Conehead Bunny Leech (swap fly)
Here's my swap fly.....
Cone head bunny leech (yellow)
Hook: 2XL, size 6
Head: Gold cone, size to match hook
Thread: Yellow Unicord, 6/0
Ribbing: Copper wire
Body: Any dark yellow dubbing
Tail: Yellow zonker strip
Collar: Yellow deer hair
1. Place the gold cone head on the hook, place the hook in the vise, and start the thread. Form a thin and even thread underbody. Bring the thread back to the rear of the hook.
2. Tie in a length of copper wire at the rear of the hook. Ensure that it is well secured.
3. Dub the body forward, stopping approximately Ĺ way up the hook shank.
4. Take the hook out of the vise. Get an eyeball measurement of where the zonker strip will be in relation to the hook point when it is tied in. It should extend from Ĺ way up the hook shank (where the thread now is) to about a hook shankís length behind the fly. Using a bodkin, punch a hole through the strip and slide it onto the hook. Place the hook back into the vise and secure the lead end of the strip with thread. Secure the remainder of the strip with the copper wire by winding it forward over the remaining unsecured strip, starting at the hook bend and stopping at the thread tie-in point. Three or four wraps of ribbing should do it. Tie the wire off so that itís nice and secure.
5. Tie in three or four bunches of deer hair just ahead of the zonker strip tie-in, but behind the cone head. When complete, push the cone head back against the collar. There should be about 1/5 to 1/4 of the hook shank remaining in front of the cone. Whip finish the thread behind the cone after the collar is complete.
6. Start the thread again ahead of the cone. Jam the cone back against the collar and build up a thread base that will maintain the coneís new position. Whip finish and apply head cement if desired.
7. As a final step, trim the deer hair collar so that itís uniform around the hook shank. It can even be trimmed to follow and continue the taper of the cone head if desired.
This pattern has proven itself for crappie, perch, and smallmouth bass. Yellow is the best color for me, but Iíve also had good results with black, white, and white with a red collar. If you donít enjoy tying with deer hair, this is a nice pattern to build your confidence because the cone head actually acts as the packing tool.
I've found that the body of dubbing can be easily replaced with an appropriately colored ice chenille. If you're not a fan of having to dub bodies (like me), this might be a good alternate. The fly is just as good, and maybe even a touch better because of the added subtle flash provided by the chenille.
Also, I've been asked why I bother to put the zonker strip through the hook point vs. just tying it in zonker style (i.e., an anchor point at the hook bend and an anchor point at the tie off for the strip). The reason is one of balance....with the strip impaled on the hook and then lashed down by the ribbing, it lies very straight behind the bend. When tied in zonker style, it tends to roll this fly a bit, regardless of the strip length.
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