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About 9 years ago I was fishing
The late Gene Armstrong from Kaufmann's
Over the years I have added additional leech patterns to my
fly box, yet the Aftershaft Leech has remained a permanent resident. When
some of my louder leech patterns don't seem to be working, the somber nature
of the aftershaft leech often does the trick . . .Aftershaft is the secondary
feather found on most game birds. The best source for this material is
ring-necked pheasant. Aftershaft comes in a variety of colors. I like
aftershaft feathers so much for
The Aftershaft Leech has been a wonderful pattern over the years and continues to perform despite some of the rookie leech patterns that now grace my fly box. I feature my Aftershaft Leech whenever I teach a course or provide a fly-tying demonstration.
Materials: Aftershaft Leech
Hook: Tiemco 5263, #6 - #10 (weighted).
Thread: Color to match body.
Body: Aftershaft feathers (mix colors to create a mottled look).
Hackle: Pheasant rump (color to match body).
1. Place hook into vise and cover the front 1/3 of the hook shank with lead wire substitute. Attach the tying thread and cover the wire to lock it firmly in place. Leave the tying thread hanging at the rear of the lead wire.
2. Strip a clump of marabou fibers from a marabou feathers. Tie in the marabou at the rear of the lead wire. The finished tail should be about shank length. Try mixing various colors of marabou to create a mottled effect.
3. Pull down a inch length of tying thread. Place a thin coating of dubbing wax onto the tying thread. Place the prepared aftershaft feathers onto the tying thread to the stem of the feather lies directly on top of the tying thread. Lay the feathers tip to butt along the tying thread. A size-8 fly takes about 5 aftershaft feathers.
4. Bring the tying thread back up to the hook shank to form a dubbing loop. Clost the loop at the hook shank and spin the dubbing loop tight reinforcing the aftershaft feathers. Spin the loop until the stems of the feathers are no longer visible and the fibers radiate out perpendicular to the dubbing loop.
5. Wind the aftershaft dubbing loop forward to the eye to form the body. Tie off and remove the excess aftershaft dubbing loop.
6. Prepare a pheasant rump feather by stripping the flue from the base of the feather. Grasp the feather by the tip and sweep the fibers downwards to expose the tip. Tie the prepared feather in by the tip. Trim the excess material and wind the feather 2 to 3 times around to form the hackle. Don't overdress the pattern. Tie off the pheasant rump feather and trim the left-over material. Sweep the hackle fibers rearward and hold in position to expse the hook eye and head area. Build a neat neat. Whip-finish and apply head cement. Do designate a weighted pattern place a dab of red nail polish on the hook eye. Be careful not to close the eye of the hook accidentally with the polish. ~ Philip Rowley
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