3) Action Leaches, Experimental Bowfin Patterns.

 I recently found a bunch of voracious Bowfin in very shallow water.  A frustrating situation for fly fishing, I had no floating fly line and no stealthy surface flies or loud subsurface flies to use.  I caught 4 on a 5/0 Musky Spinner Bait and hooked 6 or 8 more.

I badly need a rematch with these seldom encounter game fish. 

There is nothing Experimental or unproven about this Rabbit Leach pattern with alternating turns of Rabbit Strip and Estaz flash chenille for the body.  Normally I tie these with a brass bead head size 5.0 mm or 5.5mm on a #4 or #2 down eye hook.  The bead head EstazBunny leaches are effective on a floating line in water as shallow as 2 feet, and work as deep as 8 feet with sinking lines.  A good choice to target Walleye, Large Mouth, Pike and catfish species. The combination of down eye next to the heavy bead will flip this pattern hook point up. I usually trim the body down flat on the side opposite the hook  to help it flip over hook up.  This also makes for a more slender fly that dives quicker during a rip and fall retrieve.  Most of the bites come on the fall as it is diving toward the bottom.  Hook up flies foul less on the bottom and hook and hold fish more securely.

 I am tying these without weight so they can be paired with a heavy bead or a floating foam head as needed.  The floating foam head makes a floating jig or Booby Fly, they can be set up to create more or minimal surface disturbance.  Floating jigs also have a nodding wobble when twitched sub surface.  Here are some I have tested for action at a nearby pond.  Note: different sized beads or floats may be incorporated into tying a loop knot or threaded to slide or get pegged to the leader.

The rematch with the bowfin was mostly unsuccessful.   I got one OK bass and a few good hits on Floating Booby Leaches, and saw one bowfin laying low in the extra shallow water I encountered.  A second rematch a week later I got a hit and briefly hooked a bowfin casting and retrieving a non weedless popper through solid weed slop in 6 inches of water.


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