Upside Down Leech
The Upside-Down Leech is the fly up above, but down at the bottom.
I grew up in Wisconsin, which meant that I had the opportunity to angle for a rather large variety of freshwater fish, including trout, bass, sunfish and bluegills, salmon, steelhead, pike, muskie, and more. Growing up in Wisconsin also meant fishing in some pretty nasty weather conditions sometimes, especially early or late in the year. That included plenty of ice in the guides, heavy snows, and temps occasionally flirting with the single digits.
Those days where often the territory of big, ugly flies, whether it was heavily weighted nymphs or monster streamers—you know, the kind of stuff that’s easy to knot-on with frozen fingers and that gives the fish something to get worked up about. There are a number of flies that stand out in my mind from those youthful adventures, including one that may really appeal to “cross-over” anglers, the Upside Down Leech. It’s a pattern that that I was introduced to via the vise of GB (who ties some of the biggest, ugliest streamers around), and it’s a fly that I still use today. It should bring a smile to the face of anyone who knows just how effective a pork rind can be! Images and text below are courtesy of GB’s Designing Trout Flies (1991).
For a painting of this lovely beast of fly, have a look here.
Note: You may want to sub out the lead eyes for a “friendlier” heavy metal.