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NovaScotianFisherman

Hare's ear nymphs

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Hey all. Im not exactly new to fly tying, i've been doing it for over a year, but i have only dabbled in flies outside of streamers and salmon/steelhead flies. That said, i struggle with dries and nymphs. Im trying to tie a black bead headed hare's ear nymph, as the brookies around here seem to love them. I think they think they are stoneflies. But my question is what do you use for a shellback??

 

Cheers, NSF

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A section of turkey tail feather is traditional and what I usually use. But you can use almost anything. Thin skin, scudback, flashabou, any feather, even moose hair.

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You can use turkey, pheasant, goose tail feather barbs. Also use different colors of flash material.

Also try a few with no wingcase.

 

Rick

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peacock herl

 

goose quill fibers

 

duck quill fibers

 

any game bird wing/tail quill fibers

 

turkey tail fibers

 

swiss straw

 

natural rafia

 

goose, duck, turkey biots

 

yada yada yada

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My most productive gold ribbed hares ear nymph uses peacock herl for the wing case. It's completely out produced my other ties of the fly and convinced my sons to tie them the same way, to become their standard tie as well. I also use turkey ( second most productive for me) and pheasant fibers. I suppose much depends on the waters and hatches in your area. I didn't even like the idea of the peacock herl at first, having seen some for sale in a fly shop at least 20 years ago now. But one day I had a clump of herl on my tying table that was a cut off and decided to tie that into my series of HEs I was tying at the time. I tie Hares Ears from size 20 all the way up to about size 8, I might even have tied a 6 here or there. What am I saying, I know I have. On those big ones I do an under body first of fine chenille then dub over that. I've done this when the big drakes are starting to move , great fly !

 

I tie hares ears in brown rabbit and in olive and to a lesser degree gray. I tie them with and without gold ribs. I have tied some with bead heads but mostly weight them internally. And I don't think from day one of tying these that I ever tied one that did not catch fish.

 

As to where you are fishing them and why the fish are taking them. I'm convinced that fish don't always take the hares ear as a nymph but also very small bait fish. I've stripped these things like a streamer fly with great success at certain times and noticed when the fish are taking them that way there are tiny bait fish around.

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My most productive gold ribbed hares ear nymph uses peacock herl for the wing case. It's completely out produced my other ties of the fly and convinced my sons to tie them the same way, to become their standard tie as well.

... (more great stuff deleted for brevity)

 

Great post! An excellent tip based on your experience. I will tie some Hare's Ear with peacock ASAP.

 

It's odd, but Hare's Ear nymph is one of the first flies that I tied, one of the most highly recommended nymphs around here, but I've never used them much. I always mean to tie and use them, but almost never do. Just a dumb habit of mine. I hope your post will kick me out of it. Curiosity is a great motivator for me.

 

Do you tie the peacock as thorax and wingcase?

 

or as a wing case over hares ear dubbed thorax?

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Another approach to giving the wing case a bit of flash is to use several strands of krystal flash on top of the wing case. I have been using this technique for many years with great success. You can use peacock or pearl or any other color depending upon how much flash you want. When a nymph is in the process of hatching, it splits its wing case and I believe the strands of krystal flash give the impression of this process. I usually use cinnamon tip turkey as my wing case since I prefer a dark wing case; the kyrstal flash contrasts with the dark wing case.

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Meant to post this earlier in the week, but have been away working down in Edinburgh (new job). Apologies for the late reply.

 

Using peacock herl for the thorax cover, or shell back, on a nymph is nothing new. It is known as a "Moss Back..." So in the case of a GRHE it would be a Moss Back GRHE Nymph. (It's important to keep the nymph in the name as the GRHE was at one time tied as a dry fly). Here are a couple of mine. You can make a full shell back version if you wish. Or you could add some flash over the abdomen and peacock over the thorax.

 

GRHE3_zps7ipnxlwc.jpg

Top view of the same.

GRHE2_zpsx2ghuvps.jpg

And with a bead.

GRHE1_zpsc5fbrsxw.jpg

I hope that gives you a better idea of this method.

Cheers,

C.

 

 

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