How to Make Fox's Sleech Fishing Fly
Join Bennett-Watt and learn how to make the Fox's Sleech fishing fly.
How to Make Fox's Sleech Fishing Fly
And now for you dry flied peers out there, we got a couple of bonus flies for you. This is a steelhead fly.
I needed a string leech with some flash on it. Not just flash bow hanging down the sides but flash in the fly, the sleech was born. Polar Chenille works great but rather it has a tendency to soak up water and get heavy making casting tough.
So recently, I switched to a new synthetic material which has helped casting this fly tremendously but also it still has the same look and action in the water. This fly has caught steelhead from Alaska all the way down to the coast of California.
Our next fly is going to be one of my favorite flies, the sleech, string leech, sleech, sleech for short. So, this whole process is a little bit exciting. Normally we need two vices. I'm going to show you a little device I've set up so I'm going to have to use one vice.
For the front hook, we’re going to have a front and a back hook. The front hook is going to get cut off. Now the selection of the hooks is not too important. I like a ring eye hook because there’s really, no direction of the fly. And generally, since we’re going to cut the hook, the cheaper the better.
So, I'm going to use a quarter inch hot bead and a little bit if lead to help get the fly down which is necessary a lot of times when you're fishing the big coastal waters for big steelhead.
So once we get that in, I'm going to take that out. I'm going to out my back hook in. we’re going to run the spine of the sleech so to say. I usually like the double up 30-pound backing and I'm just going to run the hook— the thread I mean backing in and out of the eye and loop to loop it on. That gives me my spine. Move that to my back holder.
Now this was a piece of a— it’s called the alignment thing. I can't remember the name of it. It’s basically it’ll align your fly up for using the rotor device properly. I took the needle out and I've put a little eye screw in as you can see here. I'll give you a view and that holds the back hook. So, it worked out kind of nice.
Traditionally I always just use two vices right next to each other but this cleans it up quite a bit. So basically I have to join the two. And if you really want this fly never to fall apart although I've never had a problem doing it this way, before we put the lead on, you can run the backing underneath the bead through the other hook and back tight together and then wrap over it.
But again, I've never had one fall apart this way. Just put a little Zap-A-Gap on the front hook. Bring up both pieces of thread backing and tie it altogether and make sure that Zap-A-Gap soaks into it. get it in good and tight. Trim off the extra backing, clean it up, cut our thread.
Okay. So now that we've got the front and the back hook spliced together, let me go ahead and start on the back so I'm going to put the back hook and the vice. We’re going to do a purple pink egg supper so use purple thread on the back end of the hook. This back hook gives a – octopus hook and you can use whatever your favorite stinger hook is.
And basically, I used to use rabbit for this fly. I've now used synthetic material call seal fur. And the neat thing about this stuff is that you can cut it into strips like a rabbit and wrap it like rabbit.
So, the first thing to do is I'm going to go ahead and cut this. I'm cutting against the green. Once I get my piece cut then you just pull it tight and it becomes like piece f long-haired chenille. That’s pretty cool. And the nice thing about this material as compared our rabbit is that it doesn’t soak up the water like the rabbit does.
So once we get that taken care of, we’ll go ahead and tie it back in here. be careful, that front hook gets in the way all the time. And then for my flash I'm going to use some polar chenille and this is EV purple polar chenille. Let me go ahead and tie that in at the same spot.
It goes to our back out of the way and then I'm going to finish this fly off and them I'm just going to have to use my hand to do it so I can get around that front hook. My hand is usually rough and I usually end up fraying thread. I like to use a loop finisher. But on this fly, it’s kind of impossible. All right, so the back end is secure and now I'm ready.
Now I'm going to be wrapping this material up to the front of the hook so I'm wrapping over and away from me. So before I put the front hook and the vice, I'm going to twist this back towards me. In that way, the two materials work against each other and you don’t have what’s called baggy pants. A lot of times if the material is loose on the string leech, the material slides down. It looks like a punk wearing baggy pants. We don’t want that.
So now we’re ready to go ahead and get started. So for the second phase, I'm getting my thread up on the front part of the hook and I'm just going to put a drop of Zap-A-Gap right at the eye of the hook. Not too much, it’ll make it pretty hard do to. And basically I'm just going to start.
It is important you know. With rabbit polar chenille it’s a little easier. But the seal fur and polar chenille, it’s very hard to get under wrap together at the same time and that's important. So with each wrap for each wrap I'm going to fluff that stuff out. I'm going to get this tightened up a little bit— maybe not.
What I have to do— and it’s important to get all your vice and all the settings really tight before you do this. When it moves on it’s kind of frustrating. So with each wrap I got to pull all that fuzz out.
Now I do have to tell you, when you're doing this with rabbit it looks much better but this stuff does swim as good as rabbit. But you’ll enjoy it so much more casting whether it’ll be two handed or spa rod. You'll enjoy casting this with a synthetic seal for so much more than rabbit plus this will get down a little deeper just because of the nature of the material not soaking up so much water.
Okay. Make sure that your vice is good and tight on the table and all your settings are good and tight. Let me get this up towards the bead. I need to tie that off. The cool thing about this is with the colors of polar chenille and seal fur and rabbit.
You can do a lot of different color combinations. You can also do a two tone. You can stop when you get to the front hook and tie it up completely different colors. So, you have a half and half color. There’s really no end to the possibilities.
So once I get that all taken care of, I'll just put in a nice pink, schlappin feather for the color just to finish it off. All right, good and we’re finished.
Again, on the steelhead flies I like to put a lot of locker on the collar just to keep the thread from fraying. But before I do that, I need to cut the front hook and I'm going to put my pliers away.
So, just take a piece of side cutters. And the trick to this is wear safety glasses or do it under the table to where it won't shoot out and hit anybody in the eyes especially yourself but I’m going to cut it right up as close as I can and then there’s your sleech.
How to Make Fox's Sleech Fishing Fly
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