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Bead Head Squirrel Leech
By Jim Schollmeyer

Wrapped hide-strip bodies are easy to tie, lively in the water. and very durable. You can cut your own strips or buy them pre-cut. A cross-cut strip produces a slimmer profile, while a longitudinally cut strip causes the hair to flare out, producing a wider body that pulsates when stripped through the water.

Materials List:

    Hook:   Nymph, 2X heavy, 2X-3X long, sizes 8-14.

    Thread:   Brown.

    Tail:   Red squirrel, longitudinally-cut strip.

    Body:  Red squirrel strip.

    Head:   Spirit River two-diameter counterdrilled brass bead, size to match hook size.

Tying Instructions:

1. Slide the bead, small end first onto the hook. Mount the hook in the vise. Then use the bead head method (p.51) with lead wire wrapped as shown; secure the wire and bead. Advance the thread to the rear tie-in position.

2. Take a precut squirrel strip and at the end of where the hair extends back past the hide, trim the hide to a point as shown.

3. Place the strip atop the shank so that the pointed end extends one shank-length rearward of the tie-in position. Divide the hairs over the tie-in position and take 4 tight thread wraps over the hide only as shown.

4. Advance the thread forward. Take the butt end of the strip and use close, tight turns to wrap the strip forward to the back of the bead. With each wrap, preen the hairs back as shown.

5. Divide the hair over the front tie-off position and take 4 tight thread wraps over the hide to secure the strip. Then cut the excess strip, tie off the thread, and cement the thread wraps.

6. Finished fly. ~ Jim Schollmeyer

Credits: The Bead Head Squirrel Leech is one of the many excellent instructional flies presented in Jim Schollmeyers book, Nymph Fly-Tying Techniques, published by Frank Amato Publications.

For more great flies, check out: Beginning Fly Tying, Intermediate Fly Tying and Advanced Fly Tying.

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