B.C. Boat and Sportsmen's Show
Leech patterns in tough conditions
I have posted in some of my previous articles my preference for trolling leeches. It continues to be an extremely effective way to have great days even in very poor conditions.

Earlier this month one of our favorite lakes had a massive bloom take place over a two week period. It was touch and go weather we would try the lake but I decided to give it a go anyways. My preference again was to troll leeches. Upon arrival at the lake I ran into a few discouraged fly fishermen who were leaving the lake without any success at all. I headed out onto the lake and ran a 5wt rod with a full sink line and another 4wt rod with a sink tip. My flies of choice where my two favorite micro leeches. One is a black and red micro leech with a red bead head, and the other was an olive micro leech with a chrome bead head. I trolled for about 20 minutes varying how much line I let out in an attempt to find the depth the fish were at. The water was murky brown and very cloudy. After passing a few anglers on the lake who had not touched a fish all day I finally landed a nice 12 incher on my top rod sink tip and quickly released it. A few minutes later I landed another beauty on my full sink. I trolled for about 2 hours landing and releasing 4 fish and losing another 6. The next day I gave it another try with similar results. Landing 3 and losing another half dozen. Even in the poorest conditions trolling leeches was extremely effective.

A week later and with conditions much improved the fishing was also much better, this time I landed and releasing a dozen fish while losing a few dozen more. Trolling micro leach patterns continued to be extremely effective.
This past weekend we headed out to the lake and the conditions were perfect. This time I decided to target some larger fish and ran two full sink lines with an olive and a black micro leech. Trolling at a very slow pace I was getting a lot of touches but no takers, as I came to a dead stop my rod suddenly bent hard and my line screamed out, I had a great fight on my hands and landed a nice 2 pound rainbow.

A friend of mine just bought a new pontoon boat that week and joined us for the first time on the lake. I set him up with a few micro leech patterns and he also had a fantastic day. He managed to land and released 8 fish on his first day ever trolling with leeches.

For those anglers who are just starting out fly fishing with a pontoon boat or belly boat, trolling leeches proves to be a fantastic way to start fly fishing. Grab yourself a few micro leeches and have a great day on the water.

Happy Angling

Bob Waldhaus
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