By Jake Wells
I know that we're all getting excited for dry fly action. And soon we're anticipating excellent hatches of Baetis & March Brown mayflies along with the "Mother's Day" caddis. But even though the Henry's Fork is known for it's epic hatches and dry fly opportunities, we also know that sometimes subsurface fishing techniques are necessary and very effective in catching trout.
Caution - Stop now if you are a pure dry fly fisherman who only uses Parachute Adams and bamboo fly rods! You will become more stupid if you continue reading.
With that being said, I just wanted to give some love to the leech! For all of last month and the duration of this month, my subsurface fishing rod has been rigged with a leech. When fished under an indicator or swung quarterly down river, I've found leeches to be very effective when rivers start changing water temperature. Here's an effective leech pattern that was introduced to me by a good friend and former HFA guide, JD Miller...
The Semi Seal Leech comes from the vise of John Rhomer; a well known fly tier, author, and fly shop owner from Phoenix, AZ. The Semi Seal Leech is a versatile, easy to tie pattern that catches just about anything that swims. This fly is a must have if you plan on fishing Hebgen Lake, Henry’s Lake, or Quake Lake during your visit. It also works well swung in the rivers or even dead drifted under an indicator in the Box Canyon and lower Henry’s Fork.
This is the type of fly I like to categorize as a “guide” fly because it is easy to tie, uses a minimal amount of materials, and can imitate ten different things just by changing the color of the dubbing used. Tie up a couple of Semi Seal Leeches and see how they work for you!
Semi Seal Leech Recipe
Hook: TMC 5262 (sizes 6-12)
Thread: 6/0 Uni Thread (match color of dubbing)
Underbody (optional): 10 wraps of .020 lead wire
Bead: Tungsten bead or red glass bead
Tail: Semi Seal Dubbing
Body: Semi Seal Dubbing tied in loose and then picked out with a dubbing pick