The Kruse Leech was originated by Mike Kruse, Missouri Department of Conservation.  The unconfirmed story as to the origin of the leech was given by Tommy Schleder of Westover Farms.  It seems that Mike was planning to fish the current for smallmouth bass and didn't have hackle to tie Woolly Buggers.  He substituted mohair for the hackle and used the new fly on the stream the next day.  It was as successful catching trout and smallmouth, so the smallmouth fly also became a trout killer.


2XL or 3XL Nymph size 8-14
8/0 Olive (or match mohair color)
Marabou (Color to match body)
Mohair yarn  (Olive, black, blond or rusty brown)
(Optional) Eight to ten turns of lead wire or a bead head

Tying Instructions

  1. Mount hook.  Tie on the thread laying a base the length of the shank.  Return the thread to the eye of the hook with wide spiral turns.
  2. Prepare and mount the marabou tail starting at the head.  The marabou should cover the length of the shank to allow for an even body.  The tail should be l-1/2 or 2 times the length of the shank.  (Optional - one or two strands of flash-a-bou will add some attraction.)
  3. Tie on a length of marabou (olive, black or brown) and secure it the length of the shank.  Again, the body of the fly should have an even appearance.  Return the thread to the eye of the hook using wide spiral wraps.
  4. With your fingers, stroke the loose hanging fibers of mohair perpendicular to the mohair core.  As you wind the mohair up the shank, be sure to keep as many fibers free as possible.  This will give the leech a hairy look the entire length of the shank. (Hint - double the strand of mohair to give the body a fuller look.)
  5. Tie off the mohair, trim and cement, if desired.
  6. Optional - Lead wire can be added to provide weight or a metal bead can be added to provide weight.


The Kruse Leech can be tied in a number of shades of mohair. Perhaps the most successful are olive, black, rusty brown and blond. The blond mohair used to tie this fly is a special dyed mohair that can be found at Tommy Hargrove's Fly Shop on Manchester in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Fishing Techniques

The fly can be fished deep as the point fly on a shot and indicator rig or as the lone fly on a shot and indicator rig.  The fly can also be stripped with a stop and start motion.