- By Bob Morenski
(Above is an olive Ice Leech tied in the balanced style using 15 lbs. TyGer Leader wire. The fly was tied on a size 6 standard, 2X heavy wet fly hook. This method of balancing a fly provides the option of fishing the fly as either a balanced version for fishing under an indicator or fishing it the conventional manner. This was my killer go to fly on Patterson and Tokaryk lakes during my October 2012 trip.)
This fall I had an inspiration that I would like to share with all of you. For the last couple years, I have had articles about tying and fishing balanced flies under strike indicators. I was fresh off an afternoon of fishing at Tokaryk Lake. While fishing there, I caught a lot of small fish plus a few that were in the low twenties. The best fish that I hooked that afternoon bent one of those blackened Mustad jig hooks that we use for tying balanced flies in two different directions and sprung the hook. Right then and there, I decided it will be a cold day in hell before I waste my time tying any more balanced flies on those jig hooks.
The next day, Ron Granneman came over to show me his latest inspiration. He had tied a balanced fly using a monofilament loop knot. It burst his bubble when he was told that there were people already doing that. I did not particularly like that method and we had a conversation on alternatives. TYGer Leader wire came up in that conversation. For those of you who do not know what TYGer Leader wire is, it is a coated 21strand wire that is used for toothy critters like pike or toothy saltwater fish species. It holds a knot well and they claim that you can use any conventional knot with it.
I had bought some TYGer Leader wire this past winter from Feather Craft. I knew that I had it somewhere in my camper; so, I started looking for it. I found it right away in the first draw that I looked into. I sat down and tried several methods of attachment. On my third attempt, I hit pay dirt. The method was simple, easy and best of all quick. I found it no more difficult or time consuming than weighting a fly. The big question, however, was “can a fish pull it out?” I quickly received an answer to this one. I went out fishing to test it. On my second cast, my indicator went down and I landed a 23 inch brown. I missed a fish on the following cast and then hooked up in the reeds. After retrieving my fly, I stuck a good fish which ran through the reeds and out to deep water. I somehow freed my line. (It sometimes is better to be lucky than good!) When it was all over, I had a 26.5 inch brownie in the net. I pulled up to the boat ramp and got Dave LaFrance out of his camper to help me measure the fish and to take a few pictures.
After that, I tied up around fifty flies using the TYGer Leader wire technique to balance the flies. I quickly found that the TYGer Leader wire offered many advantages to the other methods and techniques that I have used.