The Bluegill Bug – The Blood Red Leech

Welcome to Fly Tyin’ Times and a new format for the way I will post my fly patterns.  I hope that it meets with your approval.  After playing around with the video concept, and, actually completing this same pattern on video, I realized something.  Videos are too stressful for me and quality was lacking as far as I was concerned.  So, those who were waiting for a video will have to wait for another day and time as far as tying flies go.

So let’s go forth with the new format for a visual tutorial on tyin’ the Blood Red Leech.
Here is a look at what you will need to tie this very simple and deadly Leech pattern.
***Please double click the picture here to see the Material List
Now, let’s get started………………….
Begin by sliding the red glass bead on to the hook.
Insert the hook into your vise with the glass bead to the eye of the hook.


Tie on your thread behind the glass bead and wrap down your shank of the hook to the point straight up from the barb of the hook.
Next take a pinch of the Simi-Seal Dubbing and roll it between your fingers.  Tie it in directly above the barb facing rearward.  Note picture! Do not trim off the excess dubbing on the hook! 


 Next, take your excess dubbing that you have tied in and fold it back over your tail.  This provides a nice full dubbing tail and by tying it down you have reinforced the tie in spot.
Now form a dubbing loop with your thread.  Make sure the loop is fairly long and locked in by bringing your thread bobbin behind and around the loop.
Next insert the dubbing into the loop by just laying it cross ways through the loop.  Note this particular dubbing should be used sparingly as it is a very full dubbing.  If you overuse it you will find your body on your leech to be way to full.  So a little goes a long way.  We want your body on this leech to be somewhat sparse.  The fibers in the dubbing will collect water bubbles which enhances the flies effectiveness.  If you overuse it, again, it will be too thick and not trap the air bubbles.
Insert your dubbing twister into the loop and twist the loop into a noodle shape.  The loop will tighten and trap the fibers into what appears to be a fuzzy chenille.
Once you have completed the twisting of your noodle (loop), start by wrapping it forward it forward one wrap in front of the other. Tip: After each wrap forward take your hand and sweep the fibers all rearward as you make the next wrap.  Everything should be in a swept back look as you go.  When you get to the rear of the bead make sure your last wrap is snug up against the bead.  Do a quick Whip Finish and cut your thread off.
The final step in the process is to use something to pick out the dubbing with.  You can use something as simple as a piece of velcro stuck on the end of a Popsicle stick or an old tooth brush.  What I use is a specific tool (I guess I am a gadget geek!).  This little tool has a bodkin on one end and a bore brush on the other.  Ideal and rigid for picking out the dubbing that was trapped as you wrapped it forward.   Don’t be afraid to give it a firm brushing and stroke those fibers rearward as you go.  Again, this is done after you have completed the fly and before you insert in your fly box or on the end of your line.
I like to fish this pattern on an Intermediate to slow sinking line.  Let the fly sink for a bit and then begin hand twist retrieve.  Experiment with the speed of your retrieve.
This leech pattern as tied in a size 6, is a solid pattern for Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, and Trout!
If I want to fish them for Bluegill (deadly), I tie them on the same hook but a size 10.  I also tie them in some other color combinations.  I like the Canadian Brown, Canadian Black, Canadian Olive, again, from Arizona Simi-Seal Dubbing blend.  If your local shop doesn’t carry this product (they should), I like the full line offered by FlyFish Food.






  1. Mel, do you think other dubbings would work? Looks like a great fly, I just have so much dubbing already I'd love to use that first. Looks like it would just wiggle great in the water! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks you, once again, Ralph for your support. This leech pattern tied in the various color ranges "is" a lethal pattern. Bass do love them when they are on the prowl! Don't forget to tie a few size 10's for the Panfish in your area, too.

  3. Hi, Will. Yes, is the answer to your question. I can certainly see have an overload of dubbing. Seems to me like there is more available and in many different make ups than there ever has been. I just encourage the use of a dubbing with longer fibers that would pulsate in the water and create that deadly movement. Simi-Seal is a great dubbing and used for a lot of different patterns………..

  4. Mel, I'm disappointed that there isn't a video but I do like the direction you're going. We all want to see your smiling face! I'm making a commitment to tie some panfish flies so we can hit some ponds when the weather permits.

  5. Howard, what I figured out through this experimentation with video is that more importantly than pleasing others, a person has to please themselves. I am very pleased with the way this picture tutorial came out compared to what I saw on video. Keep tyin' those Panfish flies cause we are going to give them some time on the water. It just makes too much sense too me!

  6. Thank you, Alan. I hope to provide good information and am always available for readers to ask questions or leave comments. Appreciate your support.
    On this particular pattern and with Simi-Seal dubbing it is particularly important to keep things sparse. The fibers need to move and flow with the retrieve. Too much dubbing and it "Mats" down and the fly loses it's effectiveness…..

  7. Good Morning, Walt. Here is hoping the snow has not buried you in too much…..
    I appreciate your comment, as always! I would really be interested to know if it is effective on the Trout and Salmon back your way. Only one way to know, Walt………. Fish On!

  8. Thanks, Bill! Always appreciative of your support…….. The Leeches tied with Simi-Seal are very buggy, flow easily in the water, and definitely very fishy. If the times comes and you want to begin tying, please don't hesitate to ask for my support.

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