It’s that time of the year when long leaders are part of the game – especially when fishing small bugs in the low, clear flows.
And when the Underground talks leaders, it talks to Underground Montana Correspondent Sully, who has spent a lifetime testing leader formulas to a state of perfection. (Well, not a whole lifetime. He’s not dead.)
This is perhaps the most unusual of all the Sully recommended leaders – a 16.5′ specimen that always turns over.
When asked about its origins, Sully simply said the original formula was found on
twisted fragments of an alien-looking metal during a recent visit to Area 51. Then he pulled out an odd penlight, flashed it in my eyes, and… wait, where am I?
The low, clear flows of fall and winter mean BWOs – and long leaders.
Huh. Lost my train of thought.
Anyway, I see I’ve already pasted the leader formula below. Nobody knows where the formula comes from, though it’s easily the most extra-terrestrial of the Sully leaders, two of which we already passed along (links to those at the end of this post).
I use this leader extensively fishing small flies in the low, clear water of Fall and Winter. The turnover on this is truly amazing, and the drifts are spectacular.
It responds well to caster inputs, so pile and reach casts actually work like they’re supposed to.
Like any long leader, there’s little joy to be found fishing it in the wind. There is, however, a lot of joy in hooking tough fish.
.025 4′ Rio Powerflex Butt Material (start with 4 feet but trim down length if leader doesn’t turn over well)
.022 3′ Rio Powerflex Butt Material
.017 8″ Rio Powerflex
.005 30″ (6x)
Sully’s pretty specific about materials, but this design will stand some tinkering.
He recently constructed a prototype using Orvis Hy-Flote butt material, which is smaller than the listed sizes and very flexible. It’s a perfect match for my more flexible fly lines (Cortland Sylk and 444 Peach).
I would definitely try a smaller butt diameter if I was trying this leader with a 4wt line.
Other Sully Leader Designs
Sully’s Big Bug Leader design: 10.5′ long and it turns over big dries beautifully. My favorite all-around leader spring and summer.
Sully’s short-range accuracy leader: 7.5′ long, but a small stream killer.
[tags]fly fishing, leader, leader design, BWO[/tags]