.)

The fly pattern chosen for the May Beginner’s Fly Tying session is the rabbit-strip leech. Participants at our tying session will learn techniques for applying zonker and cross cut rabbit fur strips in the construction of the rabbit-strip leech, which are applicable to other worm-like and streamer fly patterns. We’ll meet at Trinity United Methodist Church at 7:00 PM on May 17th, Room 207.

What is a leech?

Leeches are segmented parasitic or predatory worms that comprise the subclass Hirudinea within the phylum Annelida. They are closely related to the oligochaetes, which include the earthworm, and like them have soft, muscular, segmented bodies that can lengthen and contract. 

By Don Fine