The Pig Pen Leech

A winter fly.

I designed this streamer pattern several years ago for fishing stillwaters for trout. Every part of this fly, the marabou tail and the bunny fur body, has a ton of movement and makes the fly look alive, particularly on a slow, passive retrieve.

Big lazy stillwater toads eat this fly with authority, especially after the ice comes off early in the spring. The Pig Pen Leech is also a great streamer pattern for moving water, especially during the winter months.

Dead-drifting this fly near the bottom, with a nymph dropper, is a great way to get into some larger fish during the colder months on our area streams and rivers. Typically, with wintertime water temps in the 30s, trout hunker down and do not chase streamers the way they do during other times of year. However, they will eat a drifted streamer, even with the coldest water temps.

For your larger river trout, small minnows, sculpins, crayfish, leeches are on the menu all winter long, and the Pig Pen imitates them all. The tan version shown above is one of my favorites; however, I tie this in olive, black, purple, claret and a few others. Let your inner brown trout run wild!

Thread: UTC 140, color to suit
Hook: 2XL nymph/streamer hook #8-10
Tail: Blood Marabou, brown and burnt orange, tied in bugger style
Flash: Pearl flashabou, tied in on each side of the tail
Bead: 5/32” black bead (use a tungsten bead for an extra-heavy version)
Body: Gold variant bunny fur from the hide

1. Slip a bead onto the bare hook, attach thread, and wind back to the back of the hook above the barb.
2. Using good marabou, a feather that has fine tips and a good amount of fluffiness, tie in a small amount of burnt orange. Then tie in brown on top. Next, tie in a single piece of flashabou along the sides of the tail. The tail should be about as long as the hook shank.
3. Form a dubbing loop with your thread, apply dubbing wax onto the thread loop, insert a good amount of bunny fur into the loop, spread it evenly, and twist it up. Wind the spun bunny up the shank to the bead. (A dubbing loop tool makes this step easier.) Tie off, cement, put in fly box, and go fishing.