Zack Thurman’s Swimming Leech

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Photo b Bob Reece

Photo b Bob Reece

By Bob Reece

The simplicity of most leech patterns can lead to the misconception that the accuracy of their imitation is not important.

As with many patterns, their above water appearance is often the sole determining factor for whether they are used or passed over.   Yet, with any subsurface pattern its underwater behavior and appearance should be considered.

Zack Thurman has an in-depth understanding of still water fly fishing.  This is evident in the numerous and highly effective patterns that he has created for these types of water.  His swimming leech falls into this group of productive flies and has found its way to my fly box.

DSCF8219Last year I started a guide business north west of Cheyenne, Wyoming.   All of the guided fishing that takes place at Horse Creek Ranch occurs on thirteen still waters that are spread out over this 60,000 acre expanse of land.  When choosing the flies that I would use, I tested over a dozen main stream leech patterns.  Zack’s swimming leech out produced all of the other patterns by at least a five to one ratio.  I have since used it on numerous public waters and it has displayed an equally impressive rate of production.

The key ingredient to this success is the Jay Fair Translucent Swimming Hackle. 

The slight sheen and transparency of this material helps to display visual characteristics seen in the naturals.  In addition to this its supple nature produces the smoothly flowing motion seen in a swimming leech.

Spring is an ideal time to explore your local still waters.  Before you head out for your next day of lake or pond fishing, add this Zack Thurman creation to your assortment.  The simplicity of its creation and high level of productivity make this a must have bug in your box.

Watch The Video and Learn to tie Zack’s Swimming Leach!

To purchase Zack’s Swimming Leech from The Fly Shop in Redding California, click on the link below:

To view more tying videos by Bob Reece, click on the link below:

To explore the fly fishing opportunities of Horse Creek Ranch Wyoming with Bob Reece, click on the link below:

Bob Reece
Gink & Gasoline
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One thought on “Zack Thurman’s Swimming Leech

  1. The only thing I changed on this pattern was I tied the hackle in as it came out of the package. Then I cut it to length and roughed it up after I wip finished. I also prefer to use a popsicle stick wrapped in adhesive backed Velcro. I found it quicker to fray the hackle on a fly by fly basis.

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