Instructions: Balanced Leech

Tying Instructions: Balanced Leech

1. Slip a bead onto the pin with the larger hole facing the head of the pin. I'm using a 1/8" bead.
Step One
2. Bring the bead to the end of the pin, notice how the head of the pin is within the bead. Secure with thread wraps. Apply a whip finish and trim off the thread.
Step Two
3. Secure the pin to the top of the hook shank with 6-8 thread wraps and whip finish to trim off the thread.
Step Three
4. Place the eye of the hook through another pin to check how level it is. Note that the hook has a 30 degree tilt. This is too much. We want the hook to be almost level but not quite since dubbing and a tail will be added.
Step Four
5. Push the bead closer to the eye of the hook and check once again for level. We want a 15 degree tilt and this is what we have after adjusting the pin further along the hook shank.
Step Five
6. Place the hook back on the vise and lash the pin firmly to the hook shank with additional wraps.
Step Six
7. Once the pin has been firmly attached, apply some zap-a-gap to the thread wraps to assure a firm set. Note the distance of the bead from the hook eye. This will give you a distance that you can easily duplicate with other flies using the same materials.
Step Seven
8. Clip a section of fibrules from the quill of a marabou plume. Hold these fibrules securely with you fingers so that the tips remain fairly even.
Step Eight
9. Holding the tips above the hook shank measure the length of the marabou so that the tail length is about the same as the hook shank length.
Step Nine
10. Secure the marabou tips at the tail tie-in position with 2 wraps and then spirol wrap forward trapping the tag end pieces to the top of the hook shank.
Step Ten
11. Trim off the tag ends of the marabou and attach some Krystal Flash or flashabou to both side of the tail at the tail tie-in position. The flash should not extend beyond the tail fibers.
Step Eleven
12. Secure the tag ends of the flash with thread wraps and trim off the excess behind the eye of the hook. Wrap the thread back to the tail tie-in position.
Step Twelve
13. Create a dubbing loop. This is a large loop of thread that is held in an open position with the use of a dubbing tool. You wrap the top of the loop with some thread wraps to close the apex of the loop and bring the thread around the top of the loop to close it, then wrap your thread forward to the eye of the hook.
Step Thirteen
14. Position the dubbing fibers within the loop teasing them within the loop for the proper density. If you desire a tapered body, you would have a smaller density of fibers near the tail tie-in position and more fibers closer to the bead.
Step Fourteen
15. Trap the fibers within the loop by twisting the dubbing tool. As it twists the two threads, you can massage the material and reposition the dubbing. Use a velcro dubbing tool to help pull out the fibers.
Step Fifteen
16. The loop can be secured with a hackle plier and the dubbing tool can be removed prior to wrapping the material around the shank. Use a dubbing brush to help distribute the fibers.
Step Sixteen
17. Wrap the dubbing rope of fibers forward with touching wraps. Once you get to the eye of the hook, dub a couple of wraps in front of the eye, just behind the bead. If you don't have enough dubbing rope, don't worry...just make another dubbing loop to create enough dubbing rope to finish the job.
Step Seventeen
18. Secure the dubbed rope with a whip finish behind the bead and trim off the thread.
Step Eighteen
19. Use a velcro dubbing brush to tease the fibers from the dubbing loop. Work all around the shank. Particularly, tease the fibers from just behind the conehead for a full flowing body.
Step Nineteen
20. Not enough fibers have been pulled from just behind the bead. Use the velcro brush to pull the fibers forward toward the bead, then brush back.
Step Twenty
21. Check the fly to see that it lays level. Looks good. Note how the fibers behind the bead are now longer with some additional teasing.
Step Twentyone
22. The finished Balanced Leech.
Step Twentytwo

©2023 Steve Schalla
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