The Henry's Lake Leech was one of the first local patterns
I learned to tie. I had float-tubed Henry's Lake in the
late '60s and early '70s, and continually heard the
"old-timers" at Staley Springs refer to a fly they
called "Big Red."
Hook: Mustad 9672 (or 3XL equivalent), 6 - 14.
Thread: Brown 6/0, prewaxed.
Tail: Reddish-brown (rust) marabou, body length.
Body: Reddish-brown (rust) chenille, medium
to extra small, depending on hook size.
Ribbing: Brown saddle hackle, trimmed short.
Head: Brown on unweighted, black on weighted.
About 1970, the late Jim Wright, one of the top (summer)
anglers at the lake, took me under his wing and taught
me to tie the pattern. While it didn't convert me immediately
into a super successful Big H Fly rodder (I'm still waiting
for that to happen) ,it did give me one of the elements
I needed to at least compete with the local hot shots.
Learning to tie "Big Red" was important for another
reason. The fly has been one of my most successful
leech patterns at dozens of other intermountain lakes
and reservoirs for the past 30 years.
In the original pattern, Big Jim used rust wool yarn
for the body. I switched to chenille when I found
I could buy the color I wanted in size 0 and 00 from
Danville. The chenille works just as well as wool and
is readily available at all times. With yarns that
come from yarn shops, about the time I find a hot
material, the manufacturer discontinues it and I have
to find a replacement. I have found a variegated
chenille, rust and dark-olive, also works well for
this pattern, (the bottom one in the photo). ~ Marv
Marv Taylor's books, Float-Tubing The West,
The Successful Angler's Journal,
More Fragments of the Puzzle, (Volume I) and More
Fragments of the Puzzle, (Volume II) are all available from
Marv. You can reach Marv by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 208-322-5760.