For my last two stillwater fly fishing outings, the lakes were alive with all manner of insect activity. Last week there were Caddis, Damsels and Dragons and a smattering of Callibaetis. Today, there was a non-stop Chironomid hatch, sizable midges, Caddis, Callibaetis, Tricos, Dragons and on both occasions the overwhelming productive fly was the Little Fort Leech. 

It isn’t that I didn’t try other patterns, but few came to other patterns, despite diligent attempts to present the flies just so. As soon as I went back to the Little Fort Leech the assault continued. It was a bit spooky. I experimented with green, brown, olive green. Rejection. Is it the black? The red dash? The gold bead? The peacock and black chenille? Since I first discovered this pattern, it has been a stalwart stillwater pattern. 

I do attempt to do more on a lake than kick about trolling a woolly bugger. I mix up the retrieves; sometimes I kick, wind drift or anchor. The Little Fort Leech fly is in my top 5 any time.