Don's Fly Tying - the Mallard Leech

[the Mallard Leech]

Once again I received a wonderful Christmas present from my fellow fly fisherman and Internet friend who resides with his family in my old stamping grounds, Prince George. A while back, Dale Ruth created a very interesting fly, the Mallard Concord, and he has now invented and tested similar but different flies called the Mallard Leech and the Mallard White Boatman! Dale kindly sent me not only copies of his new creations, but also descriptions of his tying procedures! I could not be more happy to share his new flies with you as a great way to start the year 2018! The lake photo below is Dale's test lake, Tabor, taken this past August when smoke from the Williams Lake and other BC fires darkened the skies! Now all of the following are Dale's text, word for word, including the tying instructions. Likely in March we will examine his second fly, the Mallard White Boatman, on a similar basis!

The Mallard Leech was fished in several lakes located within a 60 kilometer radius of the City of Prince George. Since the fly performed well overall, I'll be sure to keep at least 5 in my fly box at all times before venturing out.

[Tabor Lake in August 2017 with Heavy Forest Fire Smoke]



The Mallard Leech is essentially constructed the same as the original Mallard Concord fly in article #197, posted February, 2013. The only new material added is crystal flash. Crimp the barb down. Slide on a white glass bead or other desired bead. Tie thread on shank beginning at the bead and wrap back to hook point. Do an optional half hitch, then lightly apply cement on the wraps. Note: Although optional, for this particular fly pattern the extra half hitches and cementing does provide additional securement of the materials attached to the shank and increases the prevention of premature wear and tear of the thread from hooked fish thrashing, jumping, fly contacting teeth or regular removal of flies by using pliers are some examples. Place the stem of the tail feather on top of the shank and secure it with 3 semi-tight wraps. Grasp the stem and pull it in direction of the hook eye until the 1" tip is extending pass the hook bend about 3/4" or so. Continue with tight wraps towards hook eye, stop at the halfway point of shank, snip excess stem, do a few more wraps to cover the snipped ends, half hitch, wrap back to hook point, half hitch again. Place the stem of one of the 6 stripped 1/2" feathers on top of the shank and do 3 semi-tight wraps. Pull the stem through the wraps until the tail feather is showing a 1/2" length or so and then secure with several tight wraps while always advancing towards the hook eye with each and every consecutive wrap. Same steps apply for each of the next 5 feathers. Before tying in the third feather, snip the stems of the 1st and 2nd feathers close to shank and cover stem ends with wraps. Tie in 3 strands of crystal flash, half hitch, cement. Tie in the 3rd feather and continue on. The last feather should be 3/16" from the bead, half hitch, snip excess stems close to bead so that they lay down flat on the shank at the bead or just slightly before it. Cover stems with wraps. Whip finish and cement. Wrap in an optional collar of red thread directly behind bead. Tie off and cement. Grasp the ends of the crystal flash strands and cut to desired length. If your vise doesn't rotate take the fly out of the vise and turn the fly upside down . Grasp all feathers and crystal flash at once and keep them well away from the shank bottom and then lightly cement all thread wraps along the shank bottom. Fish the Mallard Leech as you would any other leech pattern.

Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"

Http:// -- Revised: December 30, 2017
Copyright © 1996

[Canada Flag Icon] CANADA, a clean, spacious, scenic, fun place to visit!