Tying the Pine Squirrel Leech

Sunday, March 09, 2014 , 15 Comments

This is an incredibly easy tie, yet very effective. It has proved itself numerous times and is always in my box. When the fish seem a little finicky this is one of the first streamers I reach for. Both stripping it  and dead drifting seem to work well. I tie these in black, olive, and a rust brown and always have all three on hand. They are so simple to tie you really don't have an excuse to have a few. Finally, if you are into the carp game try a smaller version on on a stout hook, equally as effective. 

Size 8-14 Streamer Hook
Brass Bead Head
Rust 6/0 Thread
Brown Pine Squirrel Strip

Step 1: 

Slide bead head onto hook and wrap entire length of hook shaft with thread.

Step 2: 

Tie in Pine Squirrel strip just before bend of hook. This tail section should be just longer than the length  of the hook itself. 

Step 3: 

Advance thread 2/3 up hook shank. Tie off pine squirrel strip and cut. 

Step 4:

Tie back in cut squirrel strip. (Note many tiers will simply tie off strip and omit cutting and retying it in, however, in my experience you will get a much fuller looking fly doing it this way and one which will last longer.) 

Step 5:

Palmer strip to bead head, tie off, cut and whip finish. Add drop of head cement. 


Great fly for sure.
Dub the body with some sort of UV dubbing and brush it out before palmering your main body , then add a couple of sili-legs in a contrasting color on each side and you end up with a much better fish catching fly in my opinion.
Then again...what do I know???

Mel said...

Excellent pattern. I need to get busy and build my stock back up. Good tip on re-tying in the strip to palmer wrap. Thanks for sharing!

Mel said...

Forgot to mention, like it says on my blog header. I love keeping fly fishing and fly tying simple. It works! This leech pattern fits the bill.

Blake said...

alot like the slump buster without the wrap on the hook shank. either way, looks like a fish catcher!

CARF said...

Sweet simple pattern!

Atlas said...


Great idea on a variation of this pattern, I will have to try that out next time I am on the vice. What I do like about this one is its simplicity. Still I will try yours out. Thanks for the input.

Atlas said...


Indeed it is a simple pattern. I am sure, tied small, bluegill and other panfish would chase it as well. Also yes palmering it the way I do with the cut and reattach really leads to a better fly. Worth the extra step.

Atlas said...

Blake- Yes this one has caught a lot of fish for me. I will have to look up that slump buster and check it out. I am unfamiliar with that pattern.

Atlas said...


Thanks for the comment, and yes a simple but worthwhile pattern for sure. You will have to try it out.

Outstanding work at the bench, and I must say that if I was a trout I will inhale this pattern in a second. Thanks for sharing a great fly with someone who needs some lessons in fly tying.

Atlas said...

Haha, Bill I highly doubt that you need lessons. i am sure i could learn a few things from you for sure.

Juan said...

Another fantastic looking fly, brother! now that you mention catching carp on the fly, what weight rod do you use to catch carp? Can you catch them on a 6 wt without breaking your rod??

Atlas said...

Yes, a 6 weight is totally adequate depending on the size carp you are chasing. On bigger ones I sometimes use my 8. Biggest thing will be setting your drag right and letting the reel do most of the work instead of the rod on a 6 if it turns out to be a bigger fish. Thanks for the question.

Such a simple and effective fly! Could I have permission to use this, with credits of course, in my flycasters club newsletter?

Atlas said...

Of course you may use this information, I would be honored. Thanks for stopping by.