Fly of the Month – The Bunny Leech

J. Stockard Pro Tyer: Erik Svendsen, Provo, UT

The Bunny Leech is a pattern that has been around for a long time.  It wasn’t until I saw Pete’s (@Blueriverflies) Spawn Head version that it caught my interest and made me want to tie it and fish it.  With any pattern, I love to over-complicate it and add more flash and materials.  I really wanted to make this look even more minnow like by adding the white belly and speckled guinea, and who doesn’t like flash on a minnow.

If you are using Blank Spawn Heads, there is a tutorial on how to paint them here: https://youtu.be/BrPkC_r-HhA

So enjoy and tie some up. The fish can’t resist them.

The Recipe:

Hook: Ahrex TP610 2/0-4
Thread: Semperfli waxed thread 8/0
Head: Spawn Fly Fish Sniper Rainbow Head
Tail: Magnum Rabbit Strip in Variant Olive
***use 30lb mono to prevent fouling***
Body: Rabbit Strip Olive (Cross Cut is preferred)
Flash: Flash with pink and silver colors
Rainbow Belly: Hareline Extra Select Strung Marabou gray minnow
Hackle: Whiting Farms Pink Guinea
Head Cement: Liquid Fusion

Step by Step:

Step 1: Start with an Ahrex TP610 hook in the vise loaded with a tungsten bead, the smallest you can fit over the barb.

 

Step 2: Using .030 Lead or Lead Free, wrap 10-15 wraps down the shank of the hook. Position the Spawn Head on the shank of the hook so the eye is not crowded and then push the lead wraps and bead into the head. This is to position the bead for perfect placement of the bead to finish the fly.

Step 3: Begin your thread right behind the lead wraps, being careful not to move the lead wraps or tungsten bead. Wrap over the lead wraps at 45 degree angles up and down and then a good one or two passes up and down ending your thread at the bend of the hook. You don’t need complete thread coverage.

Step 4: Attach a 6-8” piece of 30lb mono right behind the lead wraps and down the bend of the hook as shown.

 

 

Step 5: Attach a piece of Magnum Rabbit strip that is 2.5 the length of the shank of the hook. Position it so that about .25” is overhanging the hook eye. Use 3-5 good securing wraps to attach the rabbit to the shank, and advance your thread to the other side.

Step 6: Using your Bodkin, punch a hole through the rabbit strip at the halfway point between the bend and the tip of the tail. Make sure to punch the strip in the center of the strip and not close to the edge, as this would potentially the weaken tail. I’ve never had one of these break at the point of puncture yet.

Step 7: Secure the other end of the mono to the shank of the hook on the other side. Make sure not to tighten the mono so tight as it pulls the tail towards the bend. This will prevent fouling, but still have great movement through the water.

Step 8: Attach a strip of regular rabbit in Olive right in front of the tail. Cross Cut Strips are preferred, but the pattern also fishes very well with regular rabbit strips as will be shown next.

Step 9: Apply a little coat of super glue to the shank. Palmer the rabbit strip up the shank with slight overlapping wraps.
Tip: Before palmering the rabbit up the shank, slide the Head onto the fly and advance your thread so that it is 1/4” into the head. This gives you a point of reference to end the rabbit up the shank.

Step 10: Using a flash of your choice, but one that has pink and silver hues, tie about 10 strands that are tapered (not aligned) on your side of the hook shank. Fold them over the top and secure them down the opposite side of the shank.

Step 11: To create a whitish belly pull off a good chuck of a feather and keeping the ends aligned, tie them in to basically go into the point.
Note: I like the Trout Hunter Silver Dun with UV for this fly.

Step 12: Tie in a Guinea by the tip and palmer it up to the bead and tie it off.

 

 

Step 13: Divide as much of the guinea, flash, and rabbit down the middle of the shank. Then pull the remainder of the Magnum Tail over the top and secure with a 3-5 wraps. Do not pre cut the strip, because precutting it loses some of the hair.

Step 14: Complete with a single 3 turn whip finish.

 

 

Step 15: Apply a thin coat of Liquid Fusion or other flexible/ waterproof glue. Make sure that you have an even coverage around the thread and bead. Too much will cause the glue to be pushed onto the hair and be bad.

Step 16: Push the Spawn Rainbow Sniper Head on and make sure it is positioned correctly. Spread some of the guinea and flash around the fly from the flash down. The glue will secure these fibers in place so anything that looks out of place will stay that way.

Step 17: Fish it.

If you would like a Video Tutorial you can check it out here:

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