Fly Tying & Fishing: Little Fort Leech (Variation)

little fort leech variation swittersb

Yes, a version of the ubiquitous Woolly Bugger, The Little Fort Leech. Without question, and for whatever reasons, the best dark WB I have ever used. Yes a basic black or dark brown WB will produce, as will almost any colored body combination given the right location and presentation. However, this pattern can be fished wit confidence on stillwaters and rivers. Simple to tie, this variation has a variegated marabou tail rather than the traditional Black marabou with a bright splotch of red hackle or marabou tied atop the black. The abdomen/thorax is lightly palmered with dark brown hackle. It is unweighted save the bead head. I tied this fly on a stout size 8 hook. I came upon this pattern about 20 years ago in Little Fort, British Columbia at a fly shop and have never stopped tying this very basic fly.

LFLs SWittersB

4 Responses to “Fly Tying & Fishing: Little Fort Leech (Variation)”

  1. November 6, 2013 at 17:17

    Need to give this bug a go. So, the tail- it’s a mixture of white, black, red marabou heavy on the white? The thorax looks a little spiky, is that like a short black flash chenille sort of stuff?


    • November 6, 2013 at 18:13

      Hi Wayne….the Original, way back, was black chenille, palmered with black hackle and the black marabou tail with overlay of red marabou…shorter or red hackle fibers. As time evolved, of course, I changed it in the body only…sparkle chenille with predominantly dark colors and a bit of peacock colored sparkle or just green sparkles.

      The tail in the variant, is unique by source. I went to a Michael’s Craft Store in Portland and noticed they had boas for sale. Some combined the following marabou feathers: tan, brown, black or grey, black, white. I cut off a snippet from the core of the boa and tie it in for the tail. Both colors of boas have been nice to use. Of course, regardless of colors or materials (location + presentation/retrieve) is equally important as you know. I now use floro red schlappen hackle fibers for the tail for the bright red and length.

      I have tied in from size 6 to size 12. The bead has mostly been gold, although I have used those variable colored beads that are part green/red/blue. But the original pattern + the Minnow Bugger have been my two best WB’s for several years now.
      Minnow Bugger


      • November 6, 2013 at 19:38

        Thanks Gary. My oldest boy and I fished the Missouri in mid September and we were fishing at dust into dark, the kid threw in a streamer after I caught one on a typical Mo rig, #20 PT off a scud. Neither of us wanted to fuss around with tiny stuff. The fish started smashing the WB’s. The Missouri fish get pretty damn persnickety but throwing streamers at night was about as effective and low tech as it gets. We went on to catch several fish and lose several WB’s. Colors didn’t seem to matter to much but rust/orange, white, black seemed a bit more productive. That one with the white tail looks dangerous to me!


  2. November 6, 2013 at 01:41

    Thanks for posting this. Those fly ties look awesome!

    Bass Fishing Texas


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