“Balanced” patterns feature some extra weight beyond the hook eye, to balance-out the weight of the hook. The result is a pattern that hangs horizontally in the water, like a real baitfish or leech. Check out this great video featuring Canadian stillwater legend Phil Rowley, who explains the concept and how effective these patterns can be.
In this week’s video, Tim Flagler of Tightline Productions shows you how to tie an effective leech pattern he learned about from Rowley and The New Fly Fisher host Colin McKeown. The key is creating the counterweight, using a pin and a tungsten bead. Then it’s simply a matter of tying a cool Simi Seal Leech over that base. The result is a pattern that you can fish under and indicator in both still water and rivers, for both trout and smallmouths (as well as many other game fish).
Bruised Balanced Leech
Hook: Heavy-wire jig hook (here, as Daiichi 4640), size 10.
Thread: Black, 6/0 or 140-denier.
Bead base: Gold or silver sewing pin or sequin pin.
Bead: Black tungsten bead, 1/8-inch.
Adhesive #1: Superglue, such as Fly Tyer’s Z-Ment.
Tail: Black marabout fibers.
Flash: Ice-Blue Flashabou.
Body: Black/Blue Arizona Simi Seal.
Adhesive: Head cement, such as Sally Hansen Hard-As-Nails.
Tools: Wire cutters, nail file, dubbing whirl, dubbing brush, dubbing needle, plunger-style hackle pliers, whip-finish tool.