Tying a Tube-Fly Bunny Leech

by Davie McPhail

enough already with the dainty wee stuff ! here’s something to wake up and get just about any fish all nasty-excited.
as with anything in the fishing world there’s of course no rules but you can expect hard and adrenaline-pumping takes with this type of fly and that’s well, cool to say the least.
by their sexy undulating and volume changing swim, bunny strip flies attract and seduce not only the hungry but lazy, unfocused or simply curious fish. they’re appetizers and as lively in the water as any other material i can think of and that’s what makes them the standard that they are for making ‘living’ flies. some synthetics are pretty good but none come close to the natural materials when we want that special dance.

however, as with our own mating rituals, success doesn’t come without a price. these things are big and when wet, start to feel like a soft brick when casting it to the next spot so we’ll have to adjust the casting stroke accordingly. avoid dry fly-style tight loops and slow down the cast while keeping constant tension on the line. an elliptic cast is ideal.
(often falsely referred to as the Belgium cast, this falseness will be explained in another post)
i.e. a side cast back cast followed by an overhead front cast.
the back cast is done on a side plane, the casting arm drifts up while bringing the rod tip back to the ‘standard’ over-head cast position while the line is unrolling towards the back, and then the front cast is initiated in an over-head plane. this keeps both fly and rod legs of the line well separated, is much easier to keep constant tension and because of all this, there’s little or no ‘kick’ and it helps the bunny tail from wrapping itself around the hook during the cast.

Davie shows us a pike streamer below but this is a pattern that can very easily be adapted in many ways (i often use simpler versions that are 2,5 cm / 1″ long for trout, perch, carp and whatnot) and in fact, the tube, feather over-wing, the rubber legs, eyes and built-up head can be considered accessorial or simply elements that might adapt the fly better for a given species or situation. however, the tail and wound bunny body are what really make it work.
in all it’s variants this is a must have fly so, get you some !

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