Leeches are an important food source for all things “fishy” subsequently most Fly-Fishers have a go to pattern that they use.Mine has always been a very basic Mohair Leech as it’s simple to tie and fishes well.Fishing Leech Patterns on both Rivers and Lakes can be done in any number of ways and all methods are effective.You can hang underneath a Strike Indicator and Nymph them, trail a leach pattern behind a larger streamer and strip them back or fish a couple leeches in different of combinations and see which works.A popular method on Alberta’s Bow River is to tie a “light” Leech pattern and drop it off the bend of a Foam Stonefly or Hopper Pattern.Leach Patterns are versatile,effective, and impressionistic,meaning your quarry might be eating them for a number of reasons on top of looking like leeches.
My fishing Clients from Arizona always raved about the Semi Seal Leech and we would fish them with excellent results.For whatever reason I did not completely embrace this pattern even after moving to Arizona.The Mohair Pattern seemed to work fine so I just never bothered tying The Simin Seal Leech until this year. John Rohmer’s Simi Seal Leech is even easier which makes it faster to tie.It’s also just as effective as my old “go to” !Best of all it requires one Material which is Simi Seal Dubbing,throw a Bead on it and you are set.It is just as effective as more elaborate patterns and with the variety of colors you can cover the whole gauntlet of what you can use it for.Normally we are tying it in sizes #8-#10 on a Mustad 9672 nymph hook. Colors I like are Black,Brown,Tan and white.These colors cover the gauntlet on which fly can represent which are Leeches,Baitfish,Crayfish,Damsel,Dragon and Stone fly nymphs.Checkout JohnRohmer’s Video below have fun tying.Click Here for Materials.
Saint Mary River B.C. CutBow that ate a Gold and Silver Kreelex
Looking for a flashy streamer that’s easy to tie,gets to the bottom of things and catches the crap out of a variety of Gamefish ? Look know further than the Kreelex Streame !Even though it has been popular in the East for sometime,The Kreelex gained popularity in the West 10 years ago and it has become a “go to” Streamer for a lot of Fly-Fishing Guides because of it’s all around simplicity and effectiveness.I tie the Kreelex Streamer in sizes #4 and #6 which seems to work well for Trout and Bass The color combo’s are up to you but for starters go with Gold and Silver,Olive and Silver and Blue and Silver.Copper and Gold can also be a big hit.
5 wt with floating line and a Gold and Silver Kreelex -Crownest River Alberta
On Large Rivers I fish it on a Sink Tip but fishing the Kreelex on a Floating line can also be deadly, the weighted Eyes get it down in a hurry and can be very effective on Small to Medium sized Rivers. Below is how I tie The Kreelex Streamer,some people tie Their’s different via the over and under wings are the same length as the tail.That’s personal preference.Tie up a variety in different,sizes,colors and styles and see what works for you.
Crowsnest River Cutbow that ate a Kreelex Streamer
The Kreelex Fly is a flashy Clouser Minnow variant.Approach tying the Kreelex the same way.Because of the Dumbbell Eyes tied on top of the hook shank,The Kreelex Streamer rides or swims up side down, the darker material are always tied on the bottom of the fly.Contact me if you have any questions.
Tying Instructions & Materials
Hook TMC 5253 #4 -#6
Thread UTC 140 White or Black depending on fly color combo.
Dumbbell eyes Medium – Large
Tail and Wing Montana Fly-Company Kreelex Fish Flash Material *see picture below this is very important because other materials do not move the same in the water*.
Use this and nothing else !
Tie in dumbbell eyes using figure 8 method, glue and wrap thread to back of the hook shank before the bend
Tie in Tail and fold the material that is facing the front of the hook back over so it also forms the tail and tie off.
Trim tail so its the length of the Hook shank or 3/4 of the length wrap thread forward so it is in front of the eyes.
tie in wing using the same technique as on the tail then fold over and tie off behind the eyes Clouser Minnow style.The wrap thread forward of the eyes.
Trim the under wing (The fly rides upside down ) so its 1/2/ -3/4 the length of the tail.
Turn hook over and tie in the Over wing in the same manner as the Under wing and tail.Pull the forward portion back over the rear portion and tie down.Cut the over wing so it is the same length as the under wing which should be 1/2 -3/4 the length of the tail.
Build head via thread wraps ,whip finish and cement with your favorite UV Cement or Resin.
For a Bird Dog person nothing beats seeing a dog on point especially if its yours.There is something mesmerizing about it,For few seconds seems everything freezes for a few seconds before the Covey flush,You seem to be in slow motion as you move past the dogs.It’s a beautiful thing.The back drops are not to shabby also, especially down here in the Arizona Desert.The Dogs obviously love its do the Hunters and regardless of the Breed there is something cool about watching a dog do what it has been bred to do.
I can’t think of a more picturesque place to hunt Quail than right here in Arizona.Luck Us !yThe landscapes are breathtaking and the Gambels,Mearns and Scaled Quail are pretty darn photogenic in their own right also.Right now there is snow up on the mountains and due to all the rain most of the little creeks are running.Longtime Arizona Quail Hunters say it reminds the of the winter conditions in the 80’s and 90’s well before the ‘big drought ” that has plagued the State for the last several years.With all the moisture we have been receiving comes a lot of optimism for ‘next season”.Will it be a banner year ? who knows but it certainly is shaping up to be a much added improvement for The Gambels and Scaled Quail.A lot of fingers are crossed.
With The Arizona Mearns Quail Season set to open on Friday December 6th we have a little excitement in the air here in beautiful downtown Patagonia AZ A.K.A.- Mearns Quail H.Q. of the World.The word on the street is Mearns #’s are spotty at best.For those looking for the ultimate shoot’em up Hunt this won’t be it.Birds will be hard earned.
Crush pointing Mearns Quail
On that note here are a few things to consider which will enhance Your Arizona Mearns Quail Hunting experience.
Don’t be an Asshole
By hunting ontop of other hunters.If someone is in “your spot” leave and find a new spot.Most Hunters I know roll with the first one there gets the right of way.Sometimes things happen namely running into other Hunters and their dogs, the unwritten rule is to turn around or head off in another direction and avoid contact.
Pick Up Your Shells
For whatever reason some of us out there feel that shotgun shells don’t count as litter, therefore it’s Ok to leave them scattered all over the countryside.Well here in the Grand Canyon State leaving your shotgun shells on the ground is littering and you could be fined for it.It also makes the rest of us (hunters ) look bad to the non -hunting public.
Pick Up Garbage
If you really want to impress the Quail Gods via good “karma ” pick up garbage as you walk along.This also includes the shells that some dickhead left on the ground.
Leave Gates how you found them
This is ranching country so there are Cows that sometimes think the grass is greener in the next pasture.But thats up to the Rancher to decide not Hunters or Cows for that matter.Leaving gates open when they should be closed is a big no no.
Skirt Around Cows.
As the season progresses a lot of the Cows will be “Calfing” Its best to stay away from them so you don’t piss off Mother Cows.Move around them, also don’t let your Dogs chase Cows.
Enjoy Your time here.
Mearns Country is a very remarkable place that a lot of Folks don’t ever get the chance to see.Enjoy the views and the people that call this amazing area home.
Support Southern Arizona Quail Forever.
S.A.Q.F. has been going hard to help Quail and Quail Hunters.If you are not member maybe you should join ? or throw them a few bucks for the good things they do to help you have a better Experience.Click Here.
Be an Ethical Hunter
There is a lot of folks preaching hunting ethics,however they vary.Simply obey the law by adhering to bag and possession limits, shooting times etc.The Arizona Game and Fish Department is the go to source for all that info via The State of Arizona Hunting Regulations.