Bunny Leech
  |  First Published: August 2008

The Bunny Leech is a variation on an existing pattern, which has been made a lot quicker to produce since I got my hands on a new material called Leech Yarn. It has saved me time and material.

The Leech Yarn has also added more durability to the Bunny Leech than the previous way in which it was tied. With the time saved on this pattern whilst at the vice, you will have more time to get out on the water and target all manner of bass, saratoga, golden perch, cod, silver perch and other species with the Bunny Leech.

One of the great attributes of the Bunny Leech is the amount of movement it possesses in the water, even when it is not being stripped. With the weighted eye, the Bunny Leech will sink between strips, which means that it is always moving.

The movement of the Zonker gives the appearance that the tail is what is kicking the Bunny Leech along, as every time this fly is stripped, the tail will give an enticing flick. This is a catalyst for a strike from a wide array of freshwater inhabitants because it looks like the leech is trying to flee with each movement of the tail. The fibres protruding from the body also produce a lot of action in the water, making the Bunny Leech one tantalising fly pattern.

The length of the Zonker tail can be altered depending on how you like it tied, and also factors such as how thick the fur and how rigid the skin. When choosing Zonker strips, try to get strips that have fairly thick fur and thin skin. This will make tying easier and will also look and move better in the water. I like this particular colour (olive variant) for this pattern as it has a range of colour, from almost yellow adjacent the skin to dark olive near the tips of the fur

The Leech Yarn is available in a host of natural colours and makes a great substitute for dubbing on larger freshwater patterns. It is cheap, easy to use and looks great in the water. The size and type of eyes can be varied, depending on the sink rate and the look you are after. Smaller or lighter eyes will allow the pattern to be fished a lot slower or a lot shallower whilst larger and heavier eyes will mean this pattern can be stripped a little faster or fished in deeper water. One of the best things about this pattern for me is how simple and quick it is to tie.


(1) Place the hook in the vice securely and attach the thread just behind the eye of the hook with a jamb knot or similar. Lay down a bed of thread on the shank of the hook for about 5mm behind the eye of the hook. Affix the eye to the top of the hook shank at this position with a series of figure-of-eight wraps until it is securely tied on. Apply a little head cement to the thread between the two balls of the eye to make it more durable.

(2) Wind the thread along the hook shank until you are approximately opposite the point of the hook. Cut a length of Zonker strip so that the skin section is at least as long the hook shank. The fibres of the Zonker will face backwards away from the hook as shown during tying. Cut a small arrow shape in the skin on the end, tie it in to make this task easier and the tie-in point a little smaller. Tie in securely with a series of wraps and whip finish, but do not cut away the remaining thread. A little head cement on the thread will help to make the fly more durable.

(3) Attach the end of the Leech Yarn so that the greater portion of it faces backwards as shown. Again whip finish, but do not cut away the remaining thread. Wind the thread back along the hook shank and leave it hanging on the bobbin between the eye of the fly and the eye of the hook as shown.

(4) Wind the Leech Yarn forward, with each wrap adjacent to the last until you are all the way up to the back of the eyes. The closer the wraps the thicker the body will be.

(5) Wrap the Leech Yarn around the eyes of the fly in a figure-of-eight pattern until the entirety of the gap between them is covered. Bring the Leech Yarn forward from between the bottom of the eyes and hold it in this position whilst you secure it with a series of wraps in the gap between the eye of the fly and the eye of the hook. Whip finish at this point and cut away the remaining thread and Leech Yarn. Add a little flexcement to the thread. The Bunny Leech is now ready to catch a variety of freshwater species.



HOOK:Gamakatsu B10S #2
THREAD:Flat-waxed nylon olive
EYE:Real Eyes Plus nickel medium with yellow eye
TAIL:Zonker Strip olive variant
BODY:Leech Yarn dark olive

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